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Milky road
Removing dark clouds over Iran in our lifetime

By Amir M. Rafati
September 17, 2003
The Iranian

I traveled to Florida for business in June. This was my first visit to Florida since I came to the United States. I was sitting in a restaurant across from the ocean, looking at the moon and thinking about Iran. The moon behind the tall palm trees was playing cat and mouse with my eyes. Occasionally big dark clouds would cover the moon, but the moon would fight back and shine onto the ocean again. Without the moon, the ocean is like a dark and mysterious beast.

I can hear the sound of the waves crashing over each other mixed with sounds of a rock singer shouting from the radio in the restaurant. I don't understand the singer since his words are masked by a loud sound of guitar and drum. However, the sound of ocean is clear to me. The waves rushing over each other as fast as they can to meet the beautiful white sands. 

The clouds covered the moon once again and it's too dark to see the waves but I can feel and hear them coming closer and closer. Once again the moon comes out of the clouds like a king after defeating his enemies. Reflection of the moon created a streak of shiny light shimmering over the ocean. It starts from the moon and arrives at the sandy beach. It is a white shiny road that connects the white sands to the bright moon. It is like a milky road to the sky. 
Once again the dark clouds covered the moon and the milky road disappeared. What happened to it? Where did it go? This could be the subject of the next episode of Indiana Jones with the title, After the milky road. Well, the movie is not out yet, so stay tuned. 
It is so beautiful here and I have all the freedom in the world. I am in heaven, while my people in Iran are having another day of struggle under the dark clouds of an unwanted government. It is such a poetic moment and I am thinking that my countryman and woman are fighting and resisting just like the brave moon is fighting the dark clouds. Suddenly, the moon came out of the clouds and distracted me. 

Naturally, I raised my head to look at the moon and there it was shining. Also, the milky road has appeared on the ocean once again. It is a beautiful sight to see. The moon is higher now and even the tall palm trees cannot mask it. I can imagine the moon is telling the dark clouds and the palm trees, “Hey look at me I have beat both of you”. 

A few minutes pass and I am still infatuated by the beauty of the moon and the milky road in the ocean, when suddenly another dark cloud shouts for my attention. I look at the huge dark cloud and cannot believe the persistence of the clouds. This one is bigger, a lot bigger than the ones before.

In a short time the dark cloud covered the moon and my milky road disappeared once again. How am I going to find the way to the moon again? This dark cloud is a lot bigger and will last a lot longer than my time in this restaurant.

A few minutes passed, I am done with my dinner and the clouds are still there getting bigger and bigger. Regardless, I know one thing, the dark clouds, small or large, may cover the moon tonight or tomorrow but the moon is always there. I guess it is my luck that the dark clouds are here tonight covering the moon in this beautiful place. However, I know the moon will come out and shine again. I think the same goes for Iranians. I hope the dark clouds pass so we can enjoy the moon. I think the biggest question is how can we deal with the dark clouds? How can we come out of it?  

We are more powerful than the moon. But we are many small moons that don't come together to fight the dark clouds. We are so divided and consumed by our own wants and agendas that are not willing to make the sacrifice, deal with our egos, and unite together to push the dark clouds away and to bring the sight of the moon to our country. Otherwise, there is no dark cloud in this world that can cover our moon, Iran, if we come together and work together. 
It is time to unite. Rather than individuals wanting to be Iranians, defending our heritage, or talking about our past great leaders, it is time for us to come together. It is time for existing leaders to unify and for new leaders to emerge from us to unite all of us beneath one common goal. 

United we can bring freedom to our country. United we can build a country that Iranians can live together regardless of their religion, ethnic background, or race. United we can build a country that our people will chose their own government and our government will work for our people rather than themselves. United we can improve our economy and the life of our countryman and ourselves. United, we can bring back the glory to our country, which in return will glorify each of our lives. We can do all these and a lot more when we are unified. 
Our challenge is to become unified and to put aside our old thinking. It is time to stop telling us that Iranians will not unite, or Iranians will not help each other, or this person is that and that person is this. It is time to say that we are great people. It is time for us to treat each other with respect. It is time to be proud of our educated people in the world and what they have accomplished in business, politics, art, literature, and their respected fields. 

It is time to be proud of our people for being where they are after 24 years of division, war, and hardship. It is time for us to understand each other's situation. It is time to listen to each other and let each individual express his or her opinion freely. It is time for us to take the responsibility and take action toward a goal that will benefit all of us rather than a few. It is time to bring back the honor, pride, and power to our country and our home. It is time to be patriotic. It is time to unite under a common goal. It is time to be Iranian. It is time!
Well my night is over and I need to go. I don't think I will see the moon again tonight, but I hope I see Iranians come together and remove the dark clouds before my life is over. 

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