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Excerpts from Masoud Behnoud's

We will stay

The Iranian

From "Beh jaaee nemiraveem" ("We aren't going anywhere") by Masoud Behnoud published in the independent magazine Adineh (Tehran, May 1997):

* I have heard whispers about the migration of a group of writers.

* We will stay. It is our destiny.

* We will stay because the Associated Press will not carry news about our mothers.

* When we made a promise to stay, we didn't say "if everyone was kind to us" or "if everyone was just the way we wanted them to be."

* The mountains over Tehran are not the most beautiful in the world, but they are the only ones that worry me when they don't get any snow...

* We are insulted, and sometimes poisoned, but we will stay.

* Our wounds can only be healed here, with words, smiles, signs and messages in a language I understand.

* You cannot ignore an event as big as the Tehran Book Fair. Throngs of people block surrounding streets. Even though the books are expensive and censored in poor taste, you see thousands and thousands of youngsters grabbing whatever they can get their hands on.

* One day, when those wonderful bureaucrats stop being so tight-minded, the world will share our joy in reading books by new writers, and all will see that we have more novelists and playwrights than the dozen or so old timers.

* One day -- too late for us -- you will hear about those thousands who are learning music at home.

* This is a country where during Iraqi bombings, wild flowers were being sold at street corners.

* Even when Haji Firouz (Uncle New Year) is arrested, he won't lay down his tambourine.

* What kind of country do we live in? In a country where a young man grabs you and asks, "Did you vote?" He was born a couple years after the revolution. He has no vision of the past and he is not caught up in the past. He is the future. He is full of life. This is our Iran.

Full Persian text

Other articles by Masoud Behnoud:

* Qalam dar ghalaaf(Persian)
On Iranian journalism
* Har ayb keh hast dar mosalmaani-ye maast (Persian)
In response to opponents of free speech
* Geleh sepordan beh baad (Persian)
On the late Siyavash Kasraie
* Pedar koshtegi baa Pahlavi (Persian)
On three powerful Iranian women and their rivalries.

* Interview with behnoud: Between extremes (English, Nov. 1995)

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