I am still a new kid in this Iranian.com block, still testing the waters, still holding my tongue. And it is in true Iranian fashion that I author these words humbly, paying reverence to the veterans and seasoned writers first and for most. Although I am no longer a youngster by any stretch of the imagination, I am a child of the revolution; a kid robbed of a “normal” childhood and forced to grow up fast in the chaotic streets of Tehran.
There were no tea parties for me, no doll-houses, no juvenile role plays, no casual strolls down our alley, no blushing at the sight of a first crush. I wasn’t groomed in the art of traditional Persian cooking or Gillani dress making. Instead, I threaded my way through childhood by re-enacting war games of political rallies. I passed out subversive pamphlets to my playmates and spray-painted the outhouse with militant slogans. I pretended to assemble Molotov cocktails and burned tires to counteract the effects of the make-believe tear gas.
And later on, when my father exiled me to the countryside to be rehabilitated under the watchful eyes of his oldest sister, I decorated the family farmhouse with red revolutionary cries and before long returned to Tehran resembling a guerilla who had just stepped out of Iran’s northern jungles. By my adolescent years, after the war with Iraq was already in progress, I hosted family send-offs to the front-line and catered funerals.
In fewer words, my childhood was plagued by politics, and as a result, my adult life is peppered with persistent whys:
-- Why aren’t we free?
-- Why are we still debating the return of Pahlavi?
-- Why aren’t we united to reclaim the legacy of our uprising?
-- And on a lighter note, why can’t I call Khamenei a moron on TV?
In 1944, when Mosaddeq together with nineteen other Iranian patriots founded Jebhe Melli, the modern struggle of Iranians for democracy was born. Today, that struggle is sixty four years old. Numerous lives have been sacrificed at altar of freedom, and thirty years have passed since the last revolution, but our political activities are still confused, still calling for a referendum to determine the future of our nation.
Our motherland has said no to the Pahlavi dynasty, has rejected the dark ages of mullahs, has dismissed the advances of Mojahedin-e Khalq to tryout another flavor of Islam, and still awaits the revelation of a new, coherent proposal from the radical left.
As a child of the revolution, I have earned the right to say on behalf of my motherland, “What part of no don’t you understand, gentlemen?” And as an Iranian woman who is anything but a “silenced, mute, and answerless mother,” [see eroonman's "The Little Prince"] I submit to you the fruit of my labor: Generations of patriots and freedom fighters raised by Persian mothers since the dawn of our civilization. Unite them to change our future!
A referendum in the current environment of Iran is a joke at its best and a fraud at its worst. Upon whom will we bestow our trust to conduct and monitor such a referendum? Corrupted civil servants eager to sell their services to the highest bidder? How about a mishmash of various political groups, each with a different agenda and allegiance? Even better, we can forgo the headache and aggravation altogether and turn the whole referendum over to an international monitoring group. Wait! When was the last time we trusted foreigners to do right by us? Does anyone still remember the outcome?
What our nation needs is not another half-baked referendum but a group of founding leaders who by the courage of their convictions are driven to spell out our rights as the citizens of an ancient civilization:
-- We pay homage to no foreign power;
-- We reserve the right to defend ourselves against any and all foreign intruders;
-- We wish to rip the riches of our land to feed our poor;
-- We hunger for peace to build a better future for our children;
-- We bestow power to a republic encompassing all ethnic groups within our borders;
-- We grant temporary power only to elected public servants;
-- We reserve the legal right to dismiss public officials and prosecute them for abuse of such power;
-- We possess the inherent and non-alienable rights to freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom to assemble, and freedom to demonstrate.
Once these collective principles are recognized by Iranian political factions, the road for democracy is paved; if denied or bent to suit one’s own interests, we have with all likelihood another tyranny on our hands.
The seeds of freedom are sown by bold patriots whose unwavering principles embrace a nation together until democracy takes roots. Our rights as the citizens of an ancient civilization must not be up for debate or subject to the outcome of any referendum. We need not another referendum! We need unity under the Derafshe Kaviani, a 5,000 year old symbol of Persian resistance towards oppression, a banner risen by a common man to topple tyranny.
Will you heed his glorious call to unity?]=
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