Terrorized to insanity

I was on my way back from Tehran’s Simin Language Institute. I don’t know any more where it may be, but for me it was on the way to Kurosh department store on Pahlavi Ave. I would go there in the afternoons two or three days a week to work on my English. I particularly liked walking down Youssefabad, down hill, and then under the tall trees of the big avenue.I was just thinking about that because I know who these “motor savaar” bikers and “lebaas shakhsi” civilian thugs are. I remember one day in particular when all the older kids were attacked and their heads shaved, beaten up and terrorized to insanity. It was quite something. I was very, very scared.

Coming back from Simin that day, I was wearing a beige T-shirt with some English writing on it. And it was short-sleeved. Pressing my books on my chest, while trying to cover up the English titles, and walking through a most violent display of battlefield formations and maneuvers not on donkeys, but on mopeds and motorcycles, with swinging chains and waving knives.

I walked slowly and tried to disappear. I remember seeing an older kid, sitting with his legs in the joob, and holding his head; another one was crying, his head shaved. Almost everyone was screaming.

Walking up Youssefabad, I calmed down a bit, but somehow, I really never got rid of that shaking feeling again.


All of Tehran, and particularly Amirabad, Gisha, Youssefabad, I love you. I am proud of you. Unless we do it ourselves, no one can be blamed. Lack of enlightenment cannot be blamed on the primitive man.

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