I hope life is treating you well. I attach a short story that my niece, Nyusha Samiei, who is 12 and lives in Vancouver, Canada, wrote for an English essay. The essay was supposed to be loosely based on historical facts. Nyusha goes to a French school. — Hossein Samiei

“Scroll of Cambyses II, son of King Cyrus the Great, ruler of Persia, the greatest empire in the world.” These are the words written on the top of this scroll, given to me by my dearest mother. On the back, I inscribed: “The Greeks call my father Cyrus the Great, the Persians call him Kourosh-eh Bozorg, my mother calls him dear husband, but I know him only as father.”

The 16th day of the month of Atash, in the 3rd year of my father's rule, 71 years after our prophet Zoroaster was born We are now on our way to Babylonia. In his quest to expand his empire, my father has also decided to free the Babylonians from their despotic rulers and put them under his own just rule.

The 17th night of the month of Atash Our advanced troops have returned and they have reported that the Babylonians are a day's walk ahead of us where they have taken their position to defend.

The 19th day of the month of Atash I am writing this in the midst of war. We reached the Babylonian army, yesterday at midday. My father, his adviser Aryash and I all stand upon a hill, so my father can oversee his troops and be able to command them.

The 26th day of the month of Atash We have defeated the Babylonians! We are lucky for we lost few men in this great battle. We are now on our way to the great city of Nineveh, which is the capital of Babylonia, to explore the land and free the people.

The 27th day of the month of Atash I am astonished by our discoveries! We arrived in the city of Nineveh and we have freed all the Babylonians, but there is something awful we have just discovered! The tower of the Babylonian king was the last place we visited in the city of Nineveh. When inside, our first destination was the dungeon. We entered and we heard dreadful cries and screams of sadness and despair. Then we noticed the horrible truth. In cells, behind bars were many poor, pitiful and sick-looking men, women and children. By the language they spoke, I noticed that they were Jews. “We are returning tomorrow!” my father announced. He is determined to do something about it.

The 28th night of the month of Atash I am absolutely delighted by the events of this morning! My father, Aryash, his troops and I revisited the dungeon. My father ordered all the Jews who had been enslaved by the Babylonians to be free people. The expression on their face brought tears to my eyes. My father may be a strict Zoroastrian but he is still tolerant of all religions. Then out of the crowd of joyful Jews, Daniel, a man the Jews called prophet, came forth. He took a scroll and showed it to my father. On it was written a prophecy from God, of 200 years ago, that mentioned that a man named Cyrus would free the Jews. My father was dumbfounded!

I later on, heard from Aryash that there were several other prophecies that came true after my father freed the Jews. He also kindly allowed the Jews to rebuild their Temple of Solomon that was destroyed by the Babylonians. He declared that he would like a few of his best architects to go along and help coordinate the rebuilding of the temple. The Jews were very happy by this news, for their temple was quite important to them. And in the crowd the Jews started to whisper “He is a holy man…” So as this wonderful day comes to an end I add on the back of this scroll, “The Jews call my father holy man.”

Sources — Cyrus Charter — Cyrus biography — The Silent Centuries

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