I have received many private and public messages from readers in reply to my blog titled “9/11 & Me: When I Became a Sand Nigger…” and have reviewed them all diligently. Sorting through all the advice, concerns, and different interpretations, my heart was filled with the warmth of belonging to a greater community of Iranians who has persevered through many adversaries. I was touched by your words and moved by your outrage and indignation.
In the last 29 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian women have proved their resilience and displayed such a fighting spirit unseen and unheard of in the Middle East. While women in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have been subjugated by Islamic rulers or subdued by social barriers, their dreams and aspirations are crushed for generations. On the contrary, Iranian women have been Chadored, veiled, locked up, kicked around and beaten but still stand erect.
Our legal rights have been reduced by the moronic but divine laws of Islamic Sharia, and our worth has been equated with half a man or a generous offering of two mules. We still stand erect. The sanctity of our bedrooms have been violated by men who freely practice their Islamic right to acquire and enjoy Seeghah (the act of buying a temporary wife for the duration of the contract), and our homes have been overrun by Havoohes (second, third and fourth wives). But we still stand erect.
Iranian women have worked both within and against the Islamic system to improve their social standing and have challenged the mullahs head on. Today, there are more women in Iran’s institutions of higher education than before, and we have broken social barriers to become lawyers, judges, and representatives. Our fervor for freedom and equality seethes under the surface and boils over to burn the mullahs and their strangle hold over our lives. We stand erect.
Don’t despair, Hamshahri. I am a shir zan-e Irani, the heir to Mandana, the pallbearer to Negan, the blood line of Queen of Persia, Ester of Babylon. I stand erect.