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I am an Iranian

By Niloofar Nafici
December 11, 2003
The Iranian

My name is Niloofar Nafici. A 20 year-old southern California resident who was not born in Iran nor ever been there. Yet because of the tight knit community, somehow I am living in my own little version of Iran where I constantly hear people my age, showing their "Persian pride". I never show up at protests, demonstrations, speeches. I see Iranians as they sit with their friends and complain about Iran. Saying how yes, we are Iranians, we are so great, we are this, we are that. Is it not obvious to them? Unless they work to preserve it, there will be no "great people", no great "empire". How could it be? When we are a mirror of the past, but we are already shattering it for the future. So in a moment of strong inspiration, I had to write a poem. How I am Iranian, and at what cost, I may not be anymore.

I am an Iranian
I am from a heritage unlike any other
My country is suffering
Like a dying child crying for it's mother
I am from a rich history
Where in 5th century BC king Cyrus declared the first rights for humanity
Of truth light and beauty
Our air was love & our food was once poetry
Now only a taste of destruction and hate
And somehow now human rights we can "renegotiate"
What is being written of our historical fate?

I am Iranian
Or so I thought
As every student cries for freedom with each drop of their blood
We sit here in comfort, ignorant and lost

I thought I was Iranian
Now my history has a price & some are out to destroy it at any cost
Children lie in the streets crying in pools of their own blood & drugs
The ones who are doing the most damages are ourselves
To all of this we are aware, and simply our shoulders, we shrug…
Just letting dust collect on our bookshelves
Do we have no shame?

As we just sit here playing idiotic political games
While a referendum is all our dear Iran cries out for
But here we go again, throwing all the blames
By allowing the news to report lies of corruption, and supposed "reform"
Have we become so numb?
That being inhumane to our fellow Iranians is now the norm?

I was Iranian
I had a rich culture & history
Yet now is nothing but the past & the future remains in a dark cloak of mystery
Shaking my head looking into my child's eyes
Just like those of Iran's and their deep sighs
When they know that, we have done nothing and accepted all lies
That if each one of us just stood tall and proud
And just made one effort, one simple try
We can become what we once were,
Now fighting our own historical war.
Fighting to be the ones to rid this pure country's disease
By brining truth as the cure…

Let me state once again, as quickly as I can
For I do not know how much time is left
Because all is being lost and by theft
I can only feel regret.
And with tears I say,
I am an Iranian.

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Book of the day

The Hand of Poetry
Five Mystic Poets of Persia
Translations from the Poems of Sanai, Attar, Rumi, Saadi and Hafiz: Lectures on Persian Poetry
By Coleman Barks

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