Finding Kaveh
Too late. He became a victim of a criminal war

By Goudarz Eghtedari
April 4, 2003
The Iranian

It was one of those 300 rainy days a year in Seattle and a bunch of people had congregated under the roof in front of the Central Public Library Building. Waiting for my bus, I joined them. While I was looking around my eyes zoomed in on a book on a table where out-of-commission books were sold. On the pinkish cover it said "Land and People of Iran". After digging my pocket for a buck, I picked it up and browsed through it.

A few minutes later I was making myself comfortable in my seat on the journey to Northgate, and again I opened the book. Soon after the first chapter I noticed the handwriting of a child next to calligraphy by an artist, supposedly to compare different Persian script. The child had written, " My name is Kaveh Golestan, I am in the fifth class at school. Our home is in Golhak near Tehran, and I go to school in Tehran every morning. "

It was a travel book written by a John Shearman and published in 1962, with pictures taken by Liz Shearman. Such a strange story:

I knew Kaveh Golestan was a renowned photographer. I remembered his work during the revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, and his Halabjeh pictures, which brought him the Pulitzer Award. I thought he might not know about this book and that it would be nice to get it to him. Unwanted exile did not allow me to search for him myself, and friends inside the country did not help either. I was not sure whether he was still in Iran or had immigrated like the rest of us.

Years have passed since that rainy day, and the old book is eleven years older and sits in my library next to Kasrayian s Iran, our Homeland , but I have had no luck in finding Golestan.

Today I had not yet fixed my headphones when I heard the short news item; Kaveh Golestan was killed by a land-mine explosion in Iraqi Kurdistan on a mission for BBC news.

For me, who knew him just through his handwriting in an old book, the mission was complete. I had found him along thousands of other innocents who were killed by perfect but not so smart weaponry, next to Karem Mohammed, who was weeping over the bodies of his six children, two brothers, parents, and his wife on the first page of the Oregonian, my local newspaper.

I shed tears as if I had lost my own brother -- just like me Golestan had a teenage child. I so wish for an end to this criminal war and for peace to all the civilians who die in it.


Goudarz Eghtedari hosts the "Voices of the Middle East" on KBOO 90.7 fm in Portland, Oregon, every second Thursday from 6-7 pm. Program webcasts on


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