... in Khaksar's
"The Last Letter"
By Firoozeh Papan-Matin
January 30, 2004
It has been twenty five years since the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the collapse
of the Pahlavi monarchy, and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. It has
been a quarter of a century that many Iranians have left Iran to escape political
and religious persecution, to flee the consequences of the eight year war between
Iran and Iraq, and to find a home in another land.
During these years the political
and cultural situation in Iran has changed in new and complex directions.
The conflict between the conservative and the liberal factions
of the Islamic Republic
government has created a rift in state authority and produced hope and anxiety
in regards to potential change in Iran.
In the meantime, Iranians in diaspora
have created communities all over the world. These communities exhibit
different degrees of assimilation into the host-culture at the
same time as they uphold
a heritage identity whose referent is the homeland. The latter is expressed
in publishing Persian and bi-lingual periodicals and broadcasting
radio and television
programs. The developments of the past quarter of a century, both in Iran
and among the Iranian diaspora communities, have produced new
prospects in evaluating
the question of home and exile for these communities. The majority of Iranians
in diaspora now face questions that are quite distinct from those of the
Twenty five years is a long time, but not long enough
to efface from memory the plight of those exiles who fled Iran
a clear prospect of what
to face in another land and how they were to deal with memories and anxieties
that accompanied them in exile. The present study will revisit such questions
through an evaluation of exilic memory in Nasim Khaksar's one act play,
Akharin Namih (The Last Letter).
This study will demonstrate that memory
in the life of the play's exile is not so much a nostalgic preoccupation
the homeland but amnesia about the past that induces anxiety and articulates
loss in his life.
Khaksar's Akharin Namih was written in the
late eighties. In this play, the trials and tribulations of exile
are perceived from the perspective
of a middle aged political refugee who had left Iran shortly after
the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Since then, he has been
in a provincial
town somewhere in Europe. The protagonist had escaped Iran because
his former political
activities as an intellectual and a sympathizer of the left had placed
him on the wanted list of the new regime.
In Iran, he had belonged
to a political
that was identified; some of its members, including his female partner,
were arrested and served prison terms. The protagonist's biography
is similar to the background of the playwright. Khaksar, also,
left and had served two prison terms during the Pahlavi regime and
Republic had come to power. In 1983, he escaped Iran illegally and
after a short stay in Turkey, traveled to the Netherlands on a
he has been living in a small town in the Netherlands. Khaksar wrote
Akharin Namih in 1988.
The play's protagonist, called the Man, similar
to Khaksar and many others, is a victim of the Cultural Revolution
campaign, in the post-revolution
Iran, that was aimed at crushing the opposition, the intellectuals,
who could pose a threat to the regime. The Man is not an immigrant;
he is a political exile.
His exilic existence is the very proof of
from the dominant
political discourse in his homeland. At the same time, he is recognized
an outcast in his unwanted new home. He suffers double exile
or double marginality: accepted neither at home nor in exile, he
a man without
a country. The
characters who appear on the stage of his unfolding drama/trauma
are the Man in exile and his female partner in Iran; she is
choice of the generic names, Man/Woman, in identifying these
characters, is a comment on the anonymous identity of the exile
(at home and
away from it) as
the lost, and the forgotten. The play's protagonists could be
any exile in a similar situation. Moreover, the anonymity of these
the Man and the Woman as any man and any woman who are trying
define themselves and their relationship. The dynamics of the
relationship between the Man
the Woman as a couple, is the subject of a separate study.
The Man escaped his homeland five years earlier
in order to avoid arrest and persecution. In exile, he has been
memories of the
female companion, and situations that had led him into exile
in the first place. His entanglement with these memories derives
his fear of
losing this past
to oblivion. In this context, he is visited by phantoms from
his evasive past, by his female partner who has come to challenge
out of his
bewilderment. Akharin Namih's dramatic action grows out of an
imagined meeting between
the Man and the Woman. The Man's insomniac self mounts the theatrical
stage to hold a conversation with a simulated woman from whom
he is now separated.
Their encounter takes place at his home, in the liminal space
of his mind:
He picks up a letter from the desk. He opens it.
He bends and looks at the framed picture of Woman that is next
to a small
window bangs open. The white lace curtain billows. Man starts
towards the window. He switches on the light. As the lights come
to the bed, in front of the mirror. She is about thirty-five.
Man closes the window. When he turns, he sees Woman in the room.
disbelief, he looks at Woman,
whose back is to him; then he looks at the letter in his hand.
the letter in his pocket. He looks at the picture. Quietly he
moves towards Woman.
he has taken two steps, Woman--still standing with her back to
him--speaks to him.
The Man fancies the encounter
with the Woman, whispers their potential dialogue to himself and
at the same time
it. The Man
creates an image of
the Woman on the basis of their correspondence as well as their
In the same vein, the altercations between them occur in his
The letters, similar to the framed picture of the
Woman on his
in the life of the play's exile. At one point, the Man, in a
humorous tone, explains that he needs the photograph on his desk
to remember who he is writing letters to. The Man is overwhelmed
he divulges his own metamorphosis.
In exile, he finds himself
grappling with dilemmas about himself, his actions and inaction,
as his obligations
towards his comerades and loved ones who are still in his homeland.
result of his self-scrutinizes he has begun to question his former
image to the extent
that, paradoxically, he remembers the homeland in realizing that
he is forgetting it.
His political convictions that constituted
his outlook on
the future are now a source of anxiety for him: he feels guilty
that he is unable
or unwilling to take any action about the political situation
in Iran. In this manner, Akharin Namih reflects the uncertainties
the exile and propel him to re-evaluate himself. The plot of
Namih, however, does not reduce his situation of ambivalence
to the dichotomies between exile
and the homeland. Consider, for instance, the following lines
from an unmailed
letter the protagonist has written:
The sad world of being in exile does not leave me
for a second. I don't know why I came here or why I have stayed.
Have I come
streets from morning till night, or to stay at home and suffer
of being away from my homeland? Have I come to write slogans
on the walls or to scream about what is going on in my homeland?
tire out the
my screams. Have I come to write that history? The history of
blood, of crime and violence. Many before me have said these
to say that
this is like the fulfillment of a curse, that a man, with all
his longings, should be bashed about. My heart is swollen with
If only these
leave me alone. Days, every day, I would sit at the window and
watch a heavy fog settle on the pine trees. I have gazed so much
thick veils of
fog that, like the moments that passed me by, I have sunk into
the vastness of the
fog. I have dissolved, I have ceased to exist; I am nothing.
These kinds of questions define a stance that is
neither here nor there, neither at home nor in exile, but the result
together of the
two in the life of a man who is looking at himself. The exile
sees his recollections of his life in the homeland are fading
mourns the dying
away of this past by trying to remember it. He is, thus, in a
slip-zone between here
of exile and there of the homeland. In Akharin Namih,
exilic discourse brings to the foreground dis-location and spatiality,
not for nostalgic
but in order to not forget.
The dynamics of this liminal stance are represented
through the relationship of the Man and a simulated other, the
Woman. In Akharin Namih, exile,
with semiotic ambivalence, or levels of representation, supersedes
of binary oppositions
that have traditionally evaluated exile in opposition to the
homeland. This theme is expressed in the protagonist's devotion
his exile; he often does not mail these letters but keeps them
in piles in his
room. He writes the letters in order not to forget where he has
come from and in order to understand where he is. The following
the Woman on the subject of letter-writing:
When I came here I realized that I was empty, as
if I had destroyed something back there. My distance from all that
passing day. I
mean the reality of life over there. Or maybe that's how I imagined
it. I was
that even my memories would abandon me. That's why I was continuously
writing, and I keep on writing. Even writing letters to you was
for me a way of
connecting myself to what I had left behind. Many of them I didn't
even mail to you.
Because I didn't want to lose them.
In this context, exile
regenerates itself on the grounds of not only territorial transformation,
but also individual
the homeland, as a sign in crisis. The author, Khaksar, further
theme in the
protagonist's ambivalence towards the past and his simultaneous
preoccupation with the horror of forgetting this past. Here,
exile is depicted
as the enormity of a personal loss.
The play's protagonist experiences
sinking, not so much into the host-culture, but into oblivion.
The stage design serves as the outward expression of this mood.
room is furnished with a bed and a mirror on the left and a
on the right. The bed and the mirror, together, depict the
dreamy aspect of
they shed light on the Man's broodings on a fragmented self-image
that appears in the mirror of his mind. The individual and
his personal dilemmas that were formerly, within the context of
considered trivial and subordinate to the revolutionary cause,
are now brought to the
as the play's locus of action.
The protagonist, an intellectual, a writer, and
a former leftist, has become disillusioned with his past political
he had previously deemed fixed and certain. His life is now organized
around questions and dilemmas that he cannot resolve. A former
revolutionary, he now views himself in the context of his inability
to take any
Every morning you wake up with the hope of action.
You know something has to be done--but what? The historic situation
you find yourself
not help very much. You turn and you look to the past. We had
brought together everything
we could get our hands on to build a house, with our naive understanding
of justice. And the foundation, with the mortar and stone of
feeling, was set upon a sandy
shore; that's why it kept going askew. We hammered it this way,
then that, so it wouldn't rise crooked in the air, but it seemed
what could we do. And with this myth-free life we have built
for ourselves we say, let's go again and build. We go. With that
dubious existence. But it seems simultaneously as if we haven't
gone and as if
we have gone. And we blame exile for this historic debacle. Now
the number of
bugbears has increased. Now we perceive that this dislocation,
this state of being abroad, turns what was meant to be a continuation
of the struggle
a nightmare which overwhelms the soul. And gradually we come
that it seems as if silence is more of an articulation of ourselves.
Enacted this way, silence and pause join the cast
of characters and advance the plot. For the protagonist, silence,
is the element that is too personal, grand, and evasive to fit
into words. In Akharin Namih, silence is a participant
in the speech-acts that incorporate
has been said within an actual context, along with what remains
Consider, for instance, the following lines from a dialogue between
the protagonist (M) and his female partner (W) who suddenly appears
stage, like a
phantom, to interrogate him about his idleness in exile:
M: Who said we've come here just to prove these
W: That's what I wanted to hear from you. If you haven't come
here to prove these things, why have you come? Tell me.
M: You know.
W: Don't get me involved. I don't know anything at all. Why are
you concerned with my opinion? I want you to talk.
M: I said you know. What is resolved by saying it again?
W: A lot of things. I want to hear it from your lips. Suppose
I'm an ordinary person who has come here to see what you intellectuals
exile are doing.
I sit here quiet so you can tell me about the situation in your
I am enthusiastically awaiting your words.
M: . . .
W: Well! Why are you silent? Say something. Speak up. Do you
mean you can't convey your words even to the person closest to
M: What do you want to hear?
According to the Man, silence is among the voices
that create the prosody of exile: "And gradually we come to understand that it seems as if silence
is more of an articulation of ourselves." It conveys the ambivalence that
has brought the protagonist in-action. In Akharin Namih,
the words "silence" and "pause" orthographically
characterize the inarticulate in the written text. These halts
pose a demand on the reader/audience to pause and reflect on
what has been said as well as
on the action that may follow.
Through the rhetorical projection
of silence and pause, the play invites the reader and the audience
into the domain of
The altercations between silence and utterance introduce the
dramatic parole of the play as a field laden with multiple
levels of interpretation.
utterances function as ideologemes: they intersect with the
exilic narrative as a dramatic
text, become assimilated into it, or are signified by it.
A similar device is at work in Khaksar's other work,
Baghal-i Kharzavil (The Grocer of Kharzavil), a collection
of essays and
written in exile. There, Khaksar distinguishes among the voices
that are produced
here-and-now of exile. There is a voice that contests the urgency
for having left Iran, while another calls forth the plight of
who have stayed
These voices, I here propose, are not differentiated;
they operate on the basis
of the logic of equivalence. Similar to the Man in Akharin
one of the voices in Baghal-i Kharzavil, remains silent
before responding in an
quiet, tone: "We came here to be the voice of our country,
the voice of those who remained enchained behind; to declare
the suffering of the people of
our country to the world." These appositional voices--silence
as an ambivalent and disillusioned reply to a voice that is the
of staying committed to social change in the homeland--signify
the crisis of meaning the intellectual exile contends with.
In Akharin Namih, the breakdown of meaning
is depicted as the crisis of a sign that was conveniently associated
committed, and oppositional. In this context, the exile finds
himself in a
whose ambivalence and instability incorporate both exile and
homeland or the "origin" which
he knows he has simulated. In this manner, concepts such as nationalism
and ideological chauvinism--which in many cases might have initiated
have turned into participants/personae in a fragmented discourse
whose dynamics pose an assault on their claims to certainty.
Thus, exilic liminality and ambivalence
constitute an intertextual field whose dynamics overwhelm the
confines of definitive meanings.
The text of exilic liminality
in the sense that it emancipates
the exile from pre-set conditions of cultural determinants. In Akharin Namih,
the traditional categories of meaning have lost their aura in
the life of the
play's male protagonist. Nonetheless, the protagonist is still
pursued with taunting questions regarding commitment and social
change that rise out
of his own revolutionary past. The Man listens to these questions
and simultaneously strives to articulate himself in relation
to them. The outcome is silence and
an emptiness, which he calls nihilism:
M: (Reads in a loud voice.) And it is at this point,
in spite of our wishes, that we come to have faith in the anti-hero
this anti-hero, if you wish to choose a philosophical term for
it, is nihilism--confronting the necessity of destruction, destroying
yourself and the world, death.
Annihilating both the self and that which one faces. In this
reflection, one seems to wield a pick and shovel to destroy everything
built up, along
with oneself. Neither God nor human. Amid this destruction there
seem to be constructions
as well. Sometimes a piece of stone flies from the pickaxe and
on top of another piece. Something emerges. It has shape, volume,
not a home. And this means that everything in the world, everything
appears in the shape of a ridiculous mask. Then we begin to exhibit
it in the
name of life.
The first thing the anti-hero doubts is his being in exile. He
creates a mocking face of it, so he can deepen this negative
opinion of himself
much as possible.
From the beginning we were taught to base our belief in human
existence on their attitude toward toil and suffering. The greatness,
significance of one's
focussing upon these, depends on the trials and tribulations
they endure. Consequently when such a man rises in exile to deny
own pain and
works more than anyone
else, he becomes the first to put his finger on the unworthiness
of life and of his own being. Now this insignificant man, not
believing in himself,
neither to know himself and his own problem, nor to initiate
anything for others. The closed circle of his life is a circle
The exile admits the collapse of meaning in his
current existential dilemma. According to this letter, neither
the present nor the
past could console
him. The Man, generalizing his own lot by using the first person
plural subject pronoun "we" extends
his situation to all the exiles. He explains that exile, which
was meant to be the continuation of struggle away from home,
turns out to be the juncture where "we" have
come to meet the anti-hero within ourselves.
Gradually, "we" realize,
it is silence which has been the articulation of our being. He
further explains that among the first things the exile doubts
is himself; he doubts his deranged
memories and aspirations. The exile in his/her hybrid existence
comes to view his/her own image as a signifier of nothing; the
most coherent sound in his
life is that of silence. He has arrived at this stance by means
of a solitary freedom
that is found in the liminal space between his memories and his
life as he lives it in exile.
In exile, the protagonist is set free into a frustration
that takes him to unfamiliar nihilistic grounds; this ambiance
in the play's
as a memory play. An expression of this freedom is seen in how
and voices are juxtaposed in the play to convey aspects of the
exile's reality. The sound of silence, the sound of a train passing
certain intervals, the voice of the Woman, and the voice of the
his undelivered letters
permeate his mind and echo the array of memories and preoccupations
in his disoriented life.
The Man ponders these sounds in order
to have a
his estranged self. Thus, Akharin Namih portrays the
exile as a Man who is engaged with his new fate and its bleak
himself in terms of those past ideological narratives whose claims
on universal categories of truth had left his present uncertainties
he is taking a courageous step in facing himself and his new
reality; but in
this step he lets die in him a hero who was meant to advocate
change in his homeland.
The Man's drama/trauma unfolds in his memory. Memory,
as both remembering and forgetting his homeland and his past, operates
as a chronotope
that organizes the narrative events. Memory, whose figurative
presentation is made palpable
through the split cast of Man/Woman protagonists, is the voice
of the exile at the same time as it is an exiled voice coming
stands for the fugitive, the cast aside; yet the exilic narrative
is not limited to his parole: it is a discourse between different
of his liminal
The Woman is the other participant in this dialogue.
equally exiled from a revolution that has betrayed her. She is
an outcast in her
own country where she is treated worse than an alien; she has
been put into prison,
violated, and raped. Moreover, she has seen how other members
of their revolutionary group, driven by fear and anger, had turned
the members who
was suspected of being a police informer; they had tried and
this man. In
spite of this, the Woman asserts her preference for staying behind
in Iran by leaving the Man at the end of the play.
The Woman appears on the stage in order to find
out why the Man has changed so much. In recherche du tempts perdu,
order of his writings on the bookshelves. The array of the collected
letters and writings in the exile's library signifies the chaos
of a memory whose
appearance is now disturbed by the inquisitive hands of the Woman.
She seeks, in vain, some evidence that would testify his commitment
past. More specifically, she is looking for some writing regarding
their mutual comrade who was executed:
W: By the way, do you have that folksong the three
of us used to sing together?
M: Which one?
W: You know the one. (She gets up and goes toward the bookshelves
and looks at the cassettes.) It was the summer before the war.
of us were
the north. This was the song we sang in the forest.
[A moment of silence. M., as though gradually remembering begins
murmuring a folk tune under his breath. W. listens.]
W: A year before his arrest he was working in a factory. He was
so good at it that even the informers inside the factory could
(Pause.) Why can't
I find it? It's not among these! (Facing M.) Have you really
M: I might have it.
W: I say something, and you answer something else!
M: You said you couldn't find it. So I am saying I might have
W: It wasn't among these.
M: It may have wound up in a corner somewhere.
W: Yeah, it may be back there somewhere. Or so far away that,
as something lost, you won't ever find it!
M: What are you talking about?
W: About something you said may have wound up in a corner (Pause.)
I don't know. Maybe you're right and I'm looking in vain for
should have been forgotten by now.
The Man is unable to produce
any viable evidence to satisfy the Woman's intrusive curiosity.
Instead, from among the scattered papers on
the floor, he picks up a letter which he first reads silently
to the Woman.
As discussed earlier, this letter is his personal
manifesto on exile and a critique of history in respect to his
but it is
not the answer
she is looking for. The Woman wonders about the exile's inability
to take any political action and blames him of betraying his
occasion for crying out the cause of the oppressed in his country
In turn, the Man responds with silence, pause, sardonic
intrinsic anticipation for being misunderstood. Their dialogues
introduce a third-level narrative which incorporates the effects
The latter articulates a separate
set of issues that declare the exile's identity as a no-man in
his new home. This subject is addressed, metaphorically, in the
enthusiasm to participate in the host-culture:
M: I told you that tonight I had gone to a kid's
birthday party--remember? (Pause.) A real party. You know how
children are when they are
happy! But I was standing there . . . a dead person. I didn't
know it until
inside. I ran into my upstairs neighbor in the hallway after
I returned. The same
I lost to in chess. I showed him the invitation. I said, "See! I was finally
invited to a party." He said, "The invitation wasn't for you." I
said, "You're mistaken. Look carefully. The first letter of the name
they've written here is the first letter of my name. And the address is
my address. Only the last name is one letter short." He said, "No;
it's not yours." I asked, "Whose is it?" He said, "It
belongs to someone who lived in this house two years ago." I asked, "Did
you know him?" He said, "Yes. I was standing by his
bed the night he passed away. He had a fever and was delirious."
Proud that he has finally received an invitation
from one of his neighbors, the Man attends the birthday party.
he must discuss
his address and identity to prove he is in fact the invitee.
To his dismay, the man realizes
that he is attending the birthday party in place of a dead person,
used to live at his current address.
This occasion confirms his
recent conclusion that his exilic life is a limbo between living
he is more
dead than alive: a realization that makes him feel ridiculous.
The grotesque nature
of his situation is expressed in his initial appearance on the
scene as he returns home from the party: "In his hair and on his clothing there hang party
streamers and ribbons." Decorated with the remnants of a
party that has tolerated him in place of a dead man, the Man
home to resume his delirious
As discussed earlier, the Man's anxieties about
the dying away of his identity and his past memories into oblivion
himself and his memories, in the very act of writing, the Man
regenerates a simulated
hyperreality that creates the play's present.
This exilic presence,
however, is not simply a juxtaposition of two temporalities,
the present and the
past; it communicates an absence of time and space: a lack
that nears nihilism with all its tumultuous bearings. The exilic
in Akharin Namih finds
in Baudrillard's analysis of the simulacrum. For Baudrillard,
the real does not exist in a Platonic sense: there is no coexistence
reality and its shadow; the shadow is the real. Reality is
than the sum
simulations--generation of a real that has no origin or reality;
it is a hyperreal:
The real is produced from miniaturized units, from
matrices, memory banks and command models--and with these it can
indefinite number of times. It no longer has to be rational,
since it is no longer
some ideal or negative instance. It is nothing more than operational.
In fact, since it is no longer enveloped by an imaginary, it
is no longer
real at all.
It is a hyperreal, the product of an irradiating synthesis of
combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.
The Man's past, his identity, and his commitments
are blasted away by the force of his current dilemmas. The homeland
concept; it also has become a fabricated narrative. In tracing
his fleeting thoughts,
the Man writes himself as an exiled text whose transformations
supersede territorial dislocation. He articulates a marginal
on the grounds of
a cosmopolitan perspective that perceives "reality" to
be a processed artifact that can be made and unmade.
logic of his simulated present
stance, manifests a momentous effect on his former perceptions
of time as progress: the conception of the past as referent is
challenged by the unbounded text
of the exilic memory. His acquired consciousness has produced
a perception of time
that is scattered in the structural design of the text as a memory
play. History, ideology, and the truth are accordingly transformed
into strange personae that
jolt him in and out of his oblivion.
As has been discussed, Akharin Namih accosts
the question of "origin" not
in terms of a nostalgic longing for the homeland, but the anxiety
of forgetting it. Throughout the play, the Man remains in his
exilic presence as phantoms
from his evasive past appear to him. The play's exilic discourse
brings the question of spatiality to the foreground.
lives in an intertextual
a political exile who is an alien in the host-culture, he has
constructed an imagination that incorporates the Woman. The
Man needs to remain
the Woman in order to have a better understanding of his estranged
self. The Woman, however, is ostracized from the Man's exilic
experience: she is
not prepared to understand his amnesia. The unresolved nature
of their dialogue articulates different aspects of a mutual
marginality: dissociation with the
host-culture as well as the homeland.
In Akharin Namih, exilic memory manifests
a liminal zone that contains "here" and "there":
while enhancing both zones, this memory belongs to"nowhere." It
is in this spatial zone of ambivalence that the exile comes to
doubt himself and
his former convictions. His memories, thus, do not convey a nostalgic
longing for the past; they are the trace of that which is no
longer convincing in the
present. Here, memory is the ground of social and individual
The play's protagonist is emancipated by a solitude
that, in his case, has illuminated the
fallacy of grand narratives such as ideology and the promise
of an imaginary future--dreams that for him have turned out to
be castles on the sand. The
exile's life in the homeland, his political identity and commitments,
as well as his loved ones are gradually dying away. Pondering
the collapse of meaning
in his life, the exile is too inert to challenge the status quo
or to revolutionize the world; he is now challenging himself.
Writing the letters is his way of mourning
the loss of his past and coming to terms with the confusing reality
of exile. Writing in exile, however, as everything else, remains
incomplete. In Akharin
Namih the hyperreal text of exilic memory does not come
to any closure. At the end of the play, the Woman returns to
the homeland and the Man remains in exile.
Yet, they are bound to meet again since in the life of the exile
the "real" is
neither a domain outside or opposed to its simulacrum, nor a
concept that can be falsely represented as ideology or commitment.
Firoozeh Papan-Matin received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and
Cultures from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She teaches Iranian
studies at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Her recent publication
Ahmad Shamlu: a New Perspective will be released
2004. This study was first published in JUSUR: The UCLA Journal of Middle
Eastern Studies, vol. 17, 2003.
Nassim Khaksar was born in 1944 in Abadan,
an oil port-town in the south of Iran. Labor unions had a strong
in Abadan and a formative
on Khaksar's political sensibilities. As a young man, he became a sympathizer
of the left and one of the editors of the periodical Honar va Adabiyyat-i
Junob (The Art and Literature of the South). During this period
he had begun working
as a teacher.
In 1967, the journal was planning to release an issue
on Palestine. In the same year, Khaksar participated in a teachers'
strike and was arrested
as one of the strike-organizers and a closet revolutionary. He was released
from prison in 1969.
In 1973, Khaksar was arrested again on the charges
with the underground Marxist-Leninist organization, Saziman-i Cherikha-yi
Fadai-yi Khalq-i Iran (The Organization of the People's Devotee
Guerrillas of Iran).
During the 1979 revolution when Prime Minister Bakhtiar was in office,
Khaksar, along with other political prisoners, received amnesty
and was released from
In 1980, when Islamic Republic was establishing its
legitimacy as a state, Khaksar was arrested and imprisoned. He
giving arms to
who was to assassinate the Revolutionary Guards. The alleged assassin was
executed and Khaksar was released two months after his arrest
due to overwhelming pressure
put on the regime by the public.
In the summer of 1983, Khaksar fled Iran
and crossed the border into Turkey, on foot. Soon after, he went
to Holland on
a fake passport. He has been living in Holland as a political refugee since
Khaksar's literary record is rich and diverse. In Iran he had published
a short novel, four collections of short stories and five children books.
In 1980, one of his children books, If People
Would Love Each Other, won the international
award for the best children storybook. The award was issued by IBBY (International
Board on Books for Young People). In exile he has issued fifteen books,
five of which have been translated into Dutch. His plays,
The Exiles, Sardine
Fish, and Under a Cheap Roof, were staged in different towns
in Holland for several months.
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