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Iranian of the day

July 7, 2005

This picture was taken Thursday June 30th at Farhad Mehrad's grave in the Thiais Cemetery in suburban Paris. It is a huge cemetery full of many varieties of tall trees, and can be best described by the Persian word "baa safaa". At the gate we found out where Farhad's grave was located and were given a map. The guard asked if we wanted a ride and we said no. She told us it would take ten minutes by foot to get there.

Farhad's grave as you can see, is very simple. Someone had lit a candle too close to the tiny headstone. It had left a smudge that could not be rubbed off. We had bought a small pot of geraniums and were worried that it might get blown away. At the grave there was a dead plant sitting in a plastic pot. We threw out the plant, filled the pot with pebbles and used it as a base for the new flower.

While looking at Farhad's grave I could hear his powerful voice vibrating inside my brain:

"I am occupied with the thought of a roof
An insulated roof
An enduring roof, sturdier than iron
A roof that can shield us from fear
And cover us up in cold nights"

It started drizzling. We said goodbye to Farhad. He is safe now; cold- proof and fear-proof under the most enduring roof that there is.

Reza Bayegan

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