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Don't arrest me just because I'm beautiful
Scenes from Tehran's Golestan Mall



Ramon Kashkooli
June 15, 2006

The three girls walked into Golestan Mall. They were pretty, real pretty, tight jeans, tight smocks covering tight shirts with tight roosaris barely covering long beautiful hair. One stood out more than the other two, a spitting image of Charlize Theron. Charlize really is a brunette right?

They walked and smiled and talked and giggled and glided gorgeously across the white shiny marble floor of the mall.

Outside a white police car with the words "Ershad" (orthodoxy) pulled up to the curb.

Out stepped a fat officer, gestapo styled cap cocked sleazily to a slight angle. He had a scowl on his face already. He waddled and followed the girls immediately. He pulled up behind them, quickened his pace until he was alongside them, and barked, "Khanoum Een Cheh Vaazesheh!" (Miss, What's all this then?)

Charlize turned around, and said "What?"

"Your clothes and appearance are improper," he barked again.

"What? You want to arrest me because I'm beautiful?" Charlize said angrier.

"What can I do? I'm beautiful! That's just the way it is! There's nothing anyone can do about it." Charlize snapped as she leaned in towards him.

He backed away. By law he was forbidden to touch her. She knew this. "Right, let's go!" he snapped back, having had enough of her tone.

"I'm not going anywhere!" she said even more defiantly. Her friends began pleading with the officer to let their friend go. A crowd began to gather around them as their voices rose up at each other in anger.

Seeing this, he immediately reached for his walkie talkie and ordered backup. Less than a few minutes passed and two black chador-clad women arrived with badges on their bosomless chests, black scarves tightly wrapped around their plain un made-up scowling faces. Fati-Commando, as they were known.

They could put their hands on other women, and were the thugs called in whenever a woman was acting up.

They grabbed Charlize and her friends, and began pulling them to a holding center erected inside the mall especially for these kinds of detentions.

The girls began screaming and by now almost fifty people, mostly men had gathered around the commotion. The officer looked around him, and started to worry about the crowd, Charlize sensing the opportunity, suddenly bolted from the grasp of the two Fatis, who afraid of losing her friends, let her slip through.

The officer ran after Charlize who had made a wrong turn and found herself cornered in one of the arteries of the mall. The crowd grew and followed. Charlize began screaming her lungs out, and the crowd grew even more, now restless.

Because she had run away from them, she had now broken the law and now any officer could grab hold of her, which he did, and dragged her kicking and screaming, slapping him hard, trying to scratch his face with her long lovely nails.

As he dragged her through the crowd towards the detention center, the crowd had now grown to around a hundred, and gathered completely around them, and murmurs and groaning could be heard as people watched the helpless girls. At that moment, Charlize sat down on the floor. The two Fatis, who had now put away her friends, began to lift and grab Charlize, trying to force her into the makeshift cell. Meanwhile the officer turned to the crowd and yelled at them to keep back.

Another opportunity came. Charlize took it. As the officer pushed the crowd back, a small opening appeared between the legs of the by standers, and through that gap Charlize bolted again.

This time as she ran past, people in the mall helped her and guided her away from the officer who was hot on her heels. As she ran past the crowd, the men side stepped her and moved out of the way. She ran towards two older ladies dressed in full elegant roosaris, and as she passed by them, they moved themselves bravely directly into the path of the officer just as he came up on them. Instead of stopping though, he lowered his shoulder and charged head on into the two ladies, almost knocking them off their feet.

Infuriated now, the crowd immediately launched into a long and loud "Ho!" (boo) . People began yelling at the officer. "What's the meaning of this?" "Leave her alone!" "You should be ashamed of yourself!"

Sensing the rising hostility of the crowd, the officer picked himself up, straightened his cap, turned around, and LEFT!

Meanwhile, on the street in front of the mall, Charlize ran full speed, right down the middle of the road, her roosari long ago lost in her escape, her beautiful long silky dark hair flying bravely in the wind behind her as she sprinted away.

True story.

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