I am sitting in front of BBC world News Channel Watching the Arrival of the Body of President of Poland to Warsaw who died tragically in yet another Tupolov Tu-154 air disaster.
I'm thinking many things. One of those thoughts is the so many times I boarded one those dodgy airplanes in my domestic work trips in Iran. Tu-154 is a terrible sight inside out. It's tough, ugly, and smells disaster. Seats are badly aligned, uncomfortable and the entire ride is very noisy, bumpy and fearful, even for a air nautical enthusiast like me.
I remember the German business man who was travelling with me to Abadan one day and how petrified he was at Mehr Abad Airport once he realized he was going to board a Tu-154. I remember the time that the Airplane's wheels were not coming out once in a trip from Mahshahr to Tehran, and scores of scared people on board calling their loved ones to say goodbye.
But all those thoughts are irrelevant to my second thought. I remember that about a decade ago I was talking to one of the Polish students in my University and his complaints about what sort of a bad country Poland was, how there were no jobs, no propoer economy, not many chances for people, and how lucky he was to win an scholarship and be able to study in a higher education body in UK. Yesterday I called him after hearing this dreadful news. This time he was all praise about his country. The chances they now have and how their lives have been transformed for better. It was all mainly, he said, thanks to the leadership of President Lech Kaczyński. He told me that Poland was now a full member of EU, Full member of Nato, and they are travelling the world freely, having chances that they only could dream of a decade ago when their country was merely a slum in the back streets of world community. He told me that the entire country is in genuine shock and mourning of this unprecedented disaster. A nation is disorientated by the loss of its democratically elected leader. An icon is lost and a nation is profoundly, genuinely at loss. The entire civilised world is grieving and paying respect. No matter what were the circumstances that brought about his end, a man respected by people and global community is gone forever. He died gracefully and may he rest in peace. His life can be summarized by an Iranian expresion "Omreh Ba Ezzat".
Then I thought what if our president was tragically lost in a plane crash (on his way to meet his bossom buddy Chavez in Venezuella, for instance). What would the national and world reaction be? How would Iran and the rest of the world regard his passing? How would his obituary read? Will a country be in total state of shock? Or every body will have a good night sleep? Can his life then be termed as "Omreh Ba Ezzat"?
What we do life in echoes in eternity. This is one of the much loved expressions by me which appeared in the movie "Gladiator". It is very true. Lech Kaczyński will eternally be reagrded well. He will be greatly and legendary missed by his people. He will be regarded as a great statesman in anals of history for as long as records will be written and kept. How many of our practising and in line leaders will be able to claim this status once they are gone?
Just food for thought!
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