I Must Go Home to Iran Again
New York Times / Marjane Satrapi

The question much of the media asked before the election was: “Are Iranians ready for democracy?”“YES!” came the answer, loud and oh, so clear. With a voter turnout of 85 percent, they started to dream that change was possible.They started to believe “Yes they can,” too.

It’s likely needless to remind you that this was not the first time Iranians showed how much they love freedom. Look only at the 20th century: They launched the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 (the first in Asia); nationalized the oil industry in 1951 (the first Middle Eastern country to do so); mounted the revolution of 1979; and engineered the student revolt of 1999. Which brings us to now, and that deafening cry for democracy.Almost 20 years ago, when I started studying art in Tehran, the very idea of “politics” was so frightening that we didn’t even dare think about it. To talk about it? Beyond belief!

To demonstrate in the streets against the president? Surreal! Criticize the supreme leader? Apocalyptic! Shouting “Down with Khamenei”? Death!

Death, torture and prison are part of daily life for the youth of Iran. They are not like us, my friends and I at their age; they are not scared. They are not what we were.They hold hands and scream: “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! We are together!”

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