Now that I can exercise a measure of control over my emotions, I am going to offer some observations about the post-football frenzy that has become part and parcel of life under this Islamic Regime.
But first, two important items. Mr. Akbar Ganji, a courageous journalist and one of our most tormented political prisoners, is now missing after having been only recently released. For all we know, he might have been taken back to jail.
It is important to let the authorities know how displeased and furious we are going to be given any further mistreatment of this audacious soul. For those who read Farsi, here is the second installment of his Republican Manifesto in the original. You can also read the English translation in the blog Free Ganji.
Second, about 30 very gutsy women—mostly journalists—managed to force their way into the stadium for the Iran-Bahrain game. See this pictorial report. Also an account of the events in Farsi. I read this very moving piece describing the reasons for wanting to gain access to the stadium (in Farsi) written the night before. I've decided to share and so we also have this quick translation of the highlights:
For the sake of my right and not football
Tomorrow, I want to go to the stadium just like so many men and boys
Tomorrow, I want to resurrect the right that I might never actually use [again] just like so many women and girls.
I want to remind the Security Force that so many associate with flimsy transformations that we too exist just like so many others.
I want to head for the western gate of the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium so I can accompany the other women and girls who show up.
Tomorrow, I want to go watch the game and to sit next to the men who are said to curse and insult and utter so many strange profanities [so I can] cheer [my team] Iran. [Next to] the very same men and boys who are my religious brothers when we see them in the streets and [yet] the authorities and the security officials, among so many others, claim to [somehow] suddenly transform into predatory wolves when they show up to the stadiums.
Tomorrow, I want to sit next to all the predatory men and shout the name Iran and I consider myself strong enough to defend myself without a shield and other customary concerns.
I want to go and tell them… this is my right. Leave it to me and I will know what to do.
Tomorrow, I want to go earn the right I am told I am being denied on account of my weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
I want to go there so I can declare this to be my right. This is what I desire. It should for me be a most natural choice. You must just give me (the right) and I will decide whether or not to use it.
Tomorrow, I just want to be there…simple as that."
She brought tears to my eyes. And they've succeeded.
You have no idea how proud I am today of both these women and of Mr. Ganji. More than all the street dancing and the window breaking and the littering.
Authoritarians, torturers, high and low tech killers and tormentors and abusers and censors and their supporters or sycophants are dime a dozen in this day and age. Just like the multitudes of (habitual) delinquents.
And in our society of cynics where the self absorbed, the moneybags and other assorted Mammon worshippers rule, these principled creatures are indeed (hidden) gems.
Beacons of light and genuine sources of true national pride for the rest of us, as far as I am concerned!