Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Neda: An Angel of Freedom

By Amil Imani

I am so restless, I cannot cease thinking! It seems like the world we live in reveals to us incessantly, at certain moments or in certain circumstances, just how little we are and how vast the universe is. This world of ours is a very complex world. The world we live in is a world of many brutal voices. It is a world of heavy blows and delirious trances, but it is the only world that we know.

Like millions of people around the world, the tragic death of Neda has affected me tremendously. I felt a temptation to scream and run to the end of the world and say my prayers with unusual earnestness and a heavy heart. I felt like screaming for the overflowing flood of human blood. I felt like screaming for the weary eyes and innocent moans of the victims of Iranian revolution. I felt apprehensive, anxious, and fearful. And now, as I take up my pen, my hand trembles and my head swims with horror and disbelief at the magnitude of the human devastation.

What’s in a name? Sometimes a name seems void of any meaning and sometimes a name embodies profound meaning, mysterious and even prophetic. Your name, our beloved Neda, the martyr daughter of Iran, literally means Divine Call, or Divine Summons, in Persian.

Dear Neda, when on the blessed day of your birth your parents hugged you joyously and named you Neda, they could hardly envision that you would be slaughtered in the prime of your life by a bullet of savage Islamists as you peacefully marched along with throngs of other Iranians seeking nothing more than what is your God-given right—the right to liberty and dignity.

Dear Neda, on the dreadful day that the bullet of a henchman of tyranny pierced your young heart, you collapsed on the pavement, gasped for air as your crimson blood painted the black asphalt. Your father tried desperately to revive you. He kept frantically telling you not to be afraid, not to be afraid. He was witnessing the death of his little girl and all he could do was to breathe encouragement in a vain hope of keeping you alive.

Our great Zoroaster, the luminous ancient prophet of Persia, spoke of the ongoing battle between the forces of good under Ahuramazda—God, and the forces of evil directed by Ahriman— Satan. Zoroaster warned us not to fall for the enticements or be disheartened by the atrocities of the forces of Ahriman. He further informed us that evil can be recognized by the deeds of its people; people who would oppose the precepts of Ahuramazda. The turbaned murderers cloaked in the robe of religion are wolves in sheep’s attire. They are indeed the agents of death (Ahriman).

But you, dear Neda, are a champion of the work of Ahuramazda. You have been destined for a great mission that required you to wing away from the loving bosom of your family into the eternal embrace of Mother Iran.

Dear Neda—O, Divine Call—O, Divine Summons—we mourn your death, yet we honor your call and summons:

A call and summons to follow in your footsteps with iron resolve.

A call and summons for the complete emancipation of millions of women, as well as men, who are suffering under the yoke of Islamic savagery.

Dear Neda, the meaning and mystery of your name was revealed to us on the dreadful day of your slaughter. You are to shine forever as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration to all who struggle for justice, equality, and liberty.

Dear Neda, your departure broke our hearts. Yet, by your untimely tragic death, you steeled our resolve to carry on with your mission.

Dear Neda, this is our covenant with you. We will never give up. We will pay any price and make any sacrifice to achieve the mission you have entrusted into our hands.

Dear Neda, as you have joined the rarefied ranks of the immortals, I am moved to share with you a poem composed in the honor of another young Iranian heroine by the name of Mona.

Oh, you earthly angels!
You immigrating birds,
Whose only adornment
Is a bed of white feathers!
The innocent children of Iran,
Are wearing your white glowing robe,
And have left the memories of life,
To others!

I see the poor black swallows,
Flying over the ruins of our city!
I see overflowing pain,
With the hearts of every human being on earth!

My heart stops palpitating!
My breath starts to dry up!
My faith simply fades away,
And my bed falls silent.

Fly, little angel! Fly!
The wake of your wings brings new breath to our people!

Family, friends mourn 'Neda,' Iranian woman who died on video

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