Updated: Sep 10
I dream it’s 2009 all over again. The year of Mowj-e-Sabz, the Green Wave that overwhelmed the streets of Iran and made me for once proud of my father’s roots. In my dream, as was the case in real life, I was in Damascus on a foreign exchange program. I’m standing at the point where the souk ends, under the remains of the Roman entrance to the Temple of Jupiter. Across from me should be the Grand Mosque, but instead there is a gigantic screen showing the women of Iran carrying the slogan, ‘Where is my vote?’ The camera zooms in on the face of a young woman who is as beautiful as she is proud. She believes, and her faith flows like a river from Tehran to Damascus.
Men in black turbans appear. A guillotine is hurriedly set up and women are led up, one by one, on the scaffold, and forced to kneel. The hatchet descends with violent force, and heads are decapitated. Beautiful proud heads roll down and quickly form a pyramid of bitter death.
Suddenly, God arrives wearing a blue headscarf and a navy coat.
With my eyes still fixed on the screen, I murmur, “Why don’t you do something? Stop this or I swear I will never speak to you again.”
She answers, even as her eyes, too, remain focused on the screen, “Speak to me? When did you ever speak to me?”
I wake up with my heart beating like a drum.
Excerpt from The Rage of Fatima, in When Her Hand Moves by Omar Imady