June 24th, 2009 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Messages from Tehran: Read the Emails

iran-protest-1

As fresh reports of violence continue to come out of Iran, we direct you to our story this week featuring messages from two former Portlanders living through the crisis in Tehran.

To expand on that report, we're publishing below nearly all of the emails we received from one of those women. Both were granted anonymity in the story to ensure their safety.

The messages have been lightly edited, both for the sake of clarity and to protect the author's identity. The time-stamps indicate when WW received each message — Tehran is 11 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Pacific time.

Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 2:50 AM
i was involved before the election with the 'setad' (campaign of mousavi) and have gone to 2 of the 3 organized demonstrations after the election. i did the first revolution blvd to freedom square march with around 2-3 mil others as well as the morning at toopkhune (Imam Khomeini square) ... i have not however gone to any of the street marches.

as far as the demonstration tonight i cannot tell.... i had planned to go but i have been told not to. we expect a bloodbath tonight, after the supreme leader's speech yesterday, the demonstrations, in the view of the gov't, are no longer demonstrations against the results but are people going against the supreme leader (apparently this means it is ok to kill them).

my friend just called me, he was driving by and said that they are closing the 3 sides of freedom square down by fire trucks and guards. many have told me they expect to be beaten today severely and that is the mindset they are participating with. my phone is controlled and i do not connect to internet from my house ...

Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 3:36 AM
the demonstrations r peaceful and quiet and they take till 7-8pm, we head back at that point. as soon as it gets dark it turns crazy... things start being set on fire, they have been accusing us of doing this but if we were gonna burn things we wouldn't hang out for 3hrs before setting things on fire..... anyways... around 8-9 we have the street fires, well i don't want to say demonstrators have not set anything on fire... we do make fire in the trashcans when they attack with the tear gas and chili bombs....

i was told by my friends and family members.... they said cause of my job and being US citizen, i am more of a liability at this point.... you have seen (im sure) the mentions of US meddling in Iran affairs, well i have been told i can be used to prove that...

last week, before election we were really hopeful the closer we got the more ppl were gonna vote and would participate in our events, the day before i started getting stress... the day of many just turned their TV off, it seemed like a joke.... the morning when the results were announced, it was crazy, bunch of dead people walking it seemed.... then we heard about all the attacks and all the people who were arrested.... many of my setad friends....then that night bunch of ppl went to Vanak (many of my friends) and gotten a biting.... and the next day the demonstrations started....

at first ppl were afraid, we use to chant "natarsin, natarsin, ma hame ba ham hastim" (don't be afraid, don't be afraid, we are all together) basically safety in numbers...

lately many families are participating.... anyone i speak with is going to show up...

this was till yesterday....

then the supreme leader spoke.... and people have been saying condolences when they c each other.....

i think they made a stupid choice... they could have won, they (khamenei) could have gotten so many ppl to follow him... all these young ppl in the streets could have been loving him today instead of getting ready for war....

all he had to do.... was say, since we are a democratic country, because we love our people and respect the young generation, even though we know Iran is democratic, and to prove this democracy, we will give u another election.....

that all he had to do.... he would have become so popular .... i am willing to swear on that....

today people are confused again.... they feel tricked and lost.... hopeless is what i would say.... and me.... i consider myself to be not a religious person but someone with strong beliefs in Islam.... i find myself understanding y, y the young Iranian generation is so out of touch with their religious roots

i am just sad.... like many others... i go to work and then demonstrations, the days i cannot make it to the demonstrations i sit and cry.. that's my day and many others like me.... no one can eat... my friends are all sick physically and mentally.... and i am disappointed, at a lose, angry, and so many other emotions that i cannot find words to describe

my friends are arrested and i cannot find them, no one knows... ppl just are disappearing.... i don't feel safe going home so i either stay with friends or have them come... i sleep hearing gunshots and its miserable..... given i grow up the first 8yrs of my life during Iran-Iraq war, i probably am not even affected as others might.... but 60% of this country is my age sharing those same experiences....

Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 10:12 PM
Yesterday was horrific, they would through tear gas to separate people and beat them while in small groups they would chase them into alleys, close both sides and push and hit…. But last night…. I was so prod to live here, to call myself an Iranian…. The "alah o akbar" went on for hrs, no one seemed to want to stop. And the voices they tried to silence and the spirits they tried to bread were out in force…. Chanting, down with the dictator… on and on and on and on… for hrs…. I am so proud and so saddened. We will not take it lying down…. Turn and we shall turn, as the Iranians say …

Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM
as i said i am at this point more of a liability. if i am arrested due to my dual citizenship i give an excuse to be used and called "the agent of the US."

i did not go to the protest on Sat nor today in "karimkhaan" but my friends and family were there... we appreciate all the shop keepers who let ppl escape into their shops, namely my cousins and 40 other people around "Yadegar Imam" FWY.

Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 2:37 PM
Fall in Tehran, what used to be my favorite season of the year with its cloudy days, the smell of rain in the air and fiery red leaves paving the streets, is now different in more ways then one. This time fall is early but I'm not eager to welcome it. This time fall has arrived in June and instead of leaves falling to the ground, streets are paved with the bodies of my friends, acquaintances and strangers I do not even know their names.

People standing next to me fall to the ground and I watch horrified and powerless, every passing day making me feel more and more helpless and hopeless.

I feel hate creeping up on me, a dark current that I feel will close in on me and swallow me … I have forgotten how to smile and laughter has become a distant memory. Reminiscing about those short days of happiness and hope I think now that it was all just a dream and I have been forced to wake up to cold hard reality.

The sense of vulnerability is so overwhelming at times that without noticing tears begin to fall from my eyes, before I know it I'm sobbing and there is nothing that can console me… I feel all is lost and we have been robbed of our dreams and future. Things were not supposed to turn out this way … we were promised a spring, a new beginning, we were led to believe we have the power to determine our fate.

I fear the day that I will no longer have tears left. I know now that fall will never be the same for me again and I know that the sight of fallen leaves will forever disgust me. My thoughts keep going round and round in circles and I wish I could make it all stop. If only I could turn back the hands of time and go back to those days when we still had hope.

Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 3:45 PM
there is one important thing i wanted to make sure you sort of talk about if possible. that is the fact that Iranian TV does not cover anything... they have shown movies these past week, and the one channel that only covers news showed maybe few min through out days of small fires here and there and some young hooligans, as they called it, causing anarchy.... this means no one knows what is going on here (in Iran) and we don't know what is going on in other parts of the country...

as far as the demonstration... i wish they would continue... my friends share that feeling as far as my discussions have been... everyone is worried..... everyone has a close friend or relative (if not themselves) who have been hurt or are missing... its scary... but the main events are isolated to the center of town...

but as i said before... the "allah o akbar" calls are growing, i think.... but i didn't hear any gunshots last night... well there was only one.... but i keep inside so i don't know if the fires are going on and if they police (or whatever they r) are out in my neighborhood last night.... the riot police was out the night before last as far as i saw.....

ppl are depressed, crying and being unhappy is a normal feeling, it seems among my friends.... many take medicine just to sleep... when i talk to my friends we don't ask how the other person is... we ask if the other person is any better today.... normal conversation includes, what is news, and where the meeting r going to b.... but as of tomorrow that is more restricted too.... ppl r now getting arrested because of their phones... i think around a 100 (just what i heard not sure) were taken from their homes based on their phone records.... and i know at least 1 person (personally know) whose email was hacked because she was sending pictures and such over....
 
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