To the Wind and the Sun, I Leave You
HRANA News Agency – Farzad Kamangar wrote the following letter to his pupils in Asfand 1386 [February/March 2008] while he was in Rajai Shahr prison.
Two years later, he was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran on May 9, 2010. To pay homage to Farzad Kamangar and his everlasting legacy, a translation of this letter is being released as the anniversary of his exeuction approaches.
I have been missing all of you. In this place, I compose songs of life with the thoughts and sweet memories of you. Each day, I hail the sun in place of greeting you. Through these soaring walls, I wake up with you, rejoicing with you and falling into slumber with you. From time to time, all and every fiber of my being is consumed by “something akin to nostalgia.”
I wish it could be possible like before to return tired from our visits that we called field-trips, tired from all commotions, only to leave behind the dust of our fatigue in the fresh crystal clear spring waters of our village. I wish it was possible like before to eavesdrop on “the sound of water’s stride,” to yield ourselves to the caress of foliage and flowers, to hold our lessons amid the stunning symphony of nature and to leave behind under a rock our math books full of unknowns because when a father doesn’t have sustenance to give, what difference does it make whether Pi equals 3.14 or 100.14?
I wish it was possible like before to set aside our science lessons with all the world’s chemical and physical transformations so that with a change made of love and miracle, hand in hand with the breeze, we could say farewell to the clouds staining the sky. Meanwhile we could await a change so that your keen classmate, Koroush, would not have to give up school for the sake of a job and would not have to plunge down a tall building in pursuit of a living and leave us behind. We could wait for a change so that it would bring with itself for everyone a pair of new shoes, a nice outfit and a table full of candies and sweets for Eid-e Nuwrooz [Persian New Year].
I wish we could once again review our Kurdish alphabet cunningly away from the frowning eyes of the schoolmaster, recite poems for one another in our mother tongue, sing songs and hold each other’s hands to dance, dance and dance.
I wish it was possible for me to become the same goalkeeper amongst first grade boys so that with the dream of becoming Ronaldo, you could score a goal against your teacher and embrace one another. Alas, you don’t know that in our homeland, dreams and desires are forgotten under the dust of time long before our portraits are covered by it. I wish it was possible once again for me to be the permanent player of the link formed by first grade girls playing Amo Zanjir Baf [the game of Uncle Chain Weaver], the same girls who, I know, would discreetly write in the margins of your dairies in a few years, “I wish I wasn’t born a girl.”
I know you have grown up and will marry, but for me you remain the same pure and innocent angels whose beautiful eyes still carry between them the remnants of Ahura Mazda’s kiss. Who really knows, if you, angels, were not born into poverty and pain, you wouldn’t be carrying a piece of paper in your hands to collect signatures for women’s campaign. Or if you weren’t born in this God forsaken place, at the age of thirteen with tearful, regretful eyes under the white bridal veil, you wouldn’t have to say goodbye to school for the last time only to experience with all and every fiber of your existence “the bitter story of being second class citizens.” The daughters of Ahura’s land, when you embark tomorrow into the bosom of Mother Nature to pick mint leaves for your children or craft a floral crown made of violets for them, you must definitely conjure up all the purity and joy of your childhood.
The sons of Nature’s sunshine, I know that you no longer can sit with your classmates to read and laugh since after “the calamity of manhood,” you must now wrestle with the pain of earning a living, but remember not to forsake your poems, songs, maidens and dreams. Teach your children to be the offspring of “rhyme and rain” for their land, for today and for all the tomorrows to come. To the wind and the sun, I leave you so that in the not so far away future, you shall chant lessons of love and sincerity to our land.
Your childhood pal, playmate and teacher
Farzad Kamangar – Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj