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‘For’: Grieving for my people in Iran

For my grandfather, who spent his life longing to return; For all the tears and the mother’s cries
A woman in Istanbul holds up a drawing of Iranian Mahsa Amini during a protest against her death, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
A woman in Istanbul holds up a drawing of Iranian Mahsa Amini during a protest against her death, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The past couple of weeks have been a tumultuous time for me since the protests erupted in Iran. To watch some of the images and videos coming out where innocent students are running for their life, teenage girls are being beaten by men, can break a soul.

There is a song that a Persian singer in Iran released called baraye, which means “for.” In the song, he recites a litany of things that have caused him to mourn for the people of Iran. It’s a beautiful song.

Here in Israel there is a festive atmosphere with the holiday of Sukkot quickly approaching. As I was making my own preparations, as a Persian Jew, I kept thinking about what my fellow countrymen are going through. I sat down and wrote this poem, also called “For,” where I share what makes me grieve for my people in Iran.

For

For my grandfather, who spent his life longing to return to Iran
For my father, who dreams of visiting the city he grew up in, with his son

For my parents, who even after 40 years Iran never left their heart
For the 10 million who fled because they were torn apart

For all the blood that has been shed and spilled
For all the dreams that weren’t and never will

For all the pain and all the sighs
For all the tears and the mother’s cries

For all the men whose hopes have been shattered
For all the women whose’s bodies have been battered

For all the fathers who have seen the oppression of their daughters
For a people where an innocent act of protest can get them slaughtered

For an ancient nation who yearns to be free
But are denied even the God-given right to be

For all the people who will have to die in strife
Just for the next generation to have a life

For the vicious baton-wielding men
Who have become animals
For every strike they strike again and again

For the world who has lost the beauty of the Persian culture and mind
For the fact that we can’t rewind the hands of time to 1979

About the Author
Menachem Zaman resides in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife and two kids.
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