Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Hussam Itani

Memoirs of a Nobel Peace Prize: Shireen Abadi on Iran Islamic Revolution; (Mar. 10, 2010)

Iranian lawyer and judge, Shireen Abadi, received Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for defending Iranian civil and human rights.

She was a renowned judge during the Shah’s regime and then supported the nascent Iranian revolution in 1979 before it turned fundamental Islamic.

Shireen (Shirine) is banished from Iran and has published in English “Iran awakening: memoirs of revolution and hope, (2006)”.  This manuscript was translated into Arabic by Hussam Itani and published by “Dar al Saki” in 2010.

In autumn of 2000, judge Abadi stumbled on a nerve wracking file: An Iranian information minister had previously ordered the assassination of Abadi.  Before Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years of absence in February 1979, Shereen was demonstrating in the streets to oust the Shah of Iran.  As Khomeini stepped out the airplane he was asked “How do you feel today?”  He replied “I feel nothing.”  That was a bad omen for a start.

Judge Abadi never wore the veil in her life.

The newly appointed temporary general secretary to the ministry of justice after the revolution asked Abadi to wear the veil.  She refused; he said: “Do it out of faith at least”.

This judge, Fateh Allah Bani Sadr, was the brother of the next President of the Islamic Republic Hassan Bani Sadr.  Fateh Allah was soon demoted and when his brother was elected President,  Fateh Allah offered Abadi the post of the President legal counselor; she declined.  The appointed counselor was executed as soon as Hassan Bani Sadr was deposed!

The next day, judge Abadi parked her car in front of the Justice Palace.  She noticed that motorcycles replaced cars; judges and personnel were wearing dirty robes to prove love for poverty; she could not smell cologne or perfume; the staunchest Shah’s supporters turned staunch Islamic revolutionaries.  People have been changing outfits for a new role in the play.

It is said that Ayatollah Talkani who was appointed to re-write the Constitution shouted “What are those shameful luxury sofas and couches?” He sat on the ground for a couple of hours and then decided that sofas were far more comfortable.

There were strong rumors that women would be banished from judgeship: they were not focused, lacked determination, and are generally lazy.

Abadi refused the higher post of court investigator because she sensed that the intention was to rob her of her chair as judge. She was finally ordered to the position of assistant to research department!

In November of 1979, a group of adolescents took over the US Embassy and took captives for 444 days; Khomeini was jubilant but most Iranians felt that the revolution has deteriorated.

Actually, the Islamic revolution was losing momentum and support until the US ordered Saddam Hussein of Iraq to invade Iran in 1980.

The Iranian people had no choice but to support the existing Islamic regime against the aggressors.

During 8 years of this insane war that left over one million dead and several millions injured the Islamic Revolution felt free to execute thousands of intellectuals and liberal-minded people. Abadi did a simple calculation and figured out from the monthly toll of executed citizens to the number of the population that her turn will soon come within 8 years.

Thousands of adolescents were sent to the front as living mine sweepers.

Every morning, two dozens of martyrs “Shaheed” were prayed upon in front of the Justice Palace.  Abadi finally shut off her windows, even during summer, in order not to hear the prayers and laments and find a corner to cry her eyes out.

Note: I was eye witness to the revolutionary zeal of the Iranians at the university campus of Norman (Oklahoma).

Almost everyday, half a dozen Iranian political parties crisscrossed the campus in demonstrations, discussion groups, and participating in meetings.  An Islamic Republic was not in the agenda of most of the parties: they just wanted the Shah’s regime out and a new regime in.

It is documented that US oil multinationals were displeased with the Shah leading OPEC oil producers for ever higher oil prices to cover his megalomania expenses and military dominance of the Persian Gulf region.




June 2023

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