Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Sharing same room

The two brothers live in the poorer quarters in south Teheran.  Ehsan, the eldest brother of 26, is studying cooling systems engineering; he is a musician and a movie lover, especially keeping up with Al Pacino  and Robert De Niro films; he is not interested in politics.  Sadjad (carpet in Arabic) is 23 and studying Islamic jurisprudence at Tehran University.   When Ehsan was 8, he used to stop on his way from school and listen at a center of Sufis chanting and dancing and started to learn music.  By the time Sadjad was 8, the Islamic Republic had closed that center and he joined the basseji at age 8:  The basseji is a voluntary organization maintaining security in the streets at night such as arresting drug dealers, drunkards, women not wearing proper islamic garment, not married couples, and guiding school children to schools, and participating in vaccination campaigns . (more on the basseji later on).

The two brothers share the same room at their parental house and share the computer.  Ehsan writes to music and film blogs;  Sadjad surfs the basseji net and writes in the basseji blog; he watches only Iranian war movies.  Both brothers attend Ashoura (anniversary of the martyrdom of Hussein in 860 at Karbala by the Umayad caliph Yazid.  They join different groups in that crying and flagellation celebration:  Sadjad hits his chest violently with his palm for hours on while Ehsan just shares in the crying.  The Shias are trained from childhood to cry profusely at Ashura.

On Thursday night, representing Saturday night in Islamic States, Ehsan sees his girlfriend discretely while Sadjad is attending his weekly meeting with the Bassiji of the corner:  The bassiji pray and then listen to the mullah (cleric) explaining the Iranian and foreign political events.

The basseji is currently organized within the Republican Revolutionary Guards, a military organization equipped with better weapons than the army and obeying directly to the Supreme Guide Kamenei.  At the onset of the Islamic revolution in 1979, the basseji was instituted to round up the youth, indoctrinate them in Islamic religions, and make them useful and role models for not drinking alcohol or getting addicted to drugs.  The war broke with Iraq for 8 years in 1980 and the basseji were used as living mine detonators to clear a way for the more experienced soldiers; more than 300,000 kids of less than 15 years of age were “martyred in that was.  After the latest election in June 2009, the basseji were used as field repressive forces of marchers and demonstrators of the “green movement” supporters of Mir Hussein Moussavi.  The Revolution Guards would block the streets and the bassji would step down off their motorcycle and brandish batons and spray tear gas at the gathering of opposition members.

Ehsan tells me in a sad smile: “I am a curious type of guy; I love to experience everything and travel.  My brother is very content and seeks peace of mind within the framework of the basseji ideology”  The father of the brothers repairs carpet and participated actively during the Islamic revolution, but he feels discontented with the current President Ahmadinejad who humiliated Iranians’ intelligence and set the country decades back.”  The father is willing to believe that Sadjad does not carry batons to disperse demonstrators.

Sadjad feels bitter because the demonstrators insults with vile words even when he approaches them politely and talks to them calmly; he said: “and they claim to be intellectuals, lawyers, and physicians!  We are keeping the streets safe of murderers and drug traffickers and the only reward we get from these rich people is insults.  I feel very tired of ingratitude after all those non paid overtime hard tasks.  Last night I studied till midnight, slept for a couple of hours, and then up to my round on the block streets.  Yesterday, an opposition motorist purposely over ran my closest basseji friend and killed him”.  Ahmadinejad had extended privileges to the bassejis and organized them under the Revolution Guards after so many years of unpaid voluntary work.

Sadjad is not such a bad guy.  A couple of days, I was insulted by bassejis and he cooled it down and gave me his phone number.  When I met him at our appointment, he was carrying a bouquet of flower for me and a bottle of perfume so that I may accept his apology.

There are my documented stories of Russians and Germans betraying their fathers and members of their close family members for ideological basis; they were even acclaimed as hero and movie made of their “heroic” betrayal for the motherland and the one party.  You won’t hear such kinds of betrayal stories among Iranian families:  Family is the center of life and Iranian returns from overseas because they miss family bonding and the happy climate of friendship and Iranian joyful culture.  I think that government would not even contemplate any one betraying members of his family, encouraging, or allowing these kinds of treachery.

During the Lebanese civil war, youth either joined the fight with the militias or got associated with Red Cross and crisis units.  They volunteered and even brought their own food, sharing whatever they brought with everyone.  That is the way youth met during the civil war and got married later on.




June 2023

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