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By Camelia Entekhabifard

Camelia Entekhabifard was once six years previous in 1979 while the shah of Iran used to be overthrown through innovative supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini. by way of the age of 16, Camelia used to be a nationally celebrated poet, and at eighteen she was once one of many youngest reformist reporters in Tehran. simply 8 years later she was once imprisoned, held in solitary confinement, and charged with breaching nationwide safeguard and demanding the authority of the Islamic regime. Camelia is either a narrative of transforming into up in post-revolutionary Tehran and a haunting reminder of the implications of conversing the reality in a repressive society.

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While i used to be complete and Bita nonetheless hadn’t get back, I went to a public cell to name her . . . and that i heard the air-raid sirens sounding, and that i observed that everybody was once taking a look at the sky. I seemed up and observed anything vibrant the dimensions of an oil tanker coming directly at us, the sound of its jets drowning every little thing else out. everybody was once surprised, nailed to the spot. It landed a couple of dozen meters from me, and after an fast the entire home windows got here crashing down, and there has been the sound of an explosion. ” My aunt raised her wounded hand. “Thick smoke poured out from the subsequent road. i wished to run, however it used to be like my toes have been caught to the floor and that i couldn’t circulate. Bita used to be correct there the place it landed. ” Bita broke in. “When I observed it, Morwarid and that i simply iced up. Then I instantly grew to become my again to the window, and there has been an important surprise wave. The door and the window and the glass all got here down, and we have been thrown at the mattress. . . . i presumed i used to be useless. I lifted my head and observed that the window frames and the curtains had fallen on most sensible folks. And there, the place the neighbor’s apartment were, there has been not anything. The sky used to be on hearth, and there has been ringing in my ears. We acquired up and immediately began working and screaming. ” We became to my aunt. “Everyone used to be working away, and that i got here to my senses. ‘Bita! Bita! ’ I screamed and ran like loopy. My footwear got here off, yet I saved operating. i'll listen the ambulance’s siren within the distance. i used to be screaming and working. I couldn’t consider my center beating. not more sound might pop out. I sat down correct there at the flooring. It was once very unlikely to inform which condominium were struck, and that i simply sat and cried. ” We let loose the entire air that were trapped in our chests as Bita entire. “My ears have been burning as I ran . . . i discovered Maman sitting at the floor like a gypsy, beating her head. ” “I don’t understand how we acquired out of that inferno,” my aunt wailed. “When I observed Bita, i began shaking. Like my soul used to be leaving my physique correct there . . . ” As missiles hailed down on Tehran, humans left in droves—not for the Nouruz vacations, yet for safeguard. a number of neighbors of ours were killed, and we, too, fled for a villa in Karaj belonging to our shut relations buddy, Aunt Mahin. Her backyard was once in disarray, and the home was once jam-packed with different refugees. Amid the entire site visitors, there wasn’t enough space to drop a needle. We slept subsequent to one another at the floor. while the air-raid siren sounded, so much folks crowded right into a nook whereas a number of stepped open air to monitor the missiles jump over Tehran. later on, everybody may take a seat through the radio and hear the international Persian-language pronounces on Radio Iraq, the Voice of the USA, or the BBC. We stayed in Karaj in the course of the serious top of the conflict. Then we lower back domestic, and the recent summer season descended. On July 18, 1988, I heard our neighbor screaming uncontrollably from the hallway. As traditional, the door used to be unlocked, and Khanum Bayat had entered with no knocking. “It’s over! It’s over! Khanum Entekhabi, the battle is over! ” My father stood stunned, nonetheless in his undies.

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