The Clouds are Stalling!

By: Nasim Khosravi

Monday 18 February 2008

Translated by: Sussan Tahmasebi

Note: this article was written by Nasim Khosravi in honor of Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelve Javaheri, who at that time, were in Evin Prison. In the article, Nasim Khosravi wonders about who will be the next member of the Campaign to be imprisoned, not knowing that she would be next. Nasim and Raheleh Asgarizadeh were arrested on Thursday February 14, 2007, while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign’s petition. They are now being held in Evin Prison’s Public Ward 3.

Just like us, the clouds stall. They are charged with rain—a rain set to cleans and envelope our power. In this way, the rain is similar to women, who are charged with the spreading of their wings and providing quiet refuge. When there is lightning, everyone claims an umbrella and hides under its protection. Perhaps, it is only from window sills that we can enjoy the repeating lines of the rain and the unheard sounds remaining in the perpetual turn of the seasons, and the setting of the sun and…

The clouds are stalling these days. At times quick and at times forgetful. I ask Niloufar about her upcoming court case, "when is it?" I don’t know why I am thinking of Parvin. I feel like crying. I wonder who will be next. Will it be one of the determined faces that I have come to know so well? I find the smiling portrait of Maryam’s face everywhere, in my dreams, on the street, and yes even in these forgetful clouds. Everyday I visit the Campaign’s website, hoping to find news of her release, wishing still, that Maryam’s picture remains at the top of the page confident, encouraging. I wonder if Maryam and Jelve are witness to the rain’s hesitation, in Evin prison. Do they enjoy a window or other imperfect escapes? Or a warm cup of tea? A part of me still believes that this is a beautiful combination: the women of the campaign, spending time with women who are condemned to prison, to Evin, because they lacked the most minimal of legal supports. What a short distance between these two contiguous streams. In my mind, I smile, become stronger, multiply, so that Maryam, Jelve and all those who will win, too can multiply.

Children return from school, the street and the hands of the clock announce that it is noon, but the sky’s haze, is eternal and timeless. Mothers, forever wrapped in wool scarves, and gloves, escort their children toward the smell of their lunches and the warmth of their homes. There are people in prisons. There are people who socialize with prison guards! And there are agreements underway. Direct your anger, like always, toward the clouds that speak of the dreadful termination of a woman who has committed suicide and the melancholy of a thousand women and the sadness of this land which they harbor within. …

The hands of the clock announce that it is noon and on the streets I don’t see the guards, the protectors of security. In the adjacent window, I see a man who slams his hands on the table and disappears in the darkness of his home. A woman on the balcony is folding her clothes. She stops. Looks at the sky, looks onto the street, she rests her elbow on the railing of the balcony, and places her hand on her forehead, the wind is blowing and she wraps herself in her white chador and without taking with her the hanging clothes, she shuts the door on my watchful gaze.

The taxi sits in endless traffic. I ask the woman sitting next to me if she has heard about Maryam and Jelve and the other women who have been imprisoned for daring to express the minimal legal demands of women?

Which demands? she asks. She smells the flowers she has bought, and as if she is perplexed by me, she places the flowers on her black leather bag. Her last words repeat themselves in the dizzying red light of the cars…

— We don’t have any problems. Why do you, with your strange style of dress, threaten our security? If you did not insist on this style of dress, they would not be harassing us now for wearing boots…

The rain does not line the windows of cars. Without realizing the cold, children arrive home and the city turns to night, suspended in its everlasting unknowing.

Read this article in Farsi.


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