The Excitement of Collecting the First Signature

By: Mohammad Shourab

Saturday 27 December 2008

Translated by: Sussan Tahmasebi

A year had passed since I had first signed the petition of the Campaign. I had been following all the news about the Campaign for year, laughing and crying along side the activists with all the sweet and bitter developments within this movement. I spoke of the Campaign constantly, among friends and family. Anytime someone mentioned the condition of women, I brought up the Campaign. But there was something missing. I was eager to start collecting signatures, but I struggled with myself, before working up the courage to actually start.

But on that day, I went to the Park. I took out the petition and a pen from my briefcase. My heart started beating fast, my temperature rose, I was nervous. The first couple I approached was eager to sign.

The attention and inquisitive stares of the young women and men, who had gathered around me as I spoke about the Campaign, was a sweet surprise for me. Sweeter in fact than the signatures I collected one after another on that day. The signature of a 19 year old girl, who objected to the fact that her father did not give her the necessary permission required for her to travel abroad; the signature of a 25 year old man, who in tears, explained that his mother had worked hard for many years along side of his father to build the life they had, so why was it that she was only subject to receive as inheritance only 1/8th of the assets they had earned together; or the signature of a young woman who sent her regards to Shirin Ebadi, and said: "if you see her, please tell her that I said hello. Tell her that when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I was more proud than ever to be an Iranian woman." Or Sweeter yet was meeting a young woman who was completely aware of the Campaign, and who confessed that she had been collecting signatures in support of the petition for some time, but didn’t know who to give the signatures to. I got the chance to listen to stories and woes of men and women from all walks of life who had for years kept their stories and the pain they felt from these laws to themselves.

I always knew that getting my first signature would be an auspicious occasion, but it seems that all signatures I collect are filled with a story and with excitement.

Read the original in Farsi


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