We Want You to Stay Alive Zeynab!

A letter to Zeynab Jalalian

Monday 28 June 2010

Change for Equality: We have been looking through websites. Since the moment we heard the news we’ve been looking on the Web for your name, for a sign of you. But the signs are scarce, just like your footprints in the snow the day you ran away from home.

You were 10 and perhaps your footprints are lost in the snow, perhaps on the rocks or under the sunlight of the meadow. I don’t know which season it was; yet now it seems they have decided that the season when you leave should be summer.

We search again, so that we can put together the facts about you and see what a Mohareb —an enemy of God— is like, what she has done, and in what court at what location has her enmity with God been proven... Your footprints are lost once again, even in the court, the court you visited for a few minutes only. Maybe your enmity with God was evident from your face, and that’s why it was not required to prove anything in the court. Your father’s voice shook as he described that you couldn’t read or write when you ran away from home. With your little 10-year-old hands you would do housework; like a thousand other unknown women, you were unknown too. Did you run to the hills to find a sign? I don’t know; but today that they have decided that a noose should end your 27-year life, there is still no sign of you.

No one is your lawyer or representative. Whoever has decided to make you invisible from life, has erased your signs as well. There are no footsteps leading us to you. They have written that you were promoting things, that you were arrested on your way home when going to a village near Makou, the same village that you ran away from. Where are you now? Were you an enemy of God, or were you an enemy of a life in which there were no signs for you? Were you the enemy of your fate? Your life is reminiscent of Shirin’s footprints. Shirin’s last footprints became eternal in spring time; Shirin is smiling in the picture frame.

We want you to stay alive; we want your signs to be completed. We don’t want the scaffold to be the last chapter of your battle with life and the fate of women who are doomed to illiteracy. We want you to use all of your feminine power. Stay alive, Zeynab! Stay alive and return to your village, this time not as an illiterate woman with a broom in her hand and a heap of unfulfilled dreams; no! Return with the voice of change.

We want you to stay alive, we don’t want them to hang you, we want you and all the women in that small village to feel hope for life once more. Zeynab, we will stay with you until the last moment, though our desperation and our hearts are heavy with powerlessness. We want every human rights organization – national and international- which lay on the emphasis on the life of a 27-years old girl and the judge, the last person who could ever save your life, to help this desire of ours be complied. We want you to stay alive, Zeynab Jalalian.


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