Thursday, December 08, 2005

Are you really tired of politics? What's the main reason for that??????????”

Hi. Sorry for not having written for quite a few days. Finals and papers.
A female anonymous reader of my mom’s weblog who had followed the link to my weblog (Kar’s daughter) had written me a comment a couple of weeks ago. She had written that she thinks that what I write is rubbish and that I am spoiled and nothing like Mehrangiz Kar whom she respects a lot. She had written for me that no one cares about what a privileged girl like me does during the day.
Anyhow, I wrote her back to thank her for having criticized me and we exchanged a few friendly comments in the comment section of the first entry of my weblog. In her last comment she asked me to answer a few questions:

“dear Azi,
There is a question in my mind that bothers me that i wanna ask you and that is why the most prominent figures' children like your mom don't follow their parents' ways of life?
Are you really tired of politics? What's the main reason for that??????????”

I must admit that her questions impressed me, since they indeed, more or less resemble the kinds of questions that never leave me alone. Even though I won’t be able to answer these questions thoroughly, I am going to try to address as many issues in regards to her questions as I could.

Ok, so let’s think about who Mehrangiz Kar is to you? A prominent figure that has worked for women rights and has taken risks for many years? A controversial figure? You respect her? You hate her? An author? A lawyer? A scholar?

Well, as you could probably guess Mehrangiz Kar is simply one word for me and that is Mimi, my mom. As her daughter, I don’t need any of her labels to be able to recognize her. She is the woman who has given birth to me. And she is clearly a woman that I severely love.

For the past 20 years I have been a part of her. I have been a part of her struggles. I have grown up in her law firm in Tehran listening to the legal discussions that she would have with her clients. I have been part of her professional happiness, hardships, worries and terrors. I have gone to visit her in the prison, I have heard her secretly cry and moan after her chemotherapies and I am witnessing the painful days of her exile…

That is why in this very complex and peculiar way I am Mehrangiz Kar.
And yet I am NOT.

Since childhood this irony has been chasing me around. It has challenged me greatly. Sometimes it has made me feel strong and confident and sometimes it has made feel that I am nobody aside from Mehrangiz Kar’s daughter. There has always been a voice in my mind telling me that I have to become her, to act like her and to maintain the same social and political image as hers. Meanwhile, there has always been a desire and urgency in me that has raised the concept of individuality in my mind.

It is only recently that I have come to some realizations about this matter. So nowadays I certainly do acknowledge myself as Mehrangiz Kar’s daughter and I have become curious to know more about her as a professional, too.

It is however not easy for me to think of Mimi and Mehrangiz Kar as the same person. They simply are two different persons for me. Mimi is my best friend whom with I laugh, gossip, argue and etc. Mimi is the woman who can read my mind in an instant. She is the one from whom I can never hide anything. Nothing. She just is inside me. She knows me better than myself. She wants me to succeed more than I do. Mehrangiz Kar, on the other hand is the one who is in books, articles, interviews, lectures and documentaries. Mehrangiz Kar is in Google search engine and in the media.

Sometimes when I am frustrated and worried for my beloved Mimi, I unconsciously start to blame Mehrangiz Kar in my mind.

-It is because of you that Mimi is now in exile. It’s because of you that going to Iran is a risk for Mimi. It’s because of you that she went to prison. It’s because of you that she is lonely these days. It’s because of you that she has had to start a new life in the US and has had to struggle with learning a new language, English during the past few years. It’s because of you that she doesn’t know what is going to happen to her if she returns to Iran. It’s because of you that she has been displaced in this wonderland of North America.

And often while these thoughts are going on in my mind, some nice person comes to me and says;

- Are you Mehrangiz Kar’s daughter? Nice to meet you. I respect your mother and admire her work and her strength. You have to live up to her standards.

Now let’s go back my anonymous friend’s question. I have decided to embrace Mimi’s legacy in her personal and professional life. It is the ethics and the humanistic ideas behind her work that are the most important to me. What is the least important to me is her politics.

After all, politics has been my third parent in my life. Some people say that they hate politics and some say that they love politics. For me, however political discussions and arguments have been my lullaby growing up. Who knows, my friend, I might one day choose to devote my life to politics, my third parent! But that does not mean that I will have to choose to follow my prominent parents’ path. I don’t think that it is logically possible for a person to follow another persons’ path from 4-5 generations ago. Mimi and I are from very different generations with very different characteristics. I will have to struggle and fight against different matters during my professional life. Mimi and I have our roots in very different settings. We are different people. Thus, that is why I will remain loyal to Mimi’s legacy, the most beautiful gift that one could ever inherit… Mimi’s legacy….
But I won’t become Mehrangiz Kar.

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