Thursday, July 12, 2007

Let My Father Leave!

Today on my way to work, as I was waiting for the metro to come, my eyes got tired of reading, I put my book aside and decided to people watch for a while. I noticed that a daughter and a father were sitting next to me and talking in Spanish. The girl was probably my age, around 21 or 22 years old. And the father seemed to be in his late 50s. Their conversation and their tone of talking with each other really caught my attention. It seemed that they were having a lot of much fun together. The girl was telling her father about a dress she had seen that was very pretty and her father was asking her about the details of the dress. And then they started to talk about how he is going to buy that for her and how the dress should look good on her. When the train came, it was as though all of a sudden the child in the man came out. He held his daughter’s hand and said in an excited tone, “Let’s run. Let’s run pretty girl”. And they both laughed. At that point I stopped pretending that I was not listening to their conversation and I, too, laughed with them. The man noticed me, smiled at me and asked me to enter the train first.

On the train, they continued to talk about different things and laugh. The girl had put her head on her father’s shoulder and her father was patting her hand. They were seriously the cutest creatures in this world. Although I was trying to read and not interrupt them by listening to their conversations, I would get distracted by their beautiful daughter-father relationship and could not keep my eyes away from them. At some point, the daughter took off her father’s ring from his hand and tried it on her own hand. She laughed and said, “Haha, papa, look, it looks nice on me!” and kept it on. Her father laughed and said, “Miss, please give me back my ring. Go ask some handsome gentleman to buy you a ring, not me”, he laughed some more and embraced her. They noticed me looking at them again and they smiled at me.

When they were getting off the train, the man turned back, looked at me and said, “take care, my daughter”. I waved at him and tried to hide my tears in my eyes. They made me miss my beloved father so much that I could not prevent myself from crying. Why can’t I see my father and spend time with him? Why does my father have to be trapped in Iran, under loose house arrest? Why did he have to get kidnapped, tortured, imprisoned to begin with? Why is he not allowed to leave Iran? While many true criminals wander in cities in Iran, why a true believer of humanity like my father who has always been committed to his job, journalism, should be mistreated as if he is a dangerous criminal?

I want to see my father. I, too, want to be able to see my father laugh. I want him to see me having grown up. I want him to see and to feel the result of all the years that he took care of me. I want my mother to see my father. I want to see them embrace each other and cry off the years of separation. I want my sisters to feel the presence of their father. The family members of Siamak Pourzand have been longing to see him for years. We want to be able to take care of him, to show him how much we love him. Let him leave Iran. Let him leave the country that he has passionately loved all throughout his life. Let him leave the country that has turned into a lonely prison for him. Let him leave. Let him come to us. Let him feel our love while he is alive.

To read about the story of my father, Siamak Pourzand, please click here.


At 5:26 PM, July 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why don't you smuggle your father out?

At 11:52 PM, July 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


this makes me appreciate my dad a lot more than i normally do.

i hope your father can get out soon.

At 7:09 AM, July 15, 2007, Anonymous Lucy Bijnen said...

Dearest Azadeh,
Your article about father and daughter moved me to tears especially as I know too well what happened to your parents and was closely involved. I once gave a lecture here in Amsterdam for a group of human rights activists about what happened exactly to both your parents. The audience was horrified to learn the details of the Iranian regime's cruelt. Let's keep praying and hoping that your dad will soon be reunited with his family. I send you a big hug!
Lucy Bijnen

At 9:23 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger Zahra said...

Dear Azadeh

I used to read your mother's columns in Zanan Magazine about 15 years ago and I really admired her. You need to know that you parents are part of the history of Iran and their names will be in the history forever. Siamak Pourzand is your father but more important he is a national hero who stood up against the totalitarian regime in Iran.
How many men so you know who were "MAN ENOUGH" to stand up against the Islamic regime? How many women do you know-except your mother-who were brave enough to stand up? My dear Azadeh..... the truth is that many of us chickened out!!
I my self left Iran 10 years ago. I was never brave enough to speak up against the fundamentalists in Iran. In the university I never spoke up against the regime. I was afraid that "they" would hurt me or my family. I left Iran forever....I didn't fight for Iran.
I wasn't like your mother. I wasn't brave like her.
Unfortunately millions of Iranians are like me. Your parents are exceptional and you should be very proud of them.

My name won't remain in the history but their names will remain in the history.

I am sure 50 years from now there will be schools and libraries and street named after them.

People like me will fade away over time. People like them will live forever.


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