Her Pride....My Pride
photo by Kamran Jebreili/AP
Stressed about all her final papers, she woke up, checked the news, got dressed and headed to school in the morning. It was the University Student Day in Iran. In Massachusetts, however, it was a simple winter day. The most exciting part of her day was so far the fact that three fire trucks had passed by her student apartment with loud sirens.
During the hours that she had fallen asleep while trying to write a paper about why Mussharraf cut deals with the forces of Taliban, many university students, her age or younger, had protested in Iran. Some of them were injured and detained by governmental forces. In Massachusetts, however, not much was going on. The weather was sunny and cold.
Walking towards school, she kept checking her blackberry for photos from the student protests and the crackdown in Iran. Photo after photo… Tears had covered her eyes. She was proud of her fellow Iranian university students in Iran. But did it even matter how she felt about what the people were doing in Iran? Maybe yes, maybe not! In any case, some of the photos made her smile and some of the other ones that had captured the moments of beatings and blood made her frown. She would only look up when she had to cross the street.
Everything was orderly in Cambridge, Massachusetts. No one looked particularly angry, agitated, scared or ready to protest. The homeless people of Harvard Square looked unhappy, hungry and cold. Just like all other mornings. Everything looked absolutely normal. People were going to work, to class and most of them had a cup of coffee in their hands.
Walking into Starbucks, she kept looking at the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe that were placed next to the cashier to see if Iranian university students had made it to the first page of any of these newspapers. “Grande non-fat Latte”….Yeap, that was her cup of coffee. She got her coffee and started walking towards school once again. She walked into the school building all proud of the university students in Iran who had courageously protested despite all the fear and repression. Her friends said hello to her and she said hello back to them. The rest of the day was full of small talk and studying. No one realized that she was proud of anything particular that day. She, too, did not really ask anyone if they were proud of the people of their country at that very moment. I mean, it is an awkward question to ask! “Excuse me, how proud of the people of your birthplace are you today?”…haha...Maybe no one would respond to such a silly question except for her. She would say, “I am extremely proud. They are amazing. These university students are making history as we speak!” She would talk, talk and talk about how proud, worried, terrified and yet hopeful she is for Iran and its fascinating young generation.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, everything was absolutely calm and normal. Another fire truck passed by during the day. But that was about as unquiet as it could get in Cambridge, Massachusetts.