Iran: youth Real Vote, Enthusiastic Practice of Fire Festival

By Keyvan Salami

Many years ago, back in third grade I read a short story titled “The Last Lesson” from a story collection titled “Last Monday” by a French Author who I do not recall the name. Whole book is about the author’s first hand experience living under Nazis role during the German invasion of France as a kid. “The Last Lesson” describes in details the last French class before the enforcement of Nazi law of ban on teaching French in French schools. This young man described with honesty and in moving words, his emotions, his sorrow and his chagrin for not being able to freely use his mother tongue and praise his national culture. After close to four decades I can still remember how I was affected and cried as I was reading the story.

As I grew up under Mullahs’ religious fascism in Iran, there were many occasions that I could relate even more brightly with the hate and chagrin of this French patriot, when I and my other fellow countrymen were systematically prevented from celebrating our cultural and national events such as the “Last Wednesday” fire celebration, a ceremony that has been held by Iranians for close to three thousand years. Each year Mullahs’ oppressive forces try their outmost to intervene and prevent people and specially youth from celebrating with many domineering measures.

Iranian New Year is celebrated in second half of March each year. Starting with the “Last Wednesday” fire festival, it escalates to “Nowrooz” peak point which is celebrated for 13 days and ends by the “Ominous 13” which is celebrated by traveling to countryside and leaving the city.

Same as every year in their rule as “Nowrooz” is approaching, Mullahs have intensified their efforts to confront with Iranian populations the same way as an occupying foreign country would, to subjugate the rebellion patriots. On March 07, 2016 Mullahs special task force enclosed a large section of trade center in Mullavi Square, South Tehran, in order to confiscate firecrackers and other fireworks items from peddlers, and demolish Iranians celebration of Fire Festival. On Friday March 11, 2016 Mujtahed Shabestary, one senior Mullah in Tabriz North-West of Iran, reiterated on Friday prayer: “’Last Wednesday’ and ‘Ominous 13’ must be eradicated from Islamic Republic culture”. Wednesday March 9, 2016 authorities in Mashhad North-East of Iran band street celebrations and limited the ceremonies to certain state-controlled areas. Long list of Mullahs actions and people and youth counter-actions include all cities.

In face of all these measures, however, Iranians specially youth are celebrating the traditional events widely in all cities and by doing so revive the ancient Iranian culture. In such a tense atmosphere of restrictive measures, and decrying national symbols by state authorities in all official outlets, far more than any sham election, this popular reception of Iranian New Year, shows the hate and discontent of Iranians from this theological fascism.

History has been very clear about the destiny of fascists and dictators. Nazi Germany eventually was defeated and France became free and French were allowed to speak French again. Theological fascism and Mullahs in Iran will also ultimately collapse and dissolve in the Iranians will for change and the national ceremonies would be freely celebrated again.

Keyvan is a human rights advocate and political activist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region, follow Keyvan Salamin at @SalamiKeyvan.

I am a human rights activities/ Journalist and I what to raise public awareness in regard to devastating human rights situation in Middle East, particularly in Iran; seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region against nuclear Iran.

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