The year that is coming to an end has been a tough and a rough one on many of us, wherever we may be in this crazy wide world. For me it was a most difficult year since so many different fundamental and serious things went wrong. Being human I tried hard to fight them. At times I simply tried to disbelieve them. Then I faced reality and reached the anger stage followed by a deep and gloomy period of depression and then just a few weeks ago I decided enough is enough and I was fed up with being miserable and sad. So I decided that I wanted to be normal and myself again and thus weaker but still resolved and determined to face what life throws at me and somehow find a way to deal with it. I have been trying to move my life into a more positive and constructive path. I survived and I got here, as I am so lucky to have so many good friends such that wherever I am in this world, I receive their love and support in reality or in spirit, Yeganeh, Pooneh, Minoo, Tahereh, Khavar, Parvaneh, Fereshteh, Touraj, Farzaneh, Rosie, Amir, Pam, Hilary, Nargess, Masoumeh and many more who help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and Masoud, Banafshe, Samira, Sima, Sohaila, Madjid, Maryam, Mahmoud, Faramarz, Vahid and of course my other half Paul who helps me constantly to manage and sort my life and survives my outbursts.
Many Iranians who care about our country have had a bad year as far as politics is concerned. We suffer the international sanctions and at the same time the pressure of all kinds from our own government. Daily lives and jobs for the citizens of our homeland are constantly challenged by new shortcomings, meaningless or unrealistic regulations, pressures and demands that we wonder if we can run away to find a place where we can all live a simple life without all this constant hassle, fears and negative loads. The middle class in Iran along with their values have been put under so much constraints and demands that it is being simply crushed under. It has become very difficult to stay sane and hold to one's beliefs, and one begins to feel inadequate and weak. At times hope leaves and sadness and resignation take over, making holding on to one's values seems so unlikely and difficult without selling one's soul, as many do. Yet the national spirit by some unbelievable force continues to survive.
Money to survive is a very important issue for all. Many live in the center and north of Tehran where the government has cut the subsidies and rightly so. But the government also gives cash handouts to the lower income groups who predominantly live in the south. Rumours have it that utilities such as gas and electricity are charged at much higher rates in the center and north of the city, sometimes four times as much. Yet many who do not live in the south work and receive only an average salary unless they are well connected. Some believe that the government intends on undermining and destroying the middle class in any way they can, as it is fed up with the values and demands that the middle class asks.
I am now living outside Iran, but have been back to Tehran a few times for very short trips and every time it feels more grey, tight and sad. A couple of times I have felt that we are becoming like North Korea, a very closed up society rather than the new China. But, I am truly a Tehrani girl and to me Tehran is always like an angry child. It is rough and belligerent and obnoxious at times. But it has a beating heart and an energy, and I love it like as I would a beautiful, bathed, clean, well fed, sleeping child. Yet despite all this when I see all the young people, their enthusiasm and efforts when I see their parents side by side going after their demand for better society and future, my heart warms up and I know that the time will come, but remind myself again and again that change takes a long time and needs a lot of sacrifices before it becomes real and long lasting. We are far away from that point right now, but I am certain and strongly believe that change will come and most people who wish it know by now how much more is at stake and needs to be done.
Financially life has been unkind to most people in many places. Many of us have lost their life savings to some young financial or business cowboys who only think of what is in it for them, and act, in any deal, with total disregard to those they represent. People have suffered directly or indirectly at the hands of cheats and bigots, a few I know who are to my shame are related to me, and I will never forgive them for the pain and embarrassment they have brought to those who trusted them. What is sad is the fact that these selfish lot have ruined the lives of many, without suffering any real consequences themselves - their lives go on as before - but what is even more shameful is that they are not even apologetic or ashamed. May there be more transparency and control by the elders, those who are able to check and take action before it is too late, at all corners of any kind of public lives everywhere.
As the new spring lingers and the lightness of the earth begins to demonstrate itself, I have decided to look forward and forget and forgive the terrible year behind. I have started this by simple things like noticing the new buds on trees and flowers, by hearing the sound of the birds in the gardens, by a happy face, by a nice day, by a friendly call, by being alive, by remembering my good friends, readers and editor, by happy and past memories, by my achievements, and learning from my mistakes in order to be able to do more and by being myself.
I am sure like many of you my heart is with so many people and good friends who are being held against their will and all because they have expressed publicly what we all wish and aspire to. They have outreached by far their rulers or governments everywhere and yet the world that does not care really unless it suits it. The change will come and come everywhere. One thing I am sure of is that NOTHING will last for ever. Keep your hopes alive and stay firm and strong with your resolves and the good idea that are good for all, the forces will see the light and we shall win in the end.
May the New Year bring us all peace, bliss, harmony, lightness and freshness along with delight, physical and social health as well as the strength to endure what life throws at us. I hope that we will easily find the wisdom to understand life's shortcomings and the limitations of others, and the happiness of being able to be happy and rich in our souls, and please keep hope alive and lasting no matter what is going on, and remember that a new dawn awaits for our homeland only if we unite, work hard, learn to be patient and remain strong.
Norouz Shoma Shad and Saal Nou Shoma Mobarak (Happy Norouz and Happy New Year)
Syma & Paul
... Payvand News - 03/16/11 ... --