Saturday, 11 February 2012

An akward reunion.

I met Nate last year in the street when I was walking home with a friend of mine. We met him a couple more times after that. It was always very casual, a nice hello then we both went our separate ways.
The neighbourhood kids always chased him around. Then one day, no more sign of him. I slowly got used to the idea I would never see Nate again. He was always so happy to see me and I was always happy to see him too. Now I was sad. I didn't know where he lived so I couldn't really look for him.
But that's life, isn't it?

Life went on as usual, lectures, grocery shopping, spring past, then summer, I went back home, came back to Preston, fall passed, then winter.

This morning I had planned to take my bicycle and go check out the new Waitrose that recently opened a couple of miles away. I opened the backyard door and saw that it was gone. Half-shocked/angry, half "there's nothing I can do" attitude, I decided to walk there.When I arrived back in my street I slowed down, took my keys out. I lifted my head up and there he was, running across the street, chased by a kid.
Nate saw me and slowly walked up to me.

Hi Nate! How have you been?

I held the door and invited him in. At first he was hesitant. "Should I really?" he asked himself, "I guess she can't really hurt me, I'm stronger than her anyway."
I came in, helped put my shopping away and then wandered around the flat for a bit, checking everything out, just being curious. "So strange" he thought.

Then I went to the living room to watch The Sopranos, he didn't know if he should come sit in the sofa with me or not, even if I encouraged him. He stayed and sat on the floor for a bit, looking at me, only like Nate does. After a while I guess Nate got tired because he went to lay on my bed to take a nap.

Not liking the idea of having Nate sleep in my bed, I woke him up and told him my invitation to the sofa still applied. After hesitating for a minute, he joined me.

I guess Nate doesn't like being alone because everytime I stand up to get something in the flat, he follows me.

Now he's there sleeping next to me. It feels so weird, but he doesn't want to leave. I don't want to be rude and throw him out but I think that's what I'll have to do in a little while.

Nate is a really nice cat though.

I kidnapped a cat for the day. Shame on me.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Neda Agha-Soltan, a life cut short.

Tehran, Iran, 20 June 2009. People are protesting, they want freedom: they shout, they are angry. The streets are crowded with people. In the middle is Neda.

Neda Agha Soltan was a very special 27 year old, she was a gifted musician, was spiritual, she had dreams and aspired to be a mother, she loved the arts and travelling, and was hoping to live in Istanbul one day. The kind of person you would want to know. But most of all, Neda, like many other young people in Iran, longed to be free.
Neda died before she was given the chance to make her dreams come true.
When young Neda left her house in that spring afternoon, she didn’t know she would never see her mother again.
“She left the house mid-afternoon. I couldn’t join her but I said I’d keep in touch with her.” said Hajar Rostami Motlagh, Neda’s mother.
Hajar, as any mother would be in times like these, was worried for her child. She managed to get through to Neda twice during the protest. When Neda told her mother the streets were full of people, Hajar asked her to come back home. Soon afterwards, Hajar called her again. This was the last conversation Neda ever had with her mother. She was stuck with her friends in an area where soldiers had fired tear gas, her eyes were stinging.
“Then early that evening, I got a call from her music teacher. He said: ‘Come to the hospital, Neda has been shot’.”
Hajar learnt her daughter had been shot in the leg, she hurried to the hospital. When she arrived there, Neda’s music teacher, Mr Pahani’s shirt was covered in blood. She wanted to know the truth. She knew something was wrong. But everyone was telling her different things about where Neda had been shot.
“Fifteen or twenty minutes later, I learnt my daughter was dead.”
Neda was assassinated for wanting freedom.

Later, Mr Pahani who was accompanying Neda at the protest, revealed her last words to be "I'm burning, I'm burning!"

She had never been political, it was all about being young and feeling passionate about freedom said Hajar. She didn’t belong to any party or group nor did she support any faction.

“Every other young Iranian was there – she was one of them.” said Hajar “You can’t blame people for going out and wanting to feel free.” she added.

Before she died, Neda and her brother were looking into buying a piano and found one they liked. A few weeks later her brother Mohammad bought the piano and put it in Neda’s room in her memory.
Mohammad plays one hour every night to remember the good singer that was Neda.

Soon after her death, Mr Karroubi, part of the opposition, visited Neda’s family at their home. He told them she was innocent and called her a martyr.

“Her death has been so painful – words can never describe my true feelings. But knowing that the world cried for her… that has comforted me.” said Hajar.

Neda should never be forgotten.

“I am proud of her. The world sees her as a symbol, and that makes me happy.”

This text is part of an exercise for my course. It is however based on true facts and a real interview. I will not post a link to a video of Neda's last moments as it is quite painful and I'm sure you will find it if you really do want to see it. Any complaint about this text should be made to me via my university e-mail: