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My Eye Shadow Is Also Green


A Musavi supporter (not the author) in Tehran on June 8.

A Musavi supporter (not the author) in Tehran on June 8.

Kavi-e Semnan, writing in verse, explains her personal motivation for her campaign activities on Akhbar-rooz:

These nights, I wrap a green band around my wrist, and my eye shadow is also green. Fourteen or fifteen of my friends and I have bought green nail polish, and we paint our nails green.

These nights, we leave the downtown for the posh northern part of the city to arrive with the first crowd of happy people and start dancing with them.

These days and nights, I constantly take off my armband, and I ask a rich boy to wrap a new green band on my arm, and the scent of his cologne stays on my wrist for two days.

These nights are the only nights that we are not made fun of because of our poverty. These nights are the only nights that nobody asks us where "our neighborhood" is.

Nobody is concerned with the price of our shoes. It's only important for them to promote the color green.

Why should I give up these nights?

Why shouldn't I wrap a green band around my arm and take part in the green chain, when the rich boy is next to me and he doesn't remember to ask me what my father's job is?

He doesn't look at my hard worker hands and smile at me patronizingly. I swear he does not even allow himself even to pass by my door.

These nights are the last nights to the golden chance to be the same color; but on Saturday morning [after the elections], there will be no trace of this unity. It does not matter who the president is; I will become in their eyes that poor girl whose father is a laborer and whose mother is a maidservant.

They will sit again in their expensive cars and feed their dogs the kind of food I have probably never eaten.

Which one of these candidates is going to demolish these class distinctions?

My goals are not the same is theirs, to vote for their favorite candidate, but I don't want to lose the opportunity to spend pleasant time with them.

I am lost among them, but I will not vote for Musavi; in fact, I will vote for nobody because none of them understands me. But if I want to choose somebody, Ahmati [Ahmadinejad] will be my choice.

These nights are the only nights that I can fulfill the long desires and dreams that have been in my mind for years. When somebody smiles at me without wanting to abuse me, without despising me deep in his eyes, without passing me by, without expecting me to accept 20,000 tumans for a one-night stand to serve him and his friends because I am from a poor family.

These nights, the Ghaytariyeh boys [from wealthy northern Tehran] smile without prejudice, but from Saturday the story of grief will be repeated.

These nights, I shout "Musavi" as loud as I can, because if I shout louder, they will smile at me more and more.

I use the last few days left, and alongside the green tide, I shout, I dance, I touch, I am touched with the slogan of "I will not vote."

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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