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Pre-2008 Posts

Open Letter from Delaram Ali: “The Seeds Have Been Sown and No Doubt They Will Bear Fruit”


The woman on the ground being dragged is Delaram Ali, a member of the One Million Signature Campaign for human rights for women in Iran.  I blogged about her yesterday.  She has been sentenced to more than two years in prison and 10 lashes for her part in this powerful and peaceful protest, which commanded the respect and attention of the entire world.   She is 23, a social worker, and has been an activist for women’s and children’s rights in Iran.

Here is an Open Letter Delaram has written, published on the One Million Signatures Campaign website:

 Lamenting a Dream
Friday 2 November 2007
By: Delaram Ali*
Translated by: Sussan Tahmasebi

These days it seems that our writings have been transformed into lamentations, for an elegy which you have created for us—lamentations for Zeinab, Nahid, Mahboubeh, Bahareh, Amir and now for Ronak.

What have you done to us? What have you done that has transformed the ring of the telephone into an alarm of danger? What have you done to transform the sound of the door bell into a fear of the repetition of nightmares of the past?

My Brother, do you know that these days I have a dream. I dream that a few of us have gathered in a small park, I am not sure where, and we are engaged in conversation so that perhaps we can convince one of the passersby to sign our petition. The guard at the park approaches us, and when he reaches us he offers us tea. When I wake the lamentation remains, but has been transformed into a dream. The truth is that this time a young woman is imprisoned, someone who lives in another city, her words are warm and sweet and without reservation, and her accent is colored by resistance. Her mother says that they have stormed and searched their home. She says that these days she has heard only ill words from you. She says that you have taken the signatures that Ronak had in their home. Thank you. I hope that you will receive your due reward in this effort.

The reward is great, remember not to settle for less than its worth. For each of the signatures you have claimed, much energy has been expended. At least 15-30 minutes for each signature. You do the math, I just don’t want to us to feel indebted to you.

By the way, I just wanted to mention before you turn in the signatures at least take a look at them. Perhaps in their midst you will find the name of your wife, or sister, your mother or daughter. You see awareness spreads in this way. Now you should go and arrest your own daughter, condemn your wife to the home, chastise your sister and mother. My brother, we have moved beyond these tactics, the seeds have been sown, and no doubt they will bear fruit, the sweetness of which we will taste for years to come.

My brother, this time when you return to your office, look through the signatures to see whose names will be make into the pages of history. Believe me, history is not marked by nor does it cease to exist with your desk drawer nor the paper files which make up the cases against us.

Delaram Ali’s Blog

One Million Signatures Campaign for Iranian Women’s Rights



4 thoughts on “Open Letter from Delaram Ali: “The Seeds Have Been Sown and No Doubt They Will Bear Fruit”

  1. I’ve been looking for commentary by Shirin Ebadi on the sentencings of the Iranian women activists and came across this beautiful blog post that I think everybody should read, particularly if you haven’t done much reading about Iran. I tell you truly my heart breaks to think that Bush and his minions might make another war, this time on Iran (more than it already has, i.e., sanctions).

    Shirin Ebadi, My Iranian Hero


    Posted by womensspace | November 6, 2007, 6:05 pm
  2. In 1982, Kate Millett got a publisher for her book, Going to Iran, which I’d never seen mentioned in any of the 21st century commentary about the Iran-Iraq conflicts although nobody had removed it from the shelves of the Santa Fe, NM library as of 2006 (when I found it).

    The foregoing, a very long sentence.

    Here’s my summary impression, after reading Millett’s 1982 book: All of the world’s wars (Iran, Iraq, wherever) are really about crushing Womankind’s freedom.

    The men who die in men’s wars are the collateral damage. Our untamed womanly selves are the real targets.

    Millett’s 1982 book blended detail, image (even photography) and overall context to identify the grassroots women’s movement over 25 years ago in Iran. She describes one splendid example of the soaring voices of the Iranian wimmin on the move as One in the streets (joined by a few freedom-loving men), almost instantaneously quashed by the mass of men with guns and virtually ignored by the world press (liberal, progressive, conservative, all ignored equally the women’s conjuring of a magical, natural, cosmological power alien to men’s reign).

    What are we to do?

    We could conjure, invoke, embrace a global wimmins’ species memory of the ground that our own kind, Womankind, has already covered in our quest to regain the freedom we once enjoyed before the patriarchal takeover.

    We need not to be surprised when men sell us out. They always do. Our species memory will tell us so, even if only when we dream of what we’re seeking to escape. The aboriginal wimmin of Australia hold the eternal story of the dream time of Womankind, as one modern example. We all have species-memory roots to matri-focused clans if we go back far enough, and bring it forward into now.

    We need to stop agonizing over the question of “why” men hurt us (be it their social conditioning, genetic mutation, too much testosterone, too much pornography, the possibilities are endless and focusing on the “why” only vampirizes our energy). Scorpions sting. Men rape us and the planet. It is what it is. They do what they do. Their stock in trade is hypocrisy. They like to fool us. They like to feel superior. Wimmin can stop asking why.

    We need to realize that we as Womankind are our only answer. We need to invoke whatever spiritual powers we can invent or imagine so that we join consciousness to one another everywhere in the world, for strength and courage. Otherwise, it is far too easy to be disheartened by the patriarchy’s chronic repetition of individual and collective terrorism against us. New ways of being are possible if we ignore men to every extent possible (when the guns aren’t in our orifices) and honor Who We Are.

    Tough love and hugs abounding,

    Posted by JBSproull | November 7, 2007, 3:02 am
  3. That’s such a great comment JB.
    Masculinity, at its most basic level, always has a parasitic motive. Because of its need to lay its eggs in some one else’s flesh. Sounds gruesome I know, may even explain some of their more gruesome predilections.

    Of course A human male is much more than his reproductive mechanism. I just wish, some of them, would grant us, that recognition.

    Natalie Angrier, writing in Robin Morgan’s. Sisterhood Is Forever. Says ” What are a man’s core desires? He, too, wants access to resources and control over the means of reproduction, … which means control over women. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this desire. But the fact that women and men are tussling over the same piece of real estate – the female body- means that the tedious, endlessly vivisected “war between the sexes” is pretty much built into the system”.

    I believe, we can effect change through social reconstruction. But only after we have done the work on our own unity. Then we can come to the table with the power of a combined force.
    Which is men’s force , like all ruling classes they stand shoulder to shoulder against the under class, us.
    And when they are not dishing out violence, they control us on an individual level, by all most never telling us the truth about anything, especially not about themselves.

    Its why we need to stand by these amazing Iranian women like Delaram, her war is our war. Thanks for all the work you do Heart.

    Posted by helzeph | November 7, 2007, 6:19 pm
  4. Thank you for the truth of posting this, Helzeph, among your other excellent words: “when they [men of the prevailing hypocrisy] are not dishing out violence, they control us on an individual level, by all most never telling us the truth about anything, especially not about themselves.”

    I join Helzeph in thanking you, Heart, for this amazing forum for our connection.

    In Spiritual Strength,

    Posted by JBSproull | November 9, 2007, 4:55 am

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