How to choose love with a trauma in your soul

Before the revolution, Iran was a progressive country, with a long history right in the middle of world politics. During the reign of the long list of Shahs Iran had good contacts with the Western world, the empires of Russia and China, strategically located right in between. Also in their modern history, Iran was an important ally to the west, mainly to the US, and yes, to a large deal because of its oil. But with a well educated population and forward thinking regime, Iran was in a completely different state than today. I will not go in to too many details about the revolution in itself, but what briefly happened was that it turned out that the well meaning Americans had been spying on the Shahs, right from inside the embassy at Tehran. Therefore, a bond of trust had been broken, and the Shahs unwillingness to deal with the issue was used as propaganda for a revolution, led by the now mighty famous Ayatollah Khomeini. Before, between and after LOTS of more things happened, but – you get the picture. After the revolution, Iran went to become the first Shia Islamic Republic in the world, and hence, went through a major islamisation. The before strategically placed Iran was now feeling trapped between the non religious communists and the capitalist west. The location became more of an inconvenience and the regime shut off Iran from the outside more and more. It didn’t take long until the devastating Iran-Iraq war broke out and lasted for 8 whole years, killing off a generation of young men, turned to martyrs in the Iranian Islamic republic. With heavy sanctions Iran could hardly be recognised as the country it had been just a decade before. Maybe the younger generation around the world cannot see the difference, but the people sure remember what life used to be like before the revolution and during the tumultuous years of war. Many of my hosts have, or had relatives sent to prison, or that still are in prison, or actually just recently been imprisoned because of political activism. Something much more common than I would dare to guess. Six weeks staying with locals has taught me some things though. My hosts has treated me like a friend and family from the first second until the last. There’s no resentment in the ordinary Iranian people, there’s only a loving curiosity of what the world is like outside of Iran, what life is in a country like Sweden. The openness, the easygoing helpfulness and how everywhere, every one is a friend, happy to see you. They treat their guests with such a calm certainty which is somewhat visible in the same, vast beauty of their country. How such an old culture has grown into wisdom, embracing love, tired of conflict that’s been thrown upon them time after time. Nobody defines themselves as their leaders, most of the citizens, even in small villages, prefer to sit, relax, have tea and look at these incomparable surroundings they are fortunate to call their home. I feel ashamed as a representative of the Western world – a world that judges and condemns Iran for things the people have no control of. I feel ashamed talking about Sweden, and all the privileges and freedom we can enjoy, because our politicians made other decisions for us, a long time ago. Decisions that are now being reversed in country after country around Europe, where politicians want to withdraw those privileges, those freedoms we thought we could take for granted. That’s how much power really lies in the people. So why do people of the West consider all Iranians fanatics or holding them responsible for what happened during and since the revolution when we don’t blame the Spanish, French, Russian and Polish people today for having their rights stripped from them? Again, the prejudices towards an innocent people being forced to conform. As we all are, watching while the world is turning backwards, letting capitalist politicians run and ruin our ”democracies”. The Kurdish people of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria never had a country to govern, but I’m pretty sure it would have been a peaceful, all loving and endlessly smiling place to stay. Who cannot smile when majestic peaks of beautiful snow covered mountains stretches ahead, with valleys and fields of strawberries and pomegranates tucked in between. When people great you with humble fascination and genuine interest, a habit of wishing the best for you and your family. When language itself represents a love and care for other humans. In Kurdistan, and in the rest of Iran, people have no control of their rights towards the law, but they do have control over how they choose to see and treat each other. And when they can choose, they choose love.

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