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Curdle, a docupoetry by Sohaila Zivari

Curdle, a docupoetry by Sohaila Zivari

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The Pivotal Moments of Iran’s History in the last 100 Years.

For the first time, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the ancient nation of Iran started a pro-democracy movement against the Qajar dynasty.

During the reign of Mozafar-al-din-shah, this movement turned into a full-blown revolution which is known as Iranian Constitutional Revolution.

On August 5, 1906, the Shah decrees the opening of the first Majlis (parliament), but it wasn’t until 1911, that Iran’s first constitution, which was constructed based on Islamic laws and Belgium Constitutional Monarchy, was fully implemented, but the nation’s young democracy was still in peril because of other powerful nations interests in Iran.
On February 21, 1921, the commander of the Iranian Cossack Brigade by the name of Reza Khan staged a coup and took over the nation’s military.

In 1925, Reza Khan, who by then took the surname of Pahlavi deposed of the Qajar’s last monarch, Ahmad Shah and founded the Pahlavi’s dynasty.

In 1941, Reza Shah Pahlavi was forced by WWII allies’ leaders to abdicate his role to his son Mohammad Reza. Meanwhile the Majles continued to function albeit in a weak manner.

Until people supported a prime minister who brought hope for pro-democratic forces who fought for decades against corruption, neo-colonialism, and foreign interventions.

In 1951, the Shah was forced to declare Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq as Iran’s 35th prime minister following his leadership in nationalization of Iran’s oil production and industries as a member of the Majles and cutting off the British oil consortium monopoly in Iran.

Mosaddeq popularity and cries for more democracy forced Mohammad Reza Shah who was actively betting against the PM to flee Iran.

In August year 1953, Dr. Mosaddeq was ousted following an American and British backed coup and the Shah returned to power. From then on, he quashed any left leaning and pro-democracy movements and his notorious intelligence agency SAVAK stoked fear in the heart of those communities.

Though there were many reforms and modernization brought to the country by the Shah regime, the increasing inflation, especially in the housing sectors, deep rooted corruption, brutality of the secret police dealing with slightest opposition brought on the second revolution.

By that time, there were no viable and organized left leaning secular movements were left, except the right-wing religious oppositions which for centuries were ever present in Iran’s politics.

On the 11th of February the year 1979 after much blood shed and forcing the Shah to exile once more, and bringing back Ayatollah Khomeini, an exiled religious leader, from Iraq, the nation’s revolt came to fruition and Islamic Republic of Iran was stablished, and since then the nation of Iran has been through decades of sanctions, 8 years of a brutal WWI style war with Iraq (Sep. 22 1980-Aug.20 1988), many unrests and mass protests which resulted in arrests, imprisonment, torture, and executions of the participants.

The arrests and executions have been surged in the year 2022 following the popular protest over alleged killing of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, by the Guidance Patrol. While corruption and economic disparity and injustices are ramped up more than ever.

At this point it seems all the hopes for having a democratic and secular society and government have been dashed. So far.

But let’s not be too hasty to cast the first stone. This great American Republic of ours has many dark chapters in its judicial and penal history. The followings are some facts which has darkened the most recent chapter of the United State of America:

Although the US prison population in general has been declining in recent years, there are still close to 2000,000 people incarcerated in local jails, state, and federal prisons.

“Nearly 50000 people are incarcerated in US solitary confinement in US, Report Says”
The Guardian Headline Wed, 22, 2022 12 EDT

According to a report by Ashly Nellis PhD, published on October 13, 2021, in The Sentencing Project, online, “Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly 5 times the rate of white Americans…”
“…Latinx individuals are incarcerated in state prisons at a rate that is 1.3 times the incarceration rate of whites…”

According to an ACLU report online;
“On any given day, nearly 60000 youth under age 18 are incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons in the United States…”

“One In 20 US Homicides Are Committed by Police and the Numbers Are Not Falling”
The Guardian Headline Wed.15 February 2023

“New, ‘Chicago Police Archive’ Details Acts of Jon Burge and Underlings”
Chicago Sun Times Feb.3 2021

“Chicago Pays $5.5 m in Reparations to 57 Burge Torture Victims”
Chicago Sun Times Jan. 4, 2016

Shortly after Iraq’s invasion by the US and its allies in early 2003, Abu-Gharib, Saddam Hussein’s notorious prison was reopened in the August of the same year.

By late 2003 and early 2004, the first reports of abuse and torture started to leak out, and the first press report on abuse and torture was done by the Associated Press in Nov. of 2003.

In early 2004, US army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba conducted an internal investigation.
Meanwhile in the same year Sergeant Joseph M. Darby “…provided two CD-ROMs to special agent
Tyler Pieron of the U.S Army Criminal Investigation Command…”

What came after that Shocked the free world.

Sources used for the pivotal moments in Iran’s history from 1906 to the present time.
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Source 4
Source 5
Source 6
Source 7
Source 8
Source 9
Source 10

Sources for American penal system, torture in Chicago prison, and Abu Ghraib torture program.
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Source 4
Source 5
Source 6
Source 7
Source 8
Source 9

Morgh-e-Sahar (Bird of Down) By Morteza Neydavood
Arranged and played by Justin Citron,

Noa Drori

Text editor:
Bambi Here

Written and performed by Sohaila Zivari

Farsi subtitle:

The motherfuckers are opening the hell’s gates again and throwing our youth into the proverbial meatgrinder and turn them to a pulp.
What for, what for?
Not for the country, not for the faith
Not for god, not even for enmity
Just for a fistful of dollar

The white stripe on the flags has vanished.
The blood of the nation’s ingrained in the green of dollar,
Preferred color of shameless Sayyed’s and faithless Mullahs.

The motherfuckers, open the dungeons doors and tell you “Our heaven is your hell.”
You want freedom, you want rights,
A piece of bread, a safe place, a peace of mind,
in this world, they promise you the other world.
You ask, “Which world?” They say, “The other world, the famous one.”
And if you ask too much, they empty a bullet into your skull, ‘til you realize which world.
The motherfuckers.

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