Lily Podder, Grade 12
As the times changed in Iran, so too did the lives of the people who lived within her. The fallout of revolution and rise of the Islamic Fundamentalist movement, which would soon take over the Iran that created it, was to spread wider than only economic changes it fathered.
Shirin, now in her mid 40’s, looked back upon the changes that occurred in her country. The tumultuous times of the revolution mirrored that of Shirin’s own experience of puberty. As she entered womanhood, Iran too entered into the new stage of her life.
Ayatollah Khomeini descended upon Iran, bringing with him a complete change to Reza Shah’s introduction of a modern Iran. This brought not only a change to the economic workings of Iran, but also affected the woman that Shirin was to become. Khomeini brought with him a more conservative approach to Iran’s future, seeking guidance from Iran’s non-secular roots and the holy Koran, and with others, sought to rigorously reinstate Islamic values into the people of Iran. The effect of this, Shirin thought, when seen through the impact of words seemed relatively tame, but the transformation it brought about was truly revolutionizing. The spark of Khomeini’s new regime would bring about a fire within Iran’s belly. One that was eventually put out when Khomeini finally took his place at the head of the nation, and enforced the rule by which Shirin was to abide. When Reza Shah left Iran, the traces of monarchy were to slip between the fingers of lady Iran as the nation descended into dictatorship.
What became clear to Shirin as each day imbedded the knowledge of age within her, was that the liberalization of Iran and her women that Reza Shah sought to enforce was merely Reza Shah’s portrayal to the world that Iran was progressing. Laws enforced in writing were not indicative of what actually went on within Iran’s borders. Ironically, this was just another page in the history of the Iran of today, one, which in Shirin’s view, encompassed the conservative nature which it aimed to cloak. Iran, like its women, was a product of those who controlled her, manipulated by government and dictatorship.
Shirin realised that her day of emancipation never came, as it never came for lady Iran. She entered life as a woman, not as the woman she was inside, but the woman that Iran wanted her to be. What came for Iran was the day of the revolution. This was the day when Khomeini and his men took Iran and made it their own.
Shirin neatly closed away the memories in her mind of her mother in short skirt and high leather boots, and stepped out into the street to buy groceries for dinner that night. Before she faced the world that was Iran, she adjusted her veil in front of the hall mirror