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The Campaign: A Cure for Depression

By: Nahid Mirhaj

Friday 25 September 2009


Translated by: Sussan Tahmasebi

Depressed and sad I left the house. I wasn’t feeling well and started to aimlessly roam the streets in an effort to console myself. All of a sudden I heard the cries of a woman, who was screaming: “Thief! Thief!”

I went toward her, and noticed that a large crowd had gathered around her. In a loud voice I asked: “what’s happened?”

The young woman seemed stressed and her face had turned white. She was tightly clutching the hand of a relatively young man. “I saw this man while he was breaking the window of a parked car on the street, and the minute I started screaming, he started to run away. So, I chased after him,” the woman said.

Two muscular men came out of the crowd that had gathered around the heroin, and began cursing at the man. The veins in their neck were bulging as they charged toward him, and started beating him. The young woman kept screaming: “don’t beat him, please don’t beat him, just call the police!”

The crowd of onlookers grew larger by the minute. The two men had taken custody of the thief, but fortunately they had stopped beating him. From among the crowd whispers of applause and admiration for the heroin’s courage could be heard. “Bravo to this lioness. Women are more capable than men,” some of the onlookers commented. One man turned to me and said: “She is so courageous.”

Another young man said: “it’s only women who take action.”

After about fifteen minutes, the excitement of the crowd had died down and all were waiting for the police to arrive on the scene. The crowd was engaged in different discussions. Some of the men were talking about the “island of women” one of them even spoke a bit about the One Million Signatures Campaign. I thought of the petition forms, which I always carry in my purse. Happy and excited, I reached into my handbag. “Words of encouragement alone and calling women brave are of no use. If you are truly serious about you are saying then you will sign these petitions,” I said the crowd.

The crowd of onlookers grew silent and everyone turned to me with a perplexed look. I took advantage of the opportunity and approached the heroin, who was speaking on her mobile phone. When she finished her conversation, I provided a short explanation about the Campaign and handed her the petition. She gave me a friendly look and said: “of course, I will sign.” Smiling she asked for a pen, which one of the men provided gladly.

After she signed the petition form, the crowd began talking, and asking questions. Each of the onlookers had something to ask. I tried to answer all their questions. After a few minutes and to my complete disbelief, they all started signing. Signature after signature filled the forms.

Unfortunately I only had two forms with me and they were signed quickly. I didn’t wait around to find out about the destiny of the ill-fated thief. Delighted, happy and determined I started toward my home. My spirit had taken a full turn for the better. Just two hours earlier I had left the house feeling depressed and annoyed. Not only was I no longer annoyed, but I felt happy and enthused. Even the car fumes and the pollution in the air didn’t bother me on my way back home. I felt filled with joy and a thirst for life. “Even if the collection of one million signatures has no other result, the act will serve as a cure for depression,” I told myself.

Read the original in Farsi

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