Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who was Omid-Reza Mir-Sayafi?

Who was Omid-Reza Mir-Sayafi? I knew him well.

He was just your average, ordinary guy. He had this one well-worn shirt that made him feel good whenever he put it on. He had this funny childhood story he loved to tell when his family got together although every one already knew it by heart. He used to beg his mother to prepare this one dish, but there was one vegetable he couldn't stand no matter how it was cooked.

He had no idea what women really want. He sometimes had simplistic opinions about complex politics. He had misunderstandings about life in other parts of the world. Not everything he believed would have been met with universal agreement, not by a long shot. Sometimes he believed his own conceptions as if they were facts.

The more time you spent getting to know him, the more you found a beautiful, sweet side. True, he also carried some deep hurts that seemed puzzling and even contrary. Some things he did were, how shall I say it, irritating. But he loved deeply. And was more loved by others than he knew.

He had a life-long passion upon which he could rhapsodize for an hour to the unsuspecting.

He had rows of days so good that he forgot that bad things don't only happen to "the other guy." In his heart of hearts, he believed he could make a difference, even if only to just one person. He trusted that even the saddest things would work out for the best. Every night, he hoped tomorrow would bring the answers to the problems of today.

How do I know so much about Omid-Reza Mir-Sayafi?

I didn't even know his name until some days ago. I know these things about him because he was human. What I wrote about him is all true. About him. About me. Re-reading it, isn't it true about you as well?

There is something, though, that sets Omid-Reza apart from you and me. He was arrested for a thought, an opinion that he wrote on his blog. For being human, you might say. While in prison, and under the worst of circumstances, he died. He was 29 years old.

No one is for sure which blog post got him arrested. It's hard to say because he didn't write a very political blog. His blog has been taken down, but his story lives on thanks to newspapers, writers, friends, bloggers worldwide and even some who must remain anonymous.

What I do know about him is very little. Mostly I know just the few facts I've read about his death. I think he speaks for himself best in this passage from one of his blog posts (translated into English), and the sad image he selected.

I learned that the salvation is not achieved by wandering through the primrose path of sticking to the dogmas and the preordained codes. But it is in having faith in the dignity, nobility and liberty of the human beings. I learned that humans are not a bunch of weak slaves or debilitated beings, but they are commanding and free agents who can create whatever they wish. I learned that I have to learn in order to set myself free. I learned to unlearn whatever I had learned earlier in my life and found my thoughts on a firm and correct base from the scratch. I learned I had been moving on the wrong track for 20 years. I learned I could be born again in any way I'd want to.

Who was Omid-Reza Mir-Sayafi? Just an ordinary guy who had his basic human rights taken away. Today I am not writing really about him so much as I am standing with the thousands of others who are imprisoned for the crime of being ordinary humans daring to speak.

Tagged: OR318


Bobbie said...


The Green Stone Woman said...

Imagine that. Better not.

Maya said...


Frances said...

the world is sometimes such a lonely uncomfortable sad place.