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Majid Naficy: A Witness for Ezzat

For the 40th anniversary of Ezzat’s execution


The victors write history
But the witnesses arrive
With their piercing eyes
Which have seen everything.

I want to know what happened
On January 7, 1982
Half past one in the afternoon
In Evin Prison
Ward 246
Room #6
When Raheleh, the Islamic guard
“Ezzat Tabaian with all of her belongings!
Ezzat Tabaian with all of her belongings!”

Ezzat took her empty bag
And stood at the door of the room.
She wore the same checkered shirt
Which she had at the dawn of September 19, 1981 
When she left me alone in bed
To go for a meeting
And then never returned.

Thirty weeping women circled around her
And sang with Parvin:
“Tonight I have a passion…”
Then Ezzat said:
“You sang your song
And shed your tears.
Could you now for my sake
Sing the “Whiz Whiz” Rhyme?”

Tears mingled with smiles.
They all clapped
And sang the “Bad Kid” Rhyme
Which starts with this stanza:
“One day I saw a kid
And was stunned on the spot.
She gulped down a bowl of soup:
Gulp, gulp”
And ended with this stanza:
“One night I woke suddenly
I saw a camel but was not scared
Yet it rained in my bed:
Whiz, whiz.”
Then the cellmates walked with the “bad kid”
To the door of the ward
And she went toward the field of her execution.

At seven o’clock in the evening
A barrage of bullets was heard
From the hills behind the Prison
Like the dropping of a load of iron.
Then the cellmates in the emptyness of their room
Counted the number of single shots
Which exceeded fifty.
They sobbed loudly.

My good Ezzat!
Get up! Get up!
Get up from the Cemetery of the Infidels!
A witness has arrived
Mitra, the Blue-Eyed,
Who carries your last gazes and words,
Kisses and steps
Like a jug of honey
On her shoulder.
Get up! Get up!
The witnesses write history.
The victors, no! 
The witnesses write history.

Copyright 2022 Majid Naficy.

Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son (Red Hen 2003).

Ezzat Tabaian

2 comments on “Majid Naficy: A Witness for Ezzat

  1. Barbara Huntington
    February 1, 2022

    And it goes on and on. When will they ever learn. We cry snd then cry again

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rose Mary Boehm
    February 1, 2022

    Just heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

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