Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Post #89 - Natanz, continued

Dave Robinson concludes his piece on Natanz by asking a question:

"So where does this all leave Noora and the other young women of Alame Majlesi? Their future is a stark question mark. If the U.S. succeeds in gaining more international economic sanctions against Iran, they will surely exacerbate the impact on the already weakened Iranian economy, further cutting off job opportunities, perhaps cutting back on Alame Majlesi’s ability to maintain its current services (they were the first such home for abused teenagers in Iran 10 years ago) and probably even strengthen the conservative Iranian regime and precipitate a backlash of ultra-conservatism that will additionally marginalize women in the Islamic state. If the U.S. mounts a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, Alame Majlesi and the young women it serves will be vaporized in a millisecond."

For the victim of a nuclear attack, being vaporized might well be the fate to wish for. Here is a passage from the Hiroshima Diary of a survivor, Dr. Michihiko Hachiya:

"Updrafts became so violent that sheets of zinc roofing were hurled aloft...Disposing of the dead was a minor problem, but to clean the rooms and corridors of urine, feces and vomitus was impossible...The sight of them was most unbearable. Their faces and hands were burnt and swollen...their flesh was wet and mushy...their ears had melted off...I saw fire reservoirs filled to the brim with dead people who looked as though they had been burned alive...none of the patients had any appetite and were dying so fast I had begun to accept death as a matter of course...bloody diarrhea was increasing...sanitation teams were cremating the remains of people who had been killed. Looking out, I could discern numerous fires about the city...The bundle [of supplies] he returned with was no bigger than the tears of a sparrow...White clips of blistered paint and mortar settled over us like falling cherry blossoms...What a dismal view...the shabby figure of a dog trudging along with his hips bent, tail down, and hair gone."

One of our stops in Natanz was at a small pottery shop where I bought an inexpensive vase. It was later pointed out to me that on it, in stylized Persian calligraphy, were words from a poem of Hafez: “My heart tells me that someone like Jesus – with the breath of life – is coming my way.” Hafez, if writing today, might perceive that someone else -- with the breath of death, not life -- is heading that way.

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