oratoryorphanage / accumulations



November 1978 In Tehran (by patowens)

Snowballs On Walls > It was late November 1978 in Tehran, less than one year before the hostages would be taken, and the capital city at the foot of the Elburz Mountains had just become an occupied city. British-made Scorpion tanks provided the only light as they roamed the large avenues shining their huge searchlights up at apartment buildings, condominiums and businesses gone dark because of constant sabotage to the electrical generating stations. Heavily armed soldiers were on every corner. And protests were everywhere. The Shah, who gave the nation everything it had, was now vilified to the extreme because, true to Middle Eastern (and perhaps Muslim) form, the Shah gave a little bit more to his friends and family than he did to others. Tehran was a modern city. It was truly on its way to becoming another Beirut.

But then the snowballs came. The snowballs in the picture above denote the sentiments of just about every Iranian living in Iran at the time. And those same sentiments are deeply regretted by all but the most irrational and backward-looking people today, like the government of Ahmedinejad and his merry Mullahs who have attempted to -reeducate- Iranians about their glorious Muslim revolution, to no avail. For the poor and the deeply religious, they may fall for the Mullahs game, but the educated Iranians know better.

The snowballs read: Marg bar Shah.

In Farsi, the native language of Iran, this means -Death to the Shah.- And it eventually did mean his death as, just one short year after the misguided Muslim -revolution-, the Shah died of cancer in exile in Egypt. And his nation, and its hopes and dreams, died with him.

Today, Iranian men and women will secretly tell you how much they hate Jimmy Carter for throwing the Shah under the bus back in the day, precipitating the brutal theocracy led by the half-mad Khomeini which led to the murderous Iran-Iraq war costing both sides millions of casualties in a grotesque replay of WWI trench warfare. But they were complicit in that act of treachery.

The Shah was not perfect, but he knew his people better than anyone else.

Snowballs. A childs game that grew to become a protest smeared against a wall. Only to melt, akin to the hope of a better future.


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Grafitto margbarshahOOO 8 2 10.