I wanted to write an article about my best New Years ever; to tell everyone about getting back in touch with my culture and identity. I saw my nieces as excited as I was at their age – overwhelmed at the prospect of being rich from all the New Years money we were guaranteed to receive. But then I heard and the last ounce of my innocence had been stolen.
I never had a Christmas, nor any other holiday that gave me joy and presents – all I ever had was Persian New Year. A second chance to make new resolutions, to make up for the ones I would have already broken by March. The one holiday I could relate to other children about at school.
This year it was taken away.
I can’t look back at my sister listening to bad Persian pop music or recall how happy the children were. I don’t reflect on how hilariously the fish was cooked at my Mum’s house. Now, all I can think about is how someone was murdered in front of her children. How the community I constantly trivialized, has been shattered with unexpected horror and grief.
My parents brought me here for the educational advantages. I was grateful for the freedom and peace. This year and every one to come, I will remember bitterly how that was taken away.
Abuse is never love. Violence does not cure any soul. May her soul rest in eternal peace. May she be remembered as a hero, who fought for freedom not only for herself, but for her children. Let there come a day when this will never happen again, so that we can have a happy New Year.
My deepest condolences to the family and the Persian and Afghan communities. May we find a world of peace, where fear has no power to hurt us any more.