Nasrin Parvaz – My Red Father

Profile Nasrin Parvaz LE Poetry & Writing September 2017

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My Red Father, poems by Nasrin Parvaz

Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. In 1993, she fled to England. Her prison memoir is being crowdfunded by Unbound publisher.  Nasrin’s stories, poems, articles and translations appeared in Exiled Writers Ink; Modern Poetry in Translation series; Write to be Counted, Resistance Anthology 2017; Words And Women 2017; 100 poems for human rights 2009; Hafiz, Goethe and the Gingko 2015; Over Land, Over Sea, Poems for those seeking refuge 2015; A novel, Temptation, based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008.                

You and me

My hands tied, I had been hanging
from the ceiling for Eternity
my dangling feet just above the floor
night finally came and the guards left.

Bloodied and bruised, but not tied up
you crawled towards me
and lay down, beneath me
taking the weight of my body on yours
my feet rested on you all that long night.

Where are you now?
Are you alive somewhere?

My Red Father

It was the day
after my fifth birthday
mummy went out to the shops
and daddy started telling me a story.

There was a hard knock
on the front door
daddy went to open it
I heard rapid bangs and a big thump.

I ran to daddy
he was in a red heap by the door
a man stood over him with a gun
I think he looked at me
and walked away
into the weekend afternoon.

Your watch

They gave us back
your clothes, your
final letter and your watch.
It showed
the time they took you
to be shot
ten past nine, September 10th, 1988.

So we can never forget
even if we wanted to
which we don’t.

One Woman’s Struggle In Iran; A Prison Memoir

One woman’s struggle in Iran is the story of my imprisonment for eight years by the Islamic government of Iran.

In 1979, at the age of 20, I returned from England, where I had been studying. I became a member of a socialist party fighting for a non-Islamic state in which women had the same rights as men. In 1982, while waiting to meet a fellow comrade, I was exposed and arrested by the regime’s secret police. In prison, under torture, I refused to reveal my contacts’ names and addresses.

In prison I was brutally and systematically tortured, threatened with execution, starved and forced to live in appalling, horribly overcrowded conditions. Many of my fellow prisoners were executed; some were driven insane by torture and what we had to endure. Others repented their political beliefs only to find they remained in prison for years before their release. I became seriously ill, and was only saved from dying by the help of a fellow prisoner who was a doctor.

Although I was imprisoned and in the hands of my enemies, they could not arrest my resistance, and neither could torture vanquish my struggle. In resisting the Islamic regime, I was not alone, all the other men and women, imprisoned like me, we were all part of the ultimate victory of humanity.

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