Friday, April 15, 2005

for: Ida, Parya and Jila

I was in grade 5 that I was assigned to tutor Ida and Parya. The very smart, sociable and beautiful twins were 8 years old and had recently been banned from visiting their mother.

Ida and Parya’s mother was a camera-woman at a broadcasting agency in Tehran and after a 10 year unhappy marriage had decided to call it quits.

Their father soon married another woman and had a new-born son. As I could imagine how tough it would be to run a household of five, the step-mother had difficulty accepting the twins as her own. I occasionally saw bruising on other hands that was a sign of beating.

I never wanted to put the blame on the step-mother, but I had a hard time understanding why their own mother couldn’t have the custody of the girls. I often found them hugging each other in a corner and crying quietly. To them, nothing meant more important than being with their mom again.

I truly adored them, loved them and I tried to be there. But I was 11 and what did I know?

I could go on and on about similar stories. Like the girl who cried every time her parents dragged her to go see friends of the family and they never understood why she hated their friends’ 15 year old son! She never told what he did, because she hated herself and felt guilty and dirty.

Simin was short but she always sat in the back, trying to hide from prying eyes. I often wondered if she should even see the blackboard. She never left the classroom for lunch and often just rested her head on her hands and looked tired. Once I decided to ask. Not that she wanted to talk, but she said she was the 9th child. Her father was a cab driver and she hardly ever saw him. All of us sat in the same class for 3 years with Simin without really knowing her story. She quit school one year later.

Jila was my best friend. We hung out all the time, read books and told jokes. She came from a big family that seemed very happy to me. Jila translated and edited children books when she was 17. Jila was my best friend, if not the only one, when I was 13. That year, Jila committed suicide and no one ever told me why. I was too young to see her melting away in depression.

There may be no point talking about tragedies. But since I was 11, I always wondered if I could ever do something. Now I know I can.

Meeting the staff at the Children Aid Society has been a great experience and working with them will certainly be a privilege.

I think I am ready to pass the interview.


At 10:43 p.m., Blogger peyman said...

Does it have any reason that you have just mentioned girls and not boys? Or it is your unconscience thought that only girls are innocent?

At 10:43 p.m., Blogger peyman said...

Does it have any reason that you have just mentioned girls and not boys? Or it is your unconscience thought that only girls are innocent?

At 1:54 a.m., Blogger Bahar said...

Well I went to all girl schools until I was 18. So, it's natural that I knew a lot more girls that were close friends of mine.

At 7:04 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

I don't say that I share but I appreciate and try to understand your concern for troubled children; however, what really concerns me at this moment is how you guys, while doing whatever you do to save all those Jilas and Parias, avoid violating the privacy of families and the sanctity of households that ought to be maintained. I'm not talking about law or how its enforcement may or may not help you do what you believe is necessary to do to save a child.

I'm talking about morality and how and when you realize you've gone too far and have to back off from a troubled or damaged family.

Are you super heroes with a mission to rescue the innocent from evil? That doesn't work like that in a family mate, no matter the damage.

Where do you draw the line?

At 7:11 a.m., Blogger Jackal said...

And just asking for my knowledge, do the Children Aid Society have proper professional and trained staff and supervision or a number of child saver lunatics?!

It happened here in London; a bunch of yobs had beaten the s**t out of a paediatrician because they had took it for paedophile!!!

At 12:44 p.m., Blogger Bahar said...

I don' think it was very appropriate of you to use the rem "child saver lunatics". I take it personally.

Also, there are procedures in place. Police check and supervision. This system has worked for more than a century in Canada. I am sure they know what they are doing.


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