On the occasion of the 48th birthday of Nasrin Sotudeh: Delineation of an image

Mansoureh Shojaee

Translated by:Parwin Abkai

On 30th May you became 48 years old. Your birthday present was not only the news that the question of your disbarment is again under review, but also the many friends, who had gathered at the Bar Association in order to accompany you in demanding your right to your profession. You arrived there, smiling and holding your head upright.

As you smile in the pictures, you lift your hands like a child and hold them high with their handcuffs. Your mirthful eyes meet the dour gaze of the security staff. How bitter and hateful they were and how kind and lovable you were in contrast!

You placed your small handcuffed hands around Reza’s neck. Your gaze was full of love and longing, as this shy and proud man took you in his arms. You were daring in your longing and steeped in the dignity of a woman.

You lifted your handcuffs above your head and threw your arms blithely forward, to place these toys from the political world of men around his neck, pulling the man towards you, whose heart beats for the same cause as yours. The handcuffs had become a gateway of love, through which you ushered him into your world.

You adorned your pain with your love, you revealed your pain through your smile.

Your pictures today were not photographs from the prison. Your pictures were portraits of a woman in love. More than ever before, you were a woman today.

Today, on your 48th birthday, I spoke as a woman to your photograph and was full of admiration for you. As a sister I went on my knees in the forecourt of his great forbearance and of the burning desire of your gaze and sank into prayer.

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