#Iran: Dignity or Chicken?


A nation that was supposed to be a role model for all the World – and be a messenger of peace, friendship, justice,compassion and human dignity for all the people – is , today, most worried about… Chicken.

Waking up every morning, he is worried that, God forbid, a kilo of chicken priced at 7,000 Toman has become 8,000 Toman, and this fruit of the Earth gets further away from his reach daily, and every night he goes to bed wishing for a miracle to happen so chicken becomes cheaper.

Can a Nation that spends its days and nights obsessed with poultry possess “human dignity” and be a decent role model for the people of the World? Of course the public is not so guilty, the guilty are those who have reduced the wishes and ideals of a nation to a chicken, and keeps them busy thinking from dawn to dust about such matters.

Have you seen the pictures of the poultry and meat exhibition? Have you seen how the brave and epic-making nation formed long lines – as if to break the enemy’s front – to purchase meat priced at 4,500 Toman? Interestingly, the poultry & meat exhibition was held in Tehran’s Mosalla. That’s a place for prayer, and ceremonies such as [the significant and holy] Eid el Fitr Prayer. Such a place is supposed to be the gathering place of the collective soul of a nation that has fled the chains of the material world and is on its way to salvation and redemption. A little zeal and good taste is not bad. Was there really not a more appropriate venue other than the Tehran’s Mosalla to hold this exhibition – which should fittingly have beencalled a market instead of an exhibition. Does it mean it [Mosalla] is a place where prayers can be held, book exhibitions can be held, and chicken and meat sold, too?

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Yet, a comment of one of the high officials [Iran’s Chief of Police] who said, “TV should not show chicken” was the most interesting of all. What does it mean? It means images of chicken broadcasted by state-owned media corporation of the Islamic Republic of Iran would arouse greed and avarice in the public, and since buying chicken at seven, or eight thousands [Toman per kilo] is not affordable by all, it is possible that, God forbid, a nation that was supposed to be the symbol of human dignity falls from the apex of glory to the perigee of humiliation, and sighs and whines, yearning for something barely precious. What a wise plan! All kinds of cars and other appliances which are financially out of reach of most people of this land are advertised twenty-four hours a day on TV channels and no one speaks out against it, but “chicken” must not be shown on TV, really! What if bread gets expensive? Shall we ban bread on TV too? I say how about now that the price of real estate is touching the sky, we demand State TV stop showing any house. How about all the characters in domestic films and soap operas live under a tent. This way nobody will be hurt seeing other people in houses. Moreover, poor people will also thank God because seeing their compatriots under the tent will make them believe what a comfortable life they are having. I am not joking, but believe me high price of chicken is not as troubling as these types of wise comments.

I have also heard that Gilan honored us, and a coupon is given to journalists so they can buy up to five kilos of chicken at the state subsidized price. It is as if the Iranian human has no goal or aim [in life] but chicken. However,It is not a problem. As the saying goes, this too will pass. But, talking of spirituality and dignity of humans at current conditions is laughable, and makes everyone laugh, even the chickens priced at four thousand five hundred Tomans.


Seyed Abduljawad Mousavi

This English translation from the Iran Watching blog is of an interesting blog post written by Sayed Abduljawad Mousavi originally in Farsi. He is an Iranian poet, journalist, author and cultural critic, who is politically aligned with the mainstream narrative of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is safe to assume that he is pro-Khamenei, or he would not be allowed to work as a journalist and a critic in this oppressive media environment of Iran.

He blogs in Khabaronline.ir, which is a news and commentary website close to Ali Larijani, Iran’s Parliament Speaker. His original blog post can be found here.

What is interesting about this critical post of his is the loud disappointment that he expresses as he admits the loss of high Ideals of the Islamic Revolution in the Iranian society. He does not criticize The government, The parliament,The judiciary or the leadership of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. He goes off at a ridiculous comment made by Iran’s Police chief in the most implicit manner – without even mentioning the name of the Police Commander. But, he fails to mention the widely-mocked comment of Iran’s Friday Prayers that denied the rampant poverty in Iran. Criticizing clerics by non clerics in Iran is a taboo and can cause the wrath of the clerical system — no smart person in Iran would like to do that, or they would end up in Evin prison.

In Iran Watching’s opinion, Sayed Abduljawad Mousavi belongs to a generation of revolutionaries that did not see the revolution, or even take part in the 8-year Iran-Iraq war in the 80s. A generation that somehow managed to absorb and heed the “Ideals”  of the 1979 revolution favored by Iran’s first Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. It should be very tough for him to see how his most cherished ideals are of no value for the government of Iran, or among the Iranians.

More importantly, this essay shows the gap between the worries of the ordinary people of Iran – who are trying hard to get by under the crippling sanctions – and the state-approved intellectual class of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Obviously the writers & thinkers committed to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei do not share the worries of ordinary Iranians.


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