Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lullaby, Story Based on Farzad Kamangar's letters from prison, published by Novel Right

Read a chapter from Ava Homa's, Novel Rights new eStroy "Lullay" inspired by Farzad Kamangar letters from prison, a 32-year-old Kurdish teacher, poet, journalist, human rights activist and social worker from the city of Kamyaran, Iran. He was executed with 4 other prisoners, four Kurds – Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Holi - along with Mehdi Eslamian. They were hanged on Sunday, 9 May at Evin prison in Tehran.

HERE


Lullaby/Ava Homa

lullaby cover
“The call rings out. I tell myself the students are still learning, in secret, the history of the Kurds. The call for prayer echoes through Evin Prison. It turns me cold with fear.
Footsteps! I know the sound of those heavy boots. I know them well. My pen falls down from my bed and I curl into a ball, shrinking with fear. The pain in my head and face, legs and back, stomach and ribs becomes much sharper. Clutching at the pillow does not stop me from shaking. The footsteps stop before they reach my ward. “Hands up,” I think, and almost say it out loud.
“Hands up,” the old guard says.
I know what they are doing in the other cell. The blindfold, the click of the handcuffs, and the guards take Ali out, pushing and kicking him.
I toss and turn and follow them in my head as Ali is taken downstairs, dragged nineteen steps to the right, down nineteen stairs and delivered to the interrogators. Under his blindfold, Ali will count the pairs of shoes in the room: four, six, eight . . . black, formal shoes that are thick with blood, polished by blood. The whipping will start soon after the curses. If the man they call “Mongrel” is there, the interrogation will last longer and be much more painful. Every Kurd knows that man’s strange voice, an unusual mixture of high and low. In his vocabulary, “fucking murdering savages” means “Kurds.” It is rumoured that Mongrel’s brother had been killed in Kurdistan thirty years ago during one of the uprisings. Five, six whiplashes and Ali will think about concentration camps, pyramids, the Great Wall of China, but he will not feel the whipping anymore. I hope.
The number of cracks on the wall is three hundred and five today. I sneak a pen out from under my mattress and take some paper, folded four times, out from my underwear. “My dear students,” I write, lying on my left on a stinking army blanket. “All I have been able to do for you is to secretly teach you our Kurdish alphabet, our literature and our history. Please, children, remember your heritage and pass it on. Dear little ones, never allow this knowledge to steal from you the joy of childhood. May you keep the joy of youth in your minds forever. It may be the one and only investment you can use later when the agony of earning the ‘bread and butter’ dominates you, my sons, and the sin of being ‘the second sex’ overpowers you, my daughters. When you are picking flowers in the valleys to make crowns for your children, tell them about the purity and happiness of childhood. Remember not to turn your backs on your dreams, loves, music, poetry and Kurdistan’s magical nature. Get together, sing the songs and recite the poetry as we used to do.”
***
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special sale
By Buying “Lullaby” Novel Rights ePUB Short Stroy written by Ava Homa, You will help us to create more HRL (Human Rights Literature) short stories and produce many more events around the globe promoting literature that supports human rights values.
lullaby cover
Can you hear it?  That is the sound of the secret history of the Kurds.
It sounds just like a lullaby passing through cracks in concrete walls. 
Farzad Kamangar, a village teacher labelled terrorist, counts those cracks, argues innocence and shares the hopeful sweetness of home made chocolates with his fellow prisoners.  
“Under ropes, the chocolates melt in our mouths...”and we, the readers hear through the cracks. 
Hear it here: the lullaby of legendary Farzad Kamangar. 
by Ava Homa
ava homaAva Homa is the author of Echoes from the Other Land, which was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and placed 6th in the Top Ten CBC Reader’s Choice Contest for the Giller Prize.
Her work has appeared in The Literary Review of Canada, Toronto Quarterly, Windsor Review, the Toronto Star and Rabble. Her collection has a running theme of resistance by modern Iranian women. The stories are told on a universal scale, depicting human endurance, desire and passion.
Ava Homa is a columnist for Bas Newspaper, teaches Creative Writing and English at George Brown College in Toronto and a is member of PEN Canada.
Ava exiled from Kurdistan-Iran in 2007 leaving her family and friends behind her.
She is among the few Kurdish female authors who write about the Kurdish community, Human Rights abused and history.
Purchase Now! Click Here (Or on the paypal icon) 
A SPECIAL SALE FOR THE MEMORIAL DAY OF
FRAZAD KAMANGAR
Cover Illustration “Lullaby”: Tamar Levi; Graphic Design: Hagit Schechter
© All Rights Reserved to Novel Rights

Ava Homa, Author’s Note/ “Lullaby”

ava homa
May 9, 2010 was going to be a happy day: I had time to write another cover letter for yet another job that was not my forte, not being an author, before I dressed up for a party, to be ready to be picked up by my fiancé…
It was Radio Farda that announced Farzad Kamangar  and four other Kurds were charged with “Animosity with God and terrorism” and hanged without warning
My tears had no reason to roll down since I did not know any of these people and they were neither the first, nor the last Kurds executed by the Iranian government. But tears don’t look for reasons and I surrendered to hours of non-stop sobs that smudged the words I’d been writing.
Resolving not to ruin my fiancé’s evening, I showered and put on a smile. But a “What’s wrong?” coming from a person that knew me so well was enough to smear my mascara and stain his new shirt. He was not the first person to warn me that my unusual empathies had turned into a curse. But what was I to do?
What are you and I to do when we don’t want to turn a blind eye to the atrocities happening around the world? Embittered by the writing industry that I’d experienced before, I had put aside my abilities as a writer and now, with the news from the radio I wondered even how to read. How are we to read the bitter narrative of this world? Is what happened to this Farzad and many others, part of a bigger narrative that can provide context and offer meaning? Justification? In a world of contradictions, the sublime and the hideous, how are we to face the complications, adapt, and yet again recover the eagerness to push on towards creating a better place?
Art and literature.
The artist and writer disrobes the fully-dolled-up-world, cultivates our senses by exposing the magnificence and the repugnant, humanizes the “other” and encourages us to reflect, to negate the negative, and finally art fuels us to stay humane, to become humane.
That day I picked up my pen again and have never put it down since.
Ava Homa
special sale
Ava Homa is the author of Echoes from the Other Land, which was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and placed 6th in the Top Ten CBC Reader’s Choice Contest for the Giller Prize.
Her work has appeared in The Literary Review of Canada, Toronto Quarterly, Windsor Review, the Toronto Star and Rabble. Her collection has a running theme of resistance by modern Iranian women. The stories are told on a universal scale, depicting human endurance, desire and passion.
Ava Homa is a columnist for Bas Newspaper, teaches Creative Writing and English at George Brown College in Toronto and a is member of PEN Canada.
Ava exiled from Kurdistan-Iran in 2007 leaving her family and friends behind her.
She is among the few Kurdish female authors who write about the Kurdish community, Human Rights abused and history.

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