I write this with a hopeful, yet heavy heart. To see Iran play in this year’s World Cup was nothing short of breathtaking. Iranians waited 8 long years to be here again, and just as it was then, I was overjoyed watching Team Melli play. It was a memorable tournament, and despite being close to a heat attack a few times and losing my voice, I was proud to be Iranian.
She was unlike anything I had ever seen. I will never forget how it felt like to be swallowed in her presence as she welcomed me with open arms. Her grandness made me feel small. I breathed in as much of her familiar scent as I could take in. She looked magnificent; tall and proud, she gazed down at me, the corners of her mouth curling into a pleasant smile. She held my childhood in her hands and my fate in her heart.
2013 was a witness to many historic moments. The young and courageous Malala re-defined education and freedom for the world, reminding us that learning is in fact a privilege, and one that we at times take for granted. The people of Egypt, who, after ousting Mubarak in the second revolution in two years, reminded us that the path to democracy is long and perhaps bloody, but most definitely worthwhile.
A good friend of mine and I were talking a few years back about how we would love to write in a diary on a daily basis, but that we’re too forgetful (and perhaps lazy), to do so. A few weeks after that, she told me she bought a tiny notebook and that she’s going to start writing one thing that makes her smile each day.