Too late. He became a victim of a criminal war
By Goudarz Eghtedari
April 4, 2003
It was one of those 300 rainy days a year in Seattle and a bunch of people had
congregated under the roof in front of the Central Public Library Building. Waiting
for my bus, I joined them. While I was looking around my eyes zoomed in on a book
on a table where out-of-commission books were sold. On the pinkish cover it said
"Land and People of Iran". After digging my pocket for a buck, I picked
it up and browsed through it.
A few minutes later I was making myself comfortable in my seat on the journey
to Northgate, and again I opened the book. Soon after the first chapter I noticed
the handwriting of a child next to calligraphy by an artist, supposedly to compare
different Persian script. The child had written, "My name is Kaveh Golestan,
I am in the fifth class at school. Our home is in Golhak near Tehran, and I go to
school in Tehran every morning. "
It was a travel book written by a John Shearman and published in 1962, with pictures
taken by Liz Shearman. Such a strange story:
I knew Kaveh Golestan was a renowned photographer. I remembered his work during
the revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, and his Halabjeh pictures, which brought him
the Pulitzer Award. I thought he might not know about this book and that it would
be nice to get it to him. Unwanted exile did not allow me to search for him myself,
and friends inside the country did not help either. I was not sure whether he was
still in Iran or had immigrated like the rest of us.
Years have passed since that rainy day, and the old book is eleven years older
and sits in my library next to Kasrayian s Iran, our Homeland , but I have had no
luck in finding Golestan.
Today I had not yet fixed my headphones when I heard the short news item; Kaveh
Golestan was killed by a land-mine explosion in Iraqi Kurdistan on a mission for
For me, who knew him just through his handwriting in an old book, the mission
was complete. I had found him along thousands of other innocents who were killed
by perfect but not so smart weaponry, next to Karem Mohammed, who was weeping over
the bodies of his six children, two brothers, parents, and his wife on the first
page of the Oregonian, my local newspaper.
I shed tears as if I had lost my own brother -- just like me Golestan had a teenage
child. I so wish for an end to this criminal war and for peace to all the civilians
who die in it.
Goudarz Eghtedari hosts the "Voices
of the Middle East" on KBOO 90.7 fm in Portland, Oregon, every second
Thursday from 6-7 pm. Program webcasts on www.kboo.fm.