The Audible voice of Neda

Shirzanan – Solmaz Sharif /translated by Roja Najafi: She strangely reminded me of her. It is for two weeks now that I am thinking of her. Although I remember her Persian unibrow, her not-so kind eyes, her cute face and her extraordinary power, I cannot remember her name. She was my high school classmate in the Physical Education School in Tehran. She was by far the most sports-lover in our school. Everyday she came to school from Varamin city; everyday she commuted like Neda Youssef Khani who commutes to Tehran to go to university and attend her practice sessions for the three national teams she is a member of. Like Neda my classmate was from Varamin, extraordinarily powerful and in love with wrestling.

(Story continues below)

Read in farsi


The lost Joseph in the Village*

Shirzanan – Sasan Aghaie: John Stephen Akhwari is a true symbol Olympic spirit. He was the one who finished the marathon race in the summer of 1968 Olympic in Mexico City. His name is remembered now without wining any medals on that Olympic while the names of those who won Gold or Silver is forgotten. He finished that marathon with an injured knee hours after everyone else finished it. The crowed stayed to watch him passing the finish line and his answer to a reporter who asked: Why did you do this? Was “you cannot understand.” The legend of John Stephen Akhwari can hardly repeat itself in our lives today. But wait, the coming story will be a surprise for those who are lost in their urban life and resembles the 1968 Olympic legend.

From Tehran I start my trip to a village near Varamin. This is village with cold and fresh weather, a visible sunset and a starry night. This is the Youssef Reza Village. Neda Youssef Khani, an Iranian champion, lives here.

With an open smile his father lets me in. “At first my parents were against my athletic career, but now they are my best supporters.” Neda says. What got my eyes when I entered their home were 10 colorful medals hanging from the wall.

(Story continues below)