About letters

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I can hardly imagine the day technology could substitute the pleasure of sending and receiving letters or postcards. No secret I am a big fan of this practice, and facing the lack of adepts among my friends, I ended up joining Postcrossing (which I find a brilliant project!).

Sure Skype does a great job in connecting people, that is indisputable (Skype has in fact been my most frequent companion in the past couple of years). But I feel that the paper brings a more poetic presence of the person missed - and this has nothing to do with the writer linguistic skills. It is about the emotion of finding an envelope when coming home after a long day, those few seconds of anxiety to discover the content while tearing the envelope that feels like ages, the feeling that this piece of paper carries bits of someone and that it travelled all the way, across countries and oceans, only to bring you that message. 

I cry a river whenever I receive letters from my grandparents and my aunt Laiz, from Brazil. The letters are not sad, quite the contrary. Full of love and care, they always comfort me. Choices I have made in life have set us apart, and I miss them everyday. Today I received another letter full or art, as they always are.

with love, from Atibaia

About the day of the imprisoned writer

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Today I attended a very insightful event. The Irish PEN and Front Line Defenders co-hosted this evening to remember the day of the imprisoned writer. Writer Brian Keenan, poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and journalist Justine McCarthy read from the works of writers from different parts of the world who have been jailed because of their courage to speak out. 

Journalist Justine McCarthy
It was simple and brilliant. I was specially touched by the words of the Iranian journalist Jila Baniyaghoob, who is serving a one-year sentence for her work as a journalist and human rights defender, covering the post-elections demonstrations in Iran. Justine McCarthy read a letter written by Jila to her husband, who is also a journalist and also incarcerated.

About my first protest

Saturday, 3 November 2012

There I was, at the entrance of the Iranian embassy in Ireland, when my colleague asked: so, how do you feel in your first protest in Dublin? -  It is actually the my first protest ever! Although I have always admired those who join public demonstrations, for some reason I had never joined any myself. Yesterday we were Iranians and non-Iranians, but we all wanted the same thing - freedom for Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights defender and lawyer, winner of the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament, who has been in hunger strike since 17 October in protest for prison conditions and increasing harassment against her and her family.  
A souvenir from yesterday’s vigil for Nasrin Sotoudeh.