This time, I have taken this title from a book by Erich Fromm, which he wrote after he got back from USSR. At the heart of Fromm’s thesis is the notion that freedom is a diamagnetic force — by one pole, it compels us to escape to it, which Fromm calls positive freedom; by the other, it drives us to escape from it, a manifestation of negative freedom.
It is the story of our, Al’s and mine, escape from Iran. It is, as Erich Fromm might explain: the escape from “bad freedom to a good one”. Actually, I was asked by some dear friends to tell them about it, and here it is. I hope they would have a look at this story.
In the early 1980s, after the Islamic Republic established its power with closing down all the free activities and the free press, including the newspaper in which Al and I were working, it seemed to us that there is no chance to stay in Iran anymore. Of course, we wanted to try more and didn’t want to give up so easily. But as I mentioned lately in my earlier posts, we hadn’t the stamp on our ID papers and were not recognized in society, therefore couldn’t do any jobs to earn money. And also, I was the bad boy and one day had been arrested by the Islamic police. It took one week in jail and got a beating every day without any reason or lawsuit.
Al has, of course, given all the efforts to rescue me, and finally, with the help of one of our uncles, bribing the responsible Mullah with a notable sum, they could get me out of jail. In between, we had found out that we are both on the blacklist of the regime, and it’d be better if we could vanish immediately. We needed to get our passports, and a permission to travel or exit Iran which has costed also a few sums! After this, we had needed visas which we have got from a German friend in Iran, and we got them in the form of a business visa.
Everything looked alright, and we got the tickets and on the very day, we, with excited beating hearts, got through the transit. But the last step at the gate, the airport police got us out of the row and said we have to wait because there is something wrong with our Exit Permit. This Permission was signed by a Mullah, and we thought that everything had to be okay. But, as we’d found out later, he was arrested by another Mullah, therefore, his signature was not valid anymore! Anyway, first, they kept us in the departure hall, there came even the pilot personally and ask the police to let us get on board. But they refused it. The pilot was totally unfortunate and told us sadly that he had to fly now. And the aeroplane flew with our suitcases toward Germany. Then the police took us into a room, where we stayed for several hours.
Finally, in the late evening, the chief of the department came to us, said that he is very sorry for the circumstances, but now we are free and can go home! To ask any question was dumb, we have got our passports and went to a friend’s, we had no home anymore.
It was the beginning of our journey, which looked that failed. I was worry, not about our luggage which was rolling on the baggage conveyor belt in Düsseldorfer Flughafen, and nobody was there to pick them up. But I was concerned about another apprehend by the police. But just let to be continued. I tell you in the next part, have a safe and great weekend.