September 16th, 2012 - 06:03 PM
It was June of 2009, and the Green Movement in Iran, symbolizing reform and hope, seemed to have died in its infancy. Thanks to what was believed to be an obviously fraudulent presidential election by many Iranians, the popular reform candidate was defeated by a conservative ideologue incumbent. Many Iranians were angry and extremely disappointed and demonstrations broke out in Iran and abroad. I found out that the Persian community in Pittsburgh was going to picket in front of the University of Pittsburgh library on a Sunday in a show of solidarity with the Iranian demonstrators. For me, the secular liberal who has lived most of her life in the US, the Green Movement wasn't progressive enough to put Iran on the right track, but any sign of change, no matter how minuscule, was better than none. So I decided to join the demonstrators and to take Sapphire with me. I tied a green scarf around her neck and wore a green wind breaker myself. As I was driving to the destination, I thought it humorous that a dog, who would be shunned and looked down upon by Islam, would be demonstrating against the Islamic Republic. Of course being a female wasn't that much better, so we green-attired "bitches" drove to Oakland together. As soon as we got there, Sapphire in her protest attire was a hit . People were singing and chanting and during pauses would take turns petting Sapphire and snapping photos with her. Sapphire didn't know what the ruckus was about, but was excited, happy, and at times, a tad nervous to be there. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Americans from all walks of life (men, women, young, old, black, white) honked and waved as they drove by us and even more so when they occasionally saw Sapphire. At the end of the day as I was driving back home I looked at my little girl in the rear view mirror and saw an exhausted dog peacefully resting. I said, "Little girl, you are the one and only dog in history who stood up to the Islamic Republic." She lifted her head up, yawned, and laid it back down again as if to say, "Okay. Whatever... just get me home!"