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Haleh Anvari

On the road from Chadornama, Iran, 2005

Chromogenic print 90/135 cm

Courtesy of Katherine and Bill Gilmour, UK

MAGIC SUITCASE

Shahnaz A’lami

I took with me a suitcase,

light, very light, Two or three sets of baby

clothes, A white georgette dress, An indistinct

photograph of my mother, wearing a

headdress, And a complete list of traditional

things for the Noe-Rooz's celebrations, Lest a

single thing should be forgotten; These were

what I had, or rather, people thought I had, in

my suitcase With which I left the land of the

generous sun. …Now it has been almost a

lifetime That from inside the same suitcase I

have been taking out anything I want:

Wonderful springs of Isfahan And its

exhilarating groves in the outskirts; The

colourful autumn of Shiraz And the fragrance

of its orange trees; The ancient ruins of

Persepolis; The Baghestan Mountain with its

historical inscriptions; The Palace of Princess

Shirin; The poor village of Cham in Na'in; The

tattered dress of Fatima, a peasant little girl,

And a flock of other children like her, Who are

all in the same suitcase.