"And when you pour into my goblet the bitter drink of death, I'll kiss the goblet full of joy, dear, and drunken I shall die." Rumi
Well here is another one: "Nearly 300 people are now known to have died in Iran when a train carrying fuel and chemicals exploded." (BBC News, 19 Feb, 2004) It was just a week ago that we were once more on the headlines because of a disaster: "An Iranian plane has crashed near Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing at least 43 people." (BBC News, 10 Feb, 2004) Not to mention less than two month ago, when we had the Bam earth quake: "Iranian officials say they now believe at least 41,000 people were killed in last month's devastating earthquake." (BBC News, 16 Jan, 2004)
Is it only me or has it occurred to you too, that Iranians, more than other nations, seem to die due to noisy incidents like earth quakes, plane crashes, train crashes, war, executions, the commercial airline being shot by Americans or the pilgrims being shot in Saudi Arabia! Some of these things do happen for other nations as well but it appears that even in those cases whenever they happen to us, the numbers exceed the normal standards.
I might be oversensitive and there definitely needs to be accurate statistics to make such claims, but somehow I think Iranian life has become very cheap. Last week I heard host Don Imus of MSNBC in the Morning show, responding to the news of Iranians killed in the airline crash, had remarked "When I hear stories like that, I think who cares," and afterwards he had only regretted the fact that they weren't Saudi Arabians. Leaving aside insensitivity of his remarks, deep inside I felt well at least literally, he has got a point, nobody really seems to care!
I mean, what do we really do about all these? We grieve and wait for another one to happen, don't we?
If we really cared about the life of each individual Iranian we would really start thinking of more effective ways to prevent such outcomes and by that I don't mean announcing three days of national mourning for each of them!