Poems of Hope and Despair
:: The Lion
:: Disaster Drill
Esther Kamkar: Once we lived in Shemiran, a small rural resort town close to the Elborz Mountains, some way from Tehran and close to one of the Shah's palaces.
I was six years old when the plane, on which my two older sisters, Parivash and Parvaneh were flying back from boarding school in England, fell into the Mediterranean Sea.
We all went to the old airport. After a long delay, Air France sent us home, saying they would contact us.
Back home, my father and sobbing mother were told the plane had lost an engine and had fallen from the sky. Our house was filled with people waiting with us - on the phone, crying, cooking, eating.
We put chairs outside the walls of the front yard and sat in vigil in the street. Suddenly, miraculously, a telegram arrived from my sister Parivash, telling us she was alive and in Turkey. She was only 14 and forgot to add that Parvaneh was also alive and well.
I still remember the day we all returned to the airport in a joyous caravan of cars, with lights on and horns honking, like a wedding party. My sisters appeared, excited, dressed like beggars in rough old clothes from the Red Cross in Turkey.
Our caravan wound its way back home again and our house was flooded with family, friends, neighbours and strangers who wanted to see these miraculous sisters with their own eyes and touch them. Over and over my sisters repeated the story of the crash landing –
swimming, the drowned, the swimmers, the island, the white cloth. the Greek ship, delivery to the Turkish coast.
:: Design by Waterman
:: Logo woodcut by Barbara Leventhal-Stern