kocomoko’s #CBR5 Review #09: Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil

paradiseI like comics. This one is not your every day comic book. It is 2009, Tehran, Iran. A mother looks for her son, her son who attend a protest the day before and hasn’t come home. They do not say what the protests were about, but it becomes clear eventually that they were probably protesting the oppression of the Iranian regime.

The mother and her other son begin their search with first, physically searching for him at the protest site, then to the nearest jail, the emergency room & hospital, mortuary and grave yard administration. Each becomes a more desperate search and they also create missing person flyers. They eventually begin a process of networking with officials to get insider information, sifted with some bribes. They know the man is alive from accounts of other men who had been arrested with him, but the cruel torture & intimidation tactics are communicated but not put to ease. They eventually fall into hacking the administration system to get information and are left with only pain, sorrow and hatred.

What they portrayed in this book really happens. People disappear for no logical reason, they are murdered and the murder is covered up. Elections are rigged, Islam is used to bully the nation into being submissive. There public hangings by crane. The back of the book is compiled with 16,901 names of individuals of those who have been murdered since the establishment of the Islamic Republics of Iran. This book was just the tip of the iceberg in understanding an oppressive regime. Despite the ego and pomp, I appreciate America and for my freedom, a value not possessed by many countries out there.

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