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What is your first political memory?

Actualizado: 15 jul 2022

This should be an easy one, right? But how can you be sure? And what is 'political' anyway?

Ok, no more questions but I was way too young to remember the coup attempt in Spain in 1981. Instead, I have heard several stories of how some members of my family feared arrest and had to burn incriminating documents.

However, the first memory that I am aware of is connected with a thin and austere man, always dressed in dark colors, a black turban and a white beard that then seemed very long. He was Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian Islamic revolution that in 1979 overthrew the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Khomeini remained in power until his death in 1989 and was a regular presence in newspapers and television news.

My clearest memory is of seeing thousands of people in the streets with huge portraits of Khomeini. How was this possible? He was a terrifying presence for a child, and if he was as bad as they said why were so many people in the streets screaming his name?

This confused me enormously and it took many years before I was able to understand it.

What is your first political memory?

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