Friday, July 25, 2014

No one Ages in Magadan

The introduction of the worldwide web and particularly in the past 10 years development of several different webpages has helped to improve the knowledge and broadcast the news which without them was very hard if not impossible.
One story that I recently ran to was about an Iranian guy who had recently died in Toronto and had an amazing life story: A survivor of Soviet Labour Camps or Gulag. It's interesting how he ended up in Toronto; it was not a pleasant life though.After all we should not forget that Canada is the trash-bin of the world! Whatever cannot be tolerated at any corner of the globe, would be dumped to this toilet, called Canada. No offence to anyone. 
Anyways Dr. Ata Safavai left Iran at age 20 or so, for his dream of Soviet Union. The land which was supposed to offer free education, work, free health services and a society based on no class. It was 1947 shortly after the WWII when Stalin was so proud of defeating the Nazi Germany and wanted to show the world how great the Soviet Union was.

The Doc. and two of his buddies, all supporters of Iran Tudeh Party, a traitor group which was later on, after the Islamic Revolution destroyed and its leaders were prosecuted and sentenced to long-time imprisonment, crossed to the Soviet Union where today is Turkmenistan. They immediately were arrested by the border guards. Their first offence, that they were accused of, was unlawful entrance to the country. That shattered their dreams. They were sent to a brick factory near Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Late Dr. Ata in his interview said that he had to throw 6000 bricks in a day to get his 500 g. bread portion! Nevertheless he survived the harsh work and I guess spent there for 3 years or so. He then was prosecuted again and got accused of spying for the US and Iran! This time the sentence was heavy: He was sentenced to work in Gulag for the rest of his life. 
In his interview, Dr. Safavi says that he then wrote a letter to Stalin and his sentence was reduced to 10 years!! I find it very hard to believe. What has happened there will remain a great secret but he then was shipped to this small Siberian town of Magadan where he had to work in a coal mine. Magadan is a town a little more than 5000 km north of the Russian port of Vladivostok, the place that I always wanted to visit and will one day. 
Working and living condition was harsh there but he survives that too and after death of Stalin he is forgiven and released. He decides to use this opportunity and pursue his dream of becoming a physician. So he goes to Tajikistan a former Soviet Union republic which is an independent state now, studies and becomes a physician. He practises medicine there for years and even gets married to a Russian girl and for a reason which is not said he decides to go back home! 
He finally returns home after a little more than 40 years and starts a career in the capital of the country but finds it hard to get along with his fellow Iranian colleagues! he accuses them of not letting him do his job, making obstacles on his way and not trusting him. He finally decides to go to Canada and spend his retirement years in there. Considering Canadian authorities are so naive to accept any bullshit story people make up and also him being a physician, although very old, I'm not surprised that he is allowed to enter the country and live in here.
In the clip which is available in Youtube, it is shown that the interviewer goes to this apartment building in a dark, gloomy and cold day of Toronto and enters the small apartment of the Dr. and interviews him. Considering what the Dr. had been through, living a 1970s apartment building in Toronto should not be a very bad option for him. Seemed that years of work as a physician had not brought much wealth to the life of poor guy to make him able to rent a nice place in a better neighbourhood. His memory is fantastic during the interview and he speaks of what has happened to him with such excitement and enthusiasm. That's what I like about the guy. Dr. Safavi finally died in 2012. 
(Photo: It is said that millions from different nations were forced to work in Labour Camps in former Soviet Union, during Stalin era and many didn't survive. Here labourers are pulling and pushing wheelbarrow-like carts in apparently a sort of mine) 

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