Laura Secor at Alphabet City

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By Ed Skirtich

Iran’s struggles were highlighted in the Freedom of Speech Series during the opening night lecture by Laura Secor at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., on October 12th.

She spent most of the lecture talking about her new book “Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran,” which talks about the tragedies that have happened to people of Iran who spoke out, but were not listened to. Secor said they received imprisonment or execution for creating expressive writing.

“Storytellers have no happy ending,” Secor told the audience.

Secor mentioned how older citizens in Iran never wanted change, and said how Iran’s older population never supported the youth who wanted changes in Iran. But Secor told the audience that there should be more open talks from around the world with Iran.

“Encourage and invite dialogue with Iran,” Secor said with how the country needs to develop relationships with other countries around the world.

Secor talked about how she wasn’t just an observer, but how it changed her own orientation on life.

“People really want to connect,” she said about Iran and the world surrounding it.

During Secor’s discussion talks need to happen because she believes Iran the most interesting place on the planet. Secor suggested how people need to reach out and discuss how Iran could be a better place.

“The life stories, the epic novels,” Secor said about the narratives of people from Iran in “Children of Paradise.”

“Intimate, historical, and abstract poetry,” Secor said.

Then Secor mentioned the dream of Iranian citizens.

“Independent writers were idealistic people,” Secor said.

Unfortunately, she said they received imprisonment. But in Iran’s philosophy, Secor said they separated the human from religion. It was hard for Secor to write her story about Iran.

“It was tough to navigate writing,” she said. “It was painful, complex.”

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