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To Shirin Ebadi

As the Persian poet Rumi once said: Life is just as if a king had sent you to the country to carry out a specific task. You go and perform a hundred other tasks, but if you neglect the particular task you were asked to carry out, it is as though you had done nothing at all. A man comes into this world to perform a specific task, that is his purpose; if he does not do it, he will have done nothing.

To the one.
To the one who understood her task and her purpose.
To the one who looked at the road ahead and understood that it was a difficult journey.
To the one
who did not make light of those difficulties, but, on the contrary, made them manifest and visible.
To the one
who makes the lonely feel they are not alone,
who satisfies those who hunger and thirst for justice,
who makes the oppressor feel as bad as the oppressed.
To the one who always keeps her door open, her ears listening, her hands working, her feet walking.

To the one
who embodies the verses of another Persian poet, Hafez, when he says: Not even seven thousand years of joy are worth seven days of sadness.

To the one who is here tonight,
may she be one with all of us,
may her example multiply,
may she still have difficult days ahead, so that she can do whatever she needs to do, so that the next generation will not have to strive for what has already been accomplished.

And may she walk slowly,
because her pace is the pace of change,
And change, real change, always takes time.

Paulo Coelho

Copyright (c) Ada Aharoni