Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the court, to the second part of the interview, where we’re still investigating the case of Kave Noori. I hope that coffee break gave you an energy boost and now you are all ready for the next turn of questions!
MARIA: There was also one mention about human rights before: what ignited a desire in you to deepen this area and advocate for them? Sweden seems to be very aware and looking forward to increasing equality in the society - could HoH person struggle with anything in this country? Would you have been that interested in human rights if you didn't meet the HoH/Deaf community?
KAVE: I was exposed early on to discussions about equality and politics through my mom. When I was a kid, she would take me with her when going to her friend’s radio station for exile Iranians all discussing politics, to a philosophy class, etc. She was very involved in equality talks and then when Sweden had a general election, we had to gather information about different parties. I was already familiar with and felt at home with political words. I was 10 or 11 and I wanted to join a political youth club. The club told me I was too young. So. I returned during the next election (when I was 14). I guess it started with inheriting ideas of gender equality from my mom and feeling comfortable in those types of talks.
When I started being politically active at a relatively young age, I felt that I was not understood by my classmates. As a result, I didn’t feel that I fit in and had much in common with them and vice versa, I don't think they perceived me as very fun to talk to either. It resulted in me feeling akward and not fitting in.
Through the sign language experience, I came to understand the situation for deaf and HoH. One of my sign language teachers shared with me that because TV programs were not captioned, she could not explain things on TV that her child was asking about. I was deeply bothered by how she told us that she felt she could not be the good mother she wanted to be. It is this experience that laid the foundation for me wanting to work for the rights of HoH and people with disabilities.
How I became more active was after graduating from secondary school where I wanted to meet people who sign. But then I was dragged into UH and trying to use my knowledge about the political system to try to help further our aims.
Furthermore, your mom seems to be very active in the field of politics, not everyone can forward such an interest to the child! Could you tell me more about the radio station for exile Iranians? How does it work?
So, this radio station is named Hambastegi, it means radio solidarity. It's like a local radio station here in Stockholm and they are basically trying to explain things and call on experts for an interview on the matter being discussed. So, they're really trying to do it in a professional manner, but I think it's still on their free time. I think they broadcast maybe six hours every Saturday and the main goal is to bring up news and try to promote the discussion based on left ideas and feminism. There is a really strong emphasis on having a dialogue with the listeners.
I think I agree with you, there shall be a dialogue between experts and the public-both in law or in radio station. In general, you seem to do a lot in order to reach your biggest dream. What are you studying?
I have studied public law (laws on the relation between individuals and the government).
But I'd describe myself a bit like a ping-pong ball trying to combine my own way of getting into legal research. I’m jumping between two programs to tailor my education to what I want to study and what I think is needed from me.
The Swedish legal education is still traditional in that it is very focused on making you fit into becoming a lawyer or judge. We haven't adapted our legal education yet, like the Netherlands or in the U.S. We do not for example have specialized master programs like this one: https://masters.vu.nl/en/programmes/international-technology-law/index.aspx
I think I'm better equipped if I specialize in technology law and also study some technical courses. So, I'm trying to find my own way within this traditional system to find something that will allow me to become an expert in tech-law from a public law perspective. I clearly know that I want to research public law and specifically the government’s responsibility to protect fundamental human rights in through the lens of data protection and anti-discrimination.
If you had to identify yourself when it comes to nationality, which nationality would you choose?
When it comes to nationality, none actually. I am definitely more Swedish, that's for sure. I'm sad because if I go to Iran, people will immediately realize that I'm not Iranian, both because of the way I talk and behave. I have very little knowledge of Persian culture to that extent. When I'm Swede, I don't look Swedish and I guess I really resonate with the Iranian culture. People are more warm and closer to each other than Swedes, who are cold.
So, you can combine it by taking different things from different cultures. Therefore, be a citizen of the world.
Yeah, I would definitely agree, but not all parts of the world! But yes, I do feel very international because I’ve shared with you before that I lived in the U.S. when I was a kid for one year. But, still-I feel established in Sweden in the sense that I really know the system. Sweden is a good country and I like many things in this society. But I also really admire other countries. I like to explore what I don't know and learn languages that I don't know yet.
I have heard you speaking in several languages... you even create new words, like “do zapachnienia” (smell you later) 😀 😀 😀 What else do you hide in Kave's Surprise Sack?
Once upon a time I was juggling with fire…
Were you doing it professionally or were doing it on your own?
I was doing it for fun, but I actually performed a few times at school as a member of a specific organization that I joined in high school.
How do you juggle with fire and not get burned?
You practice with plastic things before and then you always need to have a fire blanket nearby. You also need to always have cotton clothes on and a friend who knows these things, who knows how to put out the fire if something happens because it is a bit dangerous. The chain can get stuck on your arm or something. So, you have to be really, really careful and also not to try things for the first time with fire. Always practice without fire first.
What exactly does this thing that is burning look like?
You have the chain and it’s in the end of chain, with the head. It's made out of Kevlar and you dip it in lamp oil. Then you burn it, set the fire. So basically, it’s like a chain with a specific candle, you know. It’s a kind of alternative art. By the way, as I told you, I was in this association of people juggling with fire, and whenever we went out performing, we were insured. One condition in the insurance policy that the association had with an insurerance company was if your member died in a nuclear reaction, their family would get life insurance.
For God’s sake, why?! Do you have any nuclear reactors closeby?!
It’s the most exciting insurance scheme I've ever been under! But I guess we don’t have nuclear reactors here. Who knows, maybe?
Ok, you don’t have nuclear reactors in Stockholm, but rumor has said that there is something as dangerous as that: fermented herrings?....
Yes, that's true, in the north of Sweden. They have a certain, traditional way of conserving herring. It stinks like hell from afar!. I've actually never been able to try it myself. But, I once tried to trick an exchange student, telling her she will never become a real Swede unless she eats it. In the end, it didn’t work out /laughter/.
Maybe that’s for the better, knowing something from my experience… did you know that it’s even forbidden to carry it on an airplane? It’s not allowed, because if something like that were to explode on board, then a pilot would be busy puking around instead of piloting the plane.
Yeah! They could use it as a biological weapon against terrorists, to neutralize them!!! Speaking of herring… I have to tell you another story, when a bird was trying to steal my herring. I was in the Netherlands just before the Summercamp. I must add it was Dutch herring, different in the sense that Dutch is raw whereas the Swedish one is conserved. There was a place where you could buy fresh herring, served in a white bowl and some onion on it. My friend Gertie gave this to me, and I was just looking at it. I was like, can I really eat this? It’s a raw, raw fish! So, I was thinking for maybe 10 seconds where suddenly something jumped – like it was about to steal it - I was being attacked by a big seagull! It was just about to snatch it from me, I ran maybe five steps and then I was like, okay, I’m gonna eat it before the seagull does - and ate this fish. If it wasn't for that seagull, I would have been too scared that I wouldn't have eaten it at all. Yes, I'm very thankful for being attacked /laughter/.
We all should meet a seagull who can motivate us to do something that we were afraid of before, and do it successfully /laughter/
Yes, I totally agree with you. It's just like, you know, I'm afraid of heights. For me, it's scary to jump from three meters into the water. But then how was I able to jump from an airplane with a parachute?
Well, so in 2014, I was supposed to be toastmaster at the wedding of a friend. The idea was that I would jump with the couple who were gonna get married.
Why were they trying to kill themselves shortly after their wedding?
It was even before, like, one or two weeks before wedding!
They really didn’t want the wedding to happen, did they?
No, exactly! So, what happened was… I'm very scared of heights, but I was just thinking that I will deal with that problem when the time comes. So, every time my brain was sort of reflecting on the fact that it's going to be high jump, I was like, ‘No, don't think about it now, think about it later.’ I also thought this way when we were on the plane, in the suit and everything! We sat in the airplane and I was pretty calm, then we were like eight hundred meters up in the air, I looked down outside the window and I turn back to my instructor (it was a tandem jump, you’re attached to somebody), said to this guy, ‘You know that my life is in your hands now?!’ and he was like, ‘Yes, I know how to handle it, you just enjoy the view.’ My friend was talking to me and I didn’t even know what he was saying! When we got to the height, I told them, ‘I don’t know if I want to jump,’ and this guy replied ‘NO, the airplane has to be empty when it goes down!’ And then we jumped! At first, I was so scared that I didn’t even dare to put my hands out, so he had to take out the parachute. After he took the parachute, I suddenly was like, ‘Yeeeeah! It was so fun!’ I literally had an adrenaline kick that lasted for three days and could feel this rush of happiness in my body!
The Judge concludes after Kave’s trial that it seems the most important part here is to do something in spite of fear, to try different things; the award for that is the happiness! Of course, we sometimes also need some outer motivations, like angry seagulls or instructors kicking us out of airplanes… 😉