A question I wished I asked

Samira Farahani
2 min readFeb 27, 2021


On the day I was born was, there was also the final match of the 10th FIFA World Cup, in Munich, Germany. Perhaps my mother didn’t care about soccer, she didn’t care about Germany or the Netherlands, the finalists. She was a beautiful young woman, a mother of a five-year-old boy. My mother was a graceful lady. She loved reading about history, myths and stories of ancient heroes and heroines. Perhaps that was the reason she knew about Semiramis, the legendary queen of Lydia’s Babylon gardens who ruled the mighty Assyrian Empire. She was a mythical woman who had been born from a Goddess named Derceto, and raised and cared for by doves.

Perhaps it was an afternoon in July on which my mother went to the hospital to give birth to her second child, me. My father was on a work trip a thousand miles away from her, so he couldn’t be with his wife in one of the neediest moments of her life. Perhaps my mother called her sister, my aunt, to be with her in those painful hours. Perhaps, my granny took care of my brother all those three nights. It took a few hours until early morning of the day after that my mom held her baby girl; a newborn with velvety black hair, pink skin, and a dimpled chin. She won the nine months battle that morning. Perhaps she was sleeping in the hospital when Germany beats Netherlands by two goals.

Perhaps, my mother had a dream for me, that day when she saw me for the first time. A dream wrapped with fears and hopes for me being her daughter and for my new world. She named me after Semiramis. Perhaps she wanted me to be as brave as her favorite heroine who fought for her life and the life of her family and empire, to eliminate abomination and tyranny. My mother was vigorous and full of energy, perhaps Semiramis was her role model.

My father came back home a few days later to see his little baby and his beloved wife. When he officially registered my birth, my father left out the “mis” of Semiramis and named me Samira, a word with a different definition. Perhaps my mother was not happy with that. I was registered in my new world by an incomplete, wrong name.

It was in September 1980, the first day of my school, that I was introduced to society for the first time and had to learn how to survive in a bigger, much more complicated world than my mother’s arms. Perhaps my mother still hoped for me to be as brave and strong as Semiramis for years to come.

I wish I had asked my mother if she could confirm all my guesses and suppositions about the first days of my life. I wish I had asked her if she saw anything interesting about Semiramis in her Samira. I never asked her. I never knew. I will never know. She’s gone!