As Alfred Hitchcock once said, people tend to be most frightened not when something happens, but when they are waiting for it to happen.
So it was in the early autumn of 1979.
Everyone in Iran knew that, sooner or later, the Shah would fall, but apart from a few demonstrations, nothing was actually happening. And people did get scared!
The sound of a car back-firing was enough to set the heart racing. The sight of a few soldiers on the street served as a reminder that man is mortal and no one is guaranteed an old age.
And then things started to hot up. The army fired on a demonstration in Jaleh Square.
The opposition (which still, officially, did not exist, for who could possibly be opposed to the wise and good Shah?) said that hundreds had been killed, and that all the dead were unarmed women.
The government claimed that only a few dozen had died, and that they were virtually all armed rebels, disguised as women.
Martial law was declared, and a dusk to dawn curfew was imposed.
Things can only get worse!
Imagine this. A curfew has been declared, and the government has made it plain that anyone out on the streets will be shot on sight.
Yet when you look down from your balcony onto the side street (kuche) that runs in front of your apartment, you see that not only have all your Iranian neighbours broken the curfew, but they are walking purposefully towards the main road. So what do you do?
What we did was follow them, in order to find out what was going on...