The night of the moon landing fell in the middle of a hectic week for my American mother in Iran. She was arranging her wedding, which included the arrival of her best friend from Michigan just in time to sit down in front of the television with my mother’s soon-to-be in-laws to watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon.
As the music video begins, we see a young man waiting anxiously, peering through a gate. A young woman appears at the top of a set of outdoor stairs, opens a gate, and joins the young man as the first lyric, Aw vi pa o naw hta ha ja (elder brother [common reference for a boyfriend or spouse] I love you very much) appears on the screen.
There is a tendency to think about love as something private—an intimate matter between two people. But as a friend once told me, “You cannot understand Acholi love if you think that it is between two people.” If she is right, and I think she is, then our understanding of the phenomenon of love should consider the wider societal backdrop as well as the particular web of social relations in which lovers find themselves.