“It just felt great to scream and protest” - female University of Tehran Student
June 15, 2009 - From Tehran, here is an update from the same person who e-mailed me earlier today. This person, who asks not to be identified for his/her protection, was at the protest in Azadi Square by those who say incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not fairly elected in Friday’s voting:
We took part in the big rally today, it just felt great to be there among those people and yell and scream and protest! We had to walk for three hours to get to Azadi Square and that was really exhausting, but everyone was so happy and energetic! Not only students, but also many housewives and old people participated! I wish I had a camera! We were thousands, or I guess maybe a million! ... And this was despite the fact that we have very little (in the way of Internet) networks to connect to other people. Many people just didn’t know about today. ...
I got home before (the shootings), but a friend of mine was there. I’ve heard they shot more than a hundred times. ...
People have decided to take tomorrow off. ... No one is going to work or school. I’m not sure how successful it will be. Also, we’re gathering in our universities (only in the yards and mosques, not the buildings) from 9:00 a.m. until nobody knows when! Leaders say not to leave our schools since school is still a holly place and THEY would not break in.
Iran Needs No Heroes
June 10, 2009 - I was 14 years old in 1979 when my mother, brother, sister and I took to the streets of Tehran along with millions of other Iranians to welcome Ayatollah Khomeini back from exile. The cleric had overthrown the monarchy, and to the masses who were welcoming him, Khomeini was the hero who was going to save Iran. Thirty years later, Iranians hit the streets again with the same zeal, hoping that another four years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Mir Hossein Mousavi will be the answer to their prayers. It looks now like the hard-liner Ahmadenijad will get four more years. But it is time for Iranians to leave heroes to the realm of mythology and look for change from within themselves. Full entry on npr.org
Despite the Odds, Women’s Movement Persists In Iran
February 1, 2009 - Comprehensive story on 15 years of struggle for women’s rights
One of the most remarkable and under-reported stories in Iran is the strength and character of its women’s movement. Through politics, literature, religion and poetry, women’s voices have at times been like roars, and at others, like whispers of dissent. Women continue to be both targets of persecution and agents of change, and for more than a decade, NPR’s Davar Ardalan and Jacki Lyden have been tracking those changes. It began in 1995 when Jacki went to Iran at a time when not many female reporters had been there…Read full story on npr.org