By Celine & Joline
Not Our Iran
Not our Iran. Not the Iran that was the heart of the storied Persian empire which for over 2,500 years was the longest-standing institution in the world. Not the Iran we’ve heard bedtime stories about. Not the Iran that had a rich culture, favored family, loyalty, freedom of expression, freedom of dress, lavish decor, and spiced delicacies. Not the Iran in which our parents grew up. Not the Iranian culture we celebrate here today. The current uprising in Iran has shaken the nation and has left us broken and searching for answers, a solution, and help from everyone around the globe; especially the women.
Iran, a mountainous and ethnically diverse country of southwestern Asia. Home to clever, sociable, polite, family-oriented, and hard-working people. Home to many beginnings that most people do not realize--first bill on human rights, the postal service, the refrigerator, guitars, as well as many of the most important discoveries in modern medicine.
In the revolution of 1979, Rouhollah Khomeini created the Islamic Republic. Under Khomeini’s rule, the hijab was used as a symbol for the liberation of women from the Pahlavi dynasty. Women were encouraged to support the demise of the Pahlavi dynasty by standing stern and subordinate to Khomeini’s favor of the hijab. However, since 1979 women have lived in fear and have been forced to cover skin, and hair. Now, the brave Iranian women are tired of this oppression. They are tired of the killings and beatings that come with trying to express themselves.
As children of two Iranian refugees, we are hurt yet proud watching women globally support the Iranian women’s right for free expression—the very things that was stripped from them. We watch with tears of sadness and tears of pride that the Iranian women are standing up to the clergy that control their moves and being. As first generation American-Iranian women, we struggle to accept that a regime from 43 years ago still holds power over the oppression and self-expression of women.
We look forward to a day where Iranian women aren’t stripped of basic human rights, no longer live in fear, and are not left broken inside. We look forward to a day where we can feel a sense of belonging to our parent’s motherland. We look forward to standing resilient side by side without people in a battle we shouldn’t need to fight in the first place. Iran’s future is in the hands of not just Iranian women but the women all over the world. We support them and look forward to a free Iran.
Celine and Joline
سلین و جولین