Iranian-Americans invigorated by the protests happening around the world
A 22-year-old woman’s death has sparked protests across the globe.
ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Sometimes, a single spark can start a fire.
In Iran – a young woman’s death at the hands of that country’s “morality police,” – could be that spark. According to reports, 22-year-old Masha Amani was arrested and killed for not covering up her hair properly with her scarf. The death blew social media up and now sparked protests and global outcry.
The motto behind these protests—women, life, freedom—and that message is ringing out across the world and right here in our communities.
When Ali Bahmanyar thinks back on his home country of Iran, he thinks about the good times.
”People would play a little music, sharing food and laughing. Just the simple things in life,” Bahmanyer said.
But the Iran he has seen over the last 40 years in the current regime, he said is unrecognizable.
”Looking at how this regime has changed this country, it just saddens me,” he said.
Bahmanyar worried for his country all those years. But recently, following the alleged murder of Masha Amani by morality police, he and fellow Iranian American Shahram Mazhari see change brewing. Reports say Masha Amani was traveling from western Iran to Iranian’s capital.
While there, she was apparently stopped by morality police who asked her to cover all parts of her hair with her scarf.
The reports continue saying Amani argued with the morality police which led to them beating her then arresting her. She died three days later, her family says because of the injuries.
A social media firestorm followed which prompted protests in Iran and spreading into other parts of the world.
”I have never seen anything like this in the past 43 years,” Mazhari said.
What Mazhari is referring to is the largest grassroots protests happening in Iran right now. Reports say people are putting their well-being and sometimes even lives, on the line to stand up for women’s and Iranian rights.
”We have never had this many women, men, children, professors, artists, movie stars, just pouring out to the streets to tell the Iranian regime. Enough is enough,” Mazhari said.
It is a sight that drives out the emotion.
”Initially, I was sad when I saw a killing of a 22-year-old, young woman. Now actually, I’m exhilarated. I am energized. I am so proud,” he said.
These protests are not just happening in Iran but all over the world including in Charlotte. All to stand up for women’s rights after Amani’s death. The outpouring of support and demand for change they say invigorating the Iranian people.
”The people of Charlotte really care and it’s terrific. It’s terrific as a human and it’s fantastic as an Iranian American to witness that,” he said.
Mazhari and Bahmanyar say Amari’s death might have been the match but the raging fires that are these protests will continue to burn until change comes.
”The moment of this young generation, it is not stoppable,” Bahmanyar said.
Mazhari and Banmanyar encourage everyone to get involved. They want people to reach out to their political leaders and demand they get involved for change.
If you want to get involved by protesting there is another protest in Charlotte on Sunday. It is at Pearl Street Park at 2 p.m.
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