Over the past few years we have tried hard educating ourselves with the movements happening within our communities, including globally. What is currently happening in Iran is a women’s rights issue, a conversation about economic disparity, and a focus on the importance of the separation of religion and government. All are issues we have been concerned with as we’ve begun this educational journey. We want to share our findings about the current Iranian protests to help you understand this global conversation better as well.
We also want to remind all learners that when discussing such culturally sensitive topics, othering and xenophobia occur naturally. Please, remember that while learning it is imperative to remove your biases and to respect a woman or girl’s choice to do what she will with her body. A hijab is a deeply religious and culturally important decision made by the soul person wearing said item of clothing. It’s natural to be confused by why someone would choose to wear something specific to their religious or cultural beliefs, but again it is not anyone’s decision to make or have opinions on. We do not support hatred or violence towards the hijab.
Following suggestive resources, we will shed light on the ways we, as feminists, can support the young people of Iran during this changing time.
Let’s start here with an episode of The Daily podcast from the NY Times. Not only does reporter Farnaz Fassihi establish the foundation of the current Iranian protests, but she also delves into the history of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. This Revolution lays the framework for the current upheaval of traditional values that have reigned Iran from the Islamic Republic to the morality police.
What to know more about the morality police? Follow the BBC article below to learn more about the authority of the morality police and where and why they patrol.
Need to be updated on Iranian protests occurring right now and their scope in the larger battle for freedom? This video dives into the current protests and how young people of Iran are showing strength and intelligence by keeping the global community updated via social media.
A hero that has inspired us all, Masha Amini has truly changed the conversation around the growing need for cultural growth from countries who have leaned into traditionalism throughout their history. Unfortunately, Masha Amini has become the face of brave women who don’t want to conform to irrational regimes. “Women, life, freedom.”
Here is a short introduction to the feminist voice Forough Farrokhzad. She is just one example of a silenced woman after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 with her books being heavily banned and censored throughout Iran. Her works are discussed heavily in this small bio along with their impact on feminist thought and Iranian cultural norms. A collection of her poems can be found in the “books for adults” section.
A recap from the New Yorker that explains how important women, specifically young, are imperative to the fight and progression of culture happening in Iran. This article discusses how social media has assisted young women in bringing this political conversation to the global community. Catch up on who and where you should be following to keep up with updates on the ground level.
Books for Adults
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season Selected Poems by Furūgh Farrukhzād
Daughter of Persia by Settareh Farman Farmaian
The Cypress Tree by Kamin Mohammadi
From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran by Jacqueline Saper
Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East by Asef Bayat
Books for Kids
The Proudest Blue A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad
Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Proud Living My American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad
Piece by Piece The Story of Nisrin's Hijab by Priya Huq
What Color Is My Hijab? by Hudda O. Ibrahim
Googoosh: Iran's Daughter
The Hidden Half
How to Give, Help, and Support
As we’re sure most of you have seen, the most important way to help Iranian women at this point is to share their stories and to demand answers from the Iranian government. Much of this is happening on social media and journalistically. It is crucial the Iranian government is aware their violence and crimes towards women are on a global stage and will not be glossed over. These women will not be forgotten! Their murders, deaths, and suffering will be held accountable by someone.
If you’re invested in giving financially to Iranian protestors, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran is documenting protests and protesting violence in Farsi and English. The most important step we can take right now is staying involved and holding the Iranian government accountable for these crimes. Also, support the women in your life who choose to celebrate their heritage by wearing hijabs. It is a scary time to feel isolated for something that is your personal choice. Remember that the root of all of the protests and conflict is a woman’s right to choose. “Women. Life. Freedom.”
Thank you to our friend, Keva Kreeger, for compiling this resource list for us!