Sunday, June 21, 2009

Her Name was Neda


Last night when I was watching the news I realized yet again how quickly things have changed, even in the past couple of years. I'm watching the news and information is coming out and being reported using Twitter and YouTube.

So far all I've ever used Twitter for is to promote my ThriftyMaven site. YouTube in my house has been for making videos for contest or watching a video someone told me about recently. As the unrest in Iran continues to grow these social media sites are being used to let the world know what is going on in a country that has long kept women subservient.

I saw tweets about Neda but I didn't know what the context was. The tweets I saw were something like "her name was Neda." Another tweet said "She was with her father." I didn't know what happened until today so let me tell you what I know.

Neda Agha Soltan (1982 – June 20, 2009 in Tehran) was an Iranian woman whose alleged killing by Basij militia during the 2009 Iranian election protests was captured on video by bystanders. The graphic videos were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly becoming a rallying cry for the pro-reform demonstration. Neda means "voice" in Persian, and she was dubbed the "voice of Iran" by the world.

At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karegar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gas used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know.

Her face is compelling because she is a face of a movement. The face of a young generation tired of the yoke of oppression.

I was 19 the last time there was a revolution in Iran. Anti-American sentiment in Iran — fueled in part by close ties between the U.S. and the unpopular leader Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi — peaked when Pahlavi fled Iran during the 1979 Iranian revolution. When the monarch entered the U.S. for medical treatment later that year, Islamic militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and seized 66 Americans. The hostage-takers, who enjoyed the tacit support of the new Iranian regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, demanded the shah's extradition to Iran, but Pres. Jimmy Carter refused and froze all Iranian assets in the U.S.

We all watched as Islamic militants overran the American embassy in Teheran, Iran, initiating a crisis that lasted 444 days.

Where will this revolution take Iran? What will be written on the New Page that could be Iran? What will become of a New Day that's history is written in the blood of young men and women? The world watches and waits to find out if true reform will be the outcome.

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