Iranian unity at Pierce

People attend the Iranian vigil event hosted by Mitra Hoshiar. Photo by David Pashaee.

On the 16th of September, a 21 year old woman named Mahsa Amini died after a violent  encounter with the morality police of Iran. Her crime: showing too much of her hair. Her death would go on and symbolizes the rebirth of the Iranian people, sparking a revolution to overthrow the Republic of Iran that has reigned for decades. 

Mitra Hoshiar, Professor of Sociology here at Pierce College, is one of the many Iranians living outside of her motherland. She, like many others who are concerned for the well being of the Iranian citizens, is seeking to help those fiercely protesting in the streets.

Professor of Sociology Mitra Hoshiar organized an on campus event on the 3rd of October to encourage students, faculty and community members to stay vigilant in their advocacy for Iran and to also encourage those around them to share in the conversation as well. 

When talking to community member Hossein, he explained the need for events such as this, whether it requires marching in Pershing Square or simply conversing about ongoing issues and trying to find solutions. “So that we too can show them solidarity.”

The event discussed various ways to continue aiding the Iranian people with advocacy. Whether it be through posting on social media, organizing protests for different regions, or just wearing shirts to bring attention to the issue, everything plays a role in continuing the life of the movement.

“For those of us living outside of Iran, we’ve been acting as cyber soldiers,” said Hoshiar.

Events such as these are what has aided in the continuation of protests well past the 47th day of Mahsa Amini’s death. Hoshiar insists that this movements is not just about Iran, but shares in an overarching theme about how women have been historically oppressed, and their bodies being in  constant conversations for different political debates.

“When something happens in one part of the world, it is our issue as well.” Hoshiar said.

Iranian singer-songwriter Morteza Barjesteh holds his hand over his heart.

Hoshiar also invited world renowned Iranian singer-songwriter Morteza Barjesteh to speak at the event. Morteza, who fled Iran two years after the revolution, shares in the concerns regarding those living in Iran. Morteza told the audience about his conversation with Hoshiar regarding  who would be in attendance.  

“I asked, “How many people do you think will come?”… but honestly it didn’t matter to me if only one person showed up…because, we now know that even a single person can change everything.” said Morteza Barjesteh.

A single person like Mahsa Amini.

Morteza Barjesteh speaks at Pierce College. Photo by David Pashaee.