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The Crisis in Iran Affects Us All

Woman, Life, Freedom (زن، زندگی، آزادی)
Mahsa+Amini%2C+whose+death+has+sparked+a+human+rights+movement+in+her+nation+of+Iran
Mahsa Amini, whose death has sparked a human rights movement in her nation of Iran

On September 16, 2022, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, was viciously beaten, and received a fatal blow to the head, from a unit of Iranian police officers. She sadly died in the hospital after being in a coma for three days. 

It is a religious requirement in Iran for women to cover their hair and wear a hijab at all times, especially if they are in public. Amini’s death was caused by the fact that, although she was wearing a headscarf, a small amount of her hair was visible. She was killed because of her hair! 

It is terrible to see how differently and disrespectfully women are treated in Iran and how little some people seem to care, especially the government!

In 1978, there was a revolution in Iran, also known as the Islamic Revolution. After that event, everything changed in the country. In the time before, women would let their hair down freely, without getting arrested or fined. They could wear any type of clothing they wanted. All couples, whether they were married or not, were allowed to hold each other’s hands. 

The government changed immediately after the revolution, which meant that the laws also required all women to wear their hijabs. Even if it is 108°F outside in the summer, women have to cover every square inch of their bodies. Since they deny Iranian women their basic human rights, I believe that these regulations are simply ignorant.

These laws have placed so many limitations on them, that few women in Iran want to leave their own houses, because everything is controlled by the government. They have zero freedom to do anything!

Once the public and social media became aware of Mahsa Amini’s true situation, everyone worldwide, particularly in Iran, wanted change. Therefore, a big protest was launched. Both Iranians and non-Iranians continue to fight for this movement, because it is something that all people should support for their own rights, and for the rights of women, so that they can demonstrate their strength and capability as human beings.  

Over 300 people have died in Iran as a result of the protests over Amini’s death. The fact that this is taking place in front of kids, teens, adults, and elders leaves me speechless. Because of the issues being raised in Iran, these people’s lives are being taken away! According to CNN, 25 women and 43 children have passed away

It is time for Iran to change, so that people can live safely and happily, instead of suffering. The government is a tyrant to its citizens, and all they care about is power. They are abusing their position and using it against their own people.


During these protests, women are showing how tough and powerful they are by standing up for each other. Many Iranian women
have taken off their hijabs and burned them, and honestly, I’m so proud of those women and girls in Iran for doing this, because for many years they have been hiding their true identities. Besides burning their hijabs, many women are cutting their hair. Not just women, but men too. 

All Iranian people, especially women, want justice to be carried out. We all want the world’s leaders and citizens to realize that we have a voice and that voice must be heard. 

Many of our GHS teachers and staff members also have an opinion on this issue.

Mrs. Diana Arakelian, Teacher

I have heard about the situation that is happening in Iran right now, and I believe that it is against human rights. I do have friends, family, and former students [there], because I used to teach in Iran before coming here.  

Every day, I’m thinking and praying that they are all right, safe, and healthy, because in a situation like this, you don’t know what is meant to happen. I 100% support and agree with the protest and everything women do in Iran. I believe deep down inside… that it is something major and necessary to allow women to show how they are supposed to live in the right way. 

They aren’t always supposed to wear hijabs and cover their body, and that isn’t right and fair. It should be the people’s choice, to choose how they want to dress, act, or live–not the government’s. 

Ms. Gohar Khalatyan, Teacher

I have heard about the entire issue of Mahsa Amini and the protest. It’s just sad, disappointing, and tragic about what happened to her at a young age, and [it’s] frustrating [that] it’s happening in this generation.

I’m also happy and proud of how strong and brave these women are in doing this protest in cases like this. Finding out about her makes me sad, but at the same time angry, because she lost her life for nothing, and she didn’t deserve that. 

 

Mrs. Armene Mkrtchian, Teacher

I have mixed feelings about this, because individuals need to speak about what’s in their minds. And they have a voice, and it’s important to see what they are doing for their rights for themselves. It’s just miserable to see how people are losing their life because of these certain laws in their country, especially with women’s rights. 

The only way to have a voice is to show what they are feeling or the things they need people to acknowledge. It’s wonderful to see how brave and powerful these women are to protest and show the people that enough is enough. We need our rights back. 

Mrs. Taline Arsenian, Teacher

Over the years, I have heard about human rights being treated so differently from women’s rights or any [other rights] in general. But one thing is that women are human, so there shouldn’t be any differences with [their] rights, or freedom in general.  

One thing I believe is that the government is controlling religion in Iran and other countries. Religion is personal, and the government shouldn’t have any right to control or have power over those people. 

The fact that there’s a police unit for women is just insane, and the fact that women don’t have the [same] freedom as men is just ridiculous, especially in this generation. I don’t know much detail about Mahsa Amini, but it just saddened me that there are so many victims that their rights are taken away [by] the government. This is the complete opposite of what the government should do. 

Instead of protecting the people, or providing them with health care, a better education, and a roof over their heads, they control people’s lives. The government is a tyrant, using its power on the people of Iran. With their power, they are controlling people and cutting off the internet there. 

I’m just grateful to have my freedom and rights here in America. Unfortunately, some people, especially girls like me, don’t have that kind of freedom. It’s just sad.

Mrs. Lynette Ohanian, Assistant Principal:

I think that this protest has so much more to do than [just with] the headscarf, in general, in Iran. This is a protest about women who have been oppressed for decades during the Islamic regime. 

This protest is about women’s rights, the right to live a normal life, the right to have a voice, and the right to your own opinion. Women are protesting to finally get their independence and be equal members of society, and not getting harassed because they aren’t obeying the government’s ideologies of what a woman should be. There is so much bravery in what they are doing, and I’m just shocked.

Mrs. Hasmik Simonyan, Assistant Principal:

I have heard about the situation in Iran and how unfair women are treated in the country. I have always been thinking that there is no need to separate women’s rights from human rights. 

We are all entitled to basic human rights, such as the right to live free from violence and discrimination. Although there have been many instances of women’s movements, women reformers and revolutionaries in the past, I feel like we have been hearing about women’s liberation movements a lot more throughout the last fifteen to twenty years.  

Unfortunately, sometimes people die for their ideas and beliefs, including Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for not wearing the hijab in accordance with Iranian government standards. I stand next to all Iranian women who protest for their basic freedoms and rights. I applaud them for their courage [and] solidarity.

I don’t have any relatives in Iran, but we have a lot of students who have relatives [there] and are worried about them, their future, and the future of Iran unity. With social media and so many media outlets, it is impossible to not be aware of the news. 

I felt horrible and disappointed [by Amini’s death]. As a female and as a mother of a daughter, I thought about all the other women in Iran who have been, and are still, fighting for their basic rights and freedoms. 

Despite it being 2022, and despite the booming feminist movements for equality, we still live in a somewhat sexist social culture. I feel like there are still some deeply ingrained gender gaps in perception, pay, leadership, and politics. 

Unfortunately, sometimes it feels that men get more respect. I don’t think that all people treat women with dignity and respect. I am happy to see that so many women strive for gender equality. 

About the Contributor
Erica Hovanesian
Erica Hovanesian, Spotlight Editor
Erica is a sophomore at Glendale High School, and she is a part of the JV girls soccer team. This is her second year as a member of the journalism class, and she is hoping to continue this class through her senior year. Some of the hobbies are playing sports, such as soccer and swimming, reading, listening to music, and crocheting.
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