Since I have family and good friends in Iran, September 16, 2022 for me was a day when anger and despair also grew into hope.
Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman who would have celebrated her 24th birthday 5 days later, died as a result of torture by the religious police because her headscarf had slipped and revealed a view of her hair. For the ruling mullahs, this amounts to a mortal sin. As sad as this death is, it still has moved something that will shake the earth far beyond the borders of Iran. Shaking under the feet and chants of protesting people around the world, who with their songs give hope for change in this wonderful country that is officially the cradle of human rights. As they do so, many wrap themselves in the ancient Persian flag, a reminder of times when people had greater personal, religious and economic freedoms and were happy.
I was present at some demonstrations, laying down flowers at vigils with pictures of Mahsa Amini and hugging complete strangers who saw that I was not Iranian, but who in turn drew hope from this that the death of the young Kurdish woman (and unfortunately also of many other people) will finally move something that will lead to a better future.