Rest in Power Mahsa Amini
October 20th, 2022
Protests continue in Iran. This weekend there was a fire at Evin Prison in Tehran, a notorious political prison. I have family members who have survived Evin, activists who spoke up against the regime and were incarcerated for their beliefs. I cannot even begin to imagine what torture happens within those walls. Iranians who have practiced acts of disobedience, including competing in sports without a hijab, have been brought back to Iran and incarcerated in Evin prison. My heart goes out to all who have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed for speaking their mind. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an authoritarian regime murdering its own people. This isn't new; the regime has committed horrific human rights violations for decades. I continue to stand with the Iranian people and categorically support regime change. I have and will always stand with the Iranian people against oppression and tyranny.
We have to amplify Iranians' voices, which is why the news outlet I've shared is IranWire. IranWire is a collaborative news website run by professional Iranian journalists in the diaspora and citizen journalists inside Iran. They focus on documenting human rights abuses in Iran, official fact-checking claims, and analyzing government competence in its most important task: caring for the people. I strongly encourage my friends to look to Iranian sources to learn about what's happening in Iran. https://iranwire.com/.../108677-day-30-more-protests.../
Please help us continue to amplify Iranian people's voices and sign our letter asking for a state Middle Eastern commission within the Governor's office. We must institutionalize our voices beyond the election cycle.
October 3rd, 2022
When events like the death of Mahsa Amini happen, we need an institutional voice to make sure these issues aren’t lost and our communities are heard. This is why today, we, the undersigned, ask that the State of Washington establish a state commission on Middle Eastern affairs within the Governor’s office. We call upon our leadership, Governor Inslee, Speaker Jinkins, and Majority Leader Billig to stand with the Iranian community and Middle Eastern community in Washington.
Join us in our fight for representation, and sign the petition today.
September 24th, 2022
On September 16, Mahsa Amini was murdered by the Iranian morality police, because her hijab was not up to their standards. The Iranian morality police have been brutalizing and killing Iranian women for decades: Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, Minoo Hassanabadi, Sepideh Rashnu, and many who will forever remain nameless. Each time protest erupts, the world expresses sympathy and then moves on when the news cycle ends. The people of Iran deserve better.
I am proud that my family has a personal history of standing up against the Iranian government; this is why my family had to leave Iran. My family's history is inextricably tied to speaking up for what we believe in and fighting for justice, and this is the legacy that I have inherited.
Everyday, I’m reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to live in the United States and not be subjected to the dictatorship that is the Iranian government. That being said, we have much work to do here to protect the rights we do have and prevent more rights from being rolled back. The right to be who you are and choose what to do with your body is a human right.
I am proud to be Iranian-American and understand that my experience is vastly different from that of Iranian women. I have never been to Iran and given the path that I’m on, I likely will never be able to safely see my family’s home country. I don’t know what Iranians are going through right now, like none of us outside of Iran know.
It is our job as Iranian-Americans to stand with our brothers and sisters and to take direction from those directly impacted and lift their voices. This movement is not about what we want and believe as Iranian-Americans; it is about what Iranians want and need. We are not a voice for the voiceless; rather, we must amplify their voices.
Whenever a tragedy occurs, be it overseas or impacting the Middle Eastern community in the U.S., individuals are asked to speak on behalf of our demographic. I cannot speak for Iranians, and I do not claim to speak for the Iranian-American community. I ask for the space and time for our community to speak for ourselves, and we need a bigger platform.
When events like this happen, we need an institutional voice to make sure these issues aren’t lost. This is why one of my priorities is to establish a state commission on Middle Eastern affairs within the Governor’s office. This commission would advise the Governor and legislature while also being a resource for federal partners. This commission would be able to carry the voice of Iranian-Americans who were detained at the Canadian border in January 2020, share our cultural heritage with the state, and amplify the messages coming from the people of Iran.
We are on our ninth night of intense protest across Iran. The government has disrupted the internet and less information is available on the current situation. Journalists and activists have been detained and killed. Videos of bonfires in the middle of the street and people being pulled from their vehicles and beaten have surfaced. And yet, the people stay strong and continue to demonstrate.
This is a women's rights movement, a fight for human and civil rights, a fight for religious freedom and bodily autonomy. The history of Iran is one of oppression. Iranian people across the world are resilient because we’ve had to be.
I stand with my Iranian sisters in their resistance to compulsory hijab, and I mourn with all Iranians over the loss of precious life. I’m so proud of the people of Iran standing up for what they believe in and fighting back against the decades of horrific human rights violations. I’m so grateful for the brave journalists and activists sharing the current state of Iran with the world. The death of Mahsa Amini and all other Iranian women is an undebatable, devastating loss.
Rest in power, Mahsa, you’ve given birth to a new movement.
Free Iran. Sign our petition.
#MahsaAmini #Mahsa_Amini #IranProtests #مهسا_امینی #BraveIranianWomen
September 19th, 2022
I stand with my Iranian sisters in their resistance to compulsory hijab and I mourn with all Iranians the death of Mahsa Amini whose life was tragically cut short in her encounter with the Iranian morality police. Freedom to be who you are is an essential human right and one that we must all fight to protect. I'm so grateful for the rights and privileges I enjoy as an Iranian American and hope that one day Iranians can enjoy these too. Rest in power, Mahsa.