Tahmina celebrates its 5th Anniversary with a blog series called, “Brave Voices,” featuring stories from the Afghan and Iranian women who are speaking out against the oppression and injustice in their nations. Some names have been changed or redacted for security, and the views expressed in these pieces are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Tahmina Tea.
Hi, I’m Shabnam. I’m 23 years old and from Iran. Fortunately, now that I’m talking to you, I’m alright, which means I can speak, breathe, walk, but I have a heart full of pain. Approximately one month ago, a woman just like me, the same age, in Iran, went on a trip and after a short while her dead body was given to her family. Her name was Mahsa Jhina Amini, which means life. But unlike her name, she didn’t have the right to live.
I am free today because I’m not living in my country. I have been living far away from my country because if I was in Iran I wouldn’t have any better life than them. I am alive today because I am not under a corrupt regime that sees women as an object, arrests them, and rapes them. Like Nika Shakarimi, a 16-year-old girl - who was missing for 10 days after she went to the streets to demand justice, freedom, and basic human rights. It is easy to say all these things, but difficult for whose heart is beating for freedom and justice.
Today, I am Mahsa Amini, I am Nika, Sarina, Neda, and Hadith. I am the voice of women of Iran that today, no one can hear them, as they have cut off the internet on them. If you hear me today, please be our voice.