Roya Hakakian emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1985, seeking political asylum. An author, activist and filmmaker, Hakakian discussed the recent political upheaval in Iran on public radio today. Her interview is available online at WHYYâ€™s â€œFresh Airâ€ with Terry Gross.
Hakakian grew up Jewish in Tehran, an experience she recounts in her memoir Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran.
Hakakian will return to â€œFresh Airâ€ next week to discuss her book with Terry Gross.
Hakakian recently published a piece at CNN.com entitled, â€œPray for Neda,â€ in which she reflects on the significance of the recent fatal tragedy in Iranâ€™s political upheaval as an example of the Iranian peopleâ€™s 30-year quest for freedom. Hakakian calls for a memorial campaign that spans all religions to remember Neda.
Pray for Neda
by Raya Hakakian
With Nedaâ€™s death, the Iran I know finally has a face. The sequence of her death is the sequence of our nationâ€™s struggle in the past 30 years: The democratic future that 1979 was to deliver collapsing, then trails of blood â€” that of so many executed or assassinated â€” streaming across its bright promise. The film of Nedaâ€™s death is the abbreviated history of contemporary Iran.
If history is a contest among competing narratives and icons, let the image of a young woman lying on the ground endure as that of Iran today. Let it loom so large to wipe away the memory of the thugs marching American hostages out of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Let the scarf that loosens and falls off her head to expose her dark hair be emblazoned in our memories as the metaphor for the plight of Iranâ€™s women. More at Tolerant Nation.