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Shiva Rose: “It is excruciating to be so removed from my sisters in Iran right now…”

It is excruciating to be so removed from my sisters in Iran right now. Although I left Iran when I was ten-years-old, Iran is still where my soul calls home. I’ve always felt a sort of longing for the very earth where I took my first steps. We left during the revolution. To see the way Iran has transformed over the years has been heartbreaking. Women in Iran have endured, over the last thirty years, so many restrictions, made to feel shame for their femininity and their desires. Imagine what it must be like to be harassed by the morality police. If you have hair peaking out from your scarf, or if your lipstick is too bright, you are in trouble.

I just heard of about a young woman who has been walking the streets of Tehran in a revealing dress and makeup, with her hair flowing freely behind her. She says she doesn’t care if they arrest her and beat her – that this is the time to stand up. She reminds me of a modern day Lady Godiva (who protested her husband’s excessive taxes on the poor residents of her community), and reminds me again of the incredible courage and tenacity that woman possess in crucial times. The Iranian women who are marching through the streets of Tehran and bravely demanding justice remind us all that we must always honor our authentic selves. Doing so is the truest revolution.

I will always remember Neda, the young woman whose death was captured on a cell phone and has since become Iran’s Joan of Ark. Her death has touched a nerve – she could very well have been any of us. I cried for Neda. I cried for her parents, her friends, but mostly I cried because I don’t want her death to be in vain.

I hope this powerful roar from the people of my homeland, my beloved Iran, brings justice and peace.

Shiva Rose is an actress of Irish and Iranian descent. She has been active with V-Day since its inception.

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