22.4 C
New York
Friday, May 26, 2023

“I fled Iran – Mahsa Amini’s death shows the world what I already knew”

One afternoon six years ago, my mother took my sister and I to the market, hiding under corn and burlap and sitting in the back of a hearse. I don’t know, but we fled Iran.

“No matter what happens, shut up,” she whispered to my sister and I.

She also sneaked into the car after she had finished the offering. Later we sat in the back of the pickup with the others and she revealed what was going on as we approached the Iran-Pakistan border.

“We’re going,” she said. “If the authorities catch us and try to escape, we won’t get out of here alive.”

I used to be shocked. When we hit a bump, I would keep squatting and breathing. After a few hours, I felt the car accelerate and then heard a loud bang. I covered my ears and tried not to cry. Border authorities shot at us. Suddenly, I felt a throbbing in my stomach as the car seemed to jump in the air. It feels more like it has bottomed out. I believe we are doomed. Fortunately, however, we just saved to go. Soon after, we crossed the border into Pakistan, where we stayed for 3 months, waiting for a visa. Eventually we made it to the US, which is where I’ve lived ever since.

Dr. Sheila Nazarian fled Iran when she was a child
Dr. Shelia Nazarian (left) in a passport photo of Iran with her mother and sister. Nazarian is about 5 years old and wears the hijab required for her passport photo, although she is too young to wear it in public.
Dr. Shelia Nazarian

My family knew we needed to leave Iran as early as that afternoon in 1985. In fact, we knew it when the Iranian Revolution started in 1979 and overthrew Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In a different radical modification, the new authorities have ordered all ladies to start wearing hijabs. We go from a progressive, free country where ladies can wear short skirts, go to school and maintain prestigious jobs, to a rustic place where we wear capes in moderation rather than crossing the line.

We got this memo very quickly: If you happen to be a lady in Iran, you are a second-class citizen. My parents didn’t need my sister and I to grow up in this restrictive society; they thought it was backward. We knew we needed to leave.

Sadly, many ladies were not lucky enough to escape. Others, like Mahsa Amini, only know a post-revolutionary Iran. Amini and young ladies like her have lived their entire lives under a system of discrimination and inequality.

Mahsa Amini dies in custody in Iran
People hold a photo of Iranian Mahsa Amini during a protest outdoors at the United Nations against Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in Metropolitan New York on September 21, 2022. Protests have erupted over the death of 22-year-old Iranian Mahsa Amini in police custody for allegedly violating the country’s hijab guidelines. Dr. Sheila Nazarian, who fled Iran as a baby, needs to do more from the West to help Ms. Iran.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish girl, died in an Iranian hospital on September 16 while visiting family in Tehran. The Iranian regime’s ethics police arrested Amini, who allegedly did not wear the correct hijab. Witnesses said they noticed she was crushed to death by police. She later fell into a coma and died. After all, Iranian authorities said Amini “suddenly suffered a heart attack” that killed her.

Amini’s death is a tragedy. Yet why would it want a senseless loss of life to draw attention to this brutal regime? I can’t help but wonder: where is the world’s anger after the death of the second Amini? Where are protesters from all over the world? When men and women in Iran protest and tell their stories, it makes me despair, but the rest of the world is catching up.

Still, seeing the growing number of modern protests around the world gives me hope that the girls will send the message that change is needed in Iran. Men and women cut their hair in solidarity with the ladies of Iran, change social media posts and bring tears to my eyes. The hashtag #MahsaAmini has shared tens of thousands of instances on grassroots social media, helping to reach teams of all ages broadly. However, all of this makes me marvel at where Iranians can go after this protest. What will happen this time? According to reports, since Massa’s death, 35 people have been killed in the protests. How many should die? The Iranian people are fed up and desperate for change.

Protests in Iran after Mahsa Amini's death
Men and women chant slogans during a pro-hijab rally parade in Tehran, Iran, September 23, 2022. Mahsa Amini has been arrested for wearing a hijab in an “inappropriate” manner as street violence that killed at least 17 people has rocked Iran in his final week.
STR/AFP for Getty Images

Sadly, the loss of Massa’s life did not come as a shock to me after witnessing this oppressive and brutal authority firsthand.

My mom and sister were forced to wear hijabs in Iran no matter we were Jewish. I used to be too young to wear a hat except for official events, but I remember my mom and sister worrying about their hair when the Iraq-Iran war bombs went off near our house.

My family is Jewish and oppression in the Islamic Republic of Iran is a regular occurrence for us. We do not have freedom of belief. Although our Judaism does not require it, we are all forced to wear the hijab. We never said we were Jewish. But what can we do? There is a “cancellation tradition” in the United States. In Iran, you can disappear for weeks or forever.

Dr. Sheila Nazarian fled Iran when she was a child
Dr. Sheila Nazarian fled Iran with her family when she was 6 years old. Since then, she has lived in the United States.
Dr. Shelia Nazarian

In the 37 years since we fled Iran, little seems to have changed. In the 21st century, a young girl mysteriously dies in custody. your crime? She apparently did not live the way the Middle Ages demanded modesty.

Still, I think this may have been predicted. In August, President Ibrahim Raisi signed an additional official order banning women’s dress codes. Banned from public places for wearing the hijab inappropriately, female authorities who use photos on social media that do not comply with Islamic regulations can now be fired, while different women have certain rights for a year. These are just legal guides on books. I’m thinking about how many different ladies get squeezed into vans by morale brokers.

For years, much of the Western world has been silent on Iranian women’s therapy. In the US, our authorities are engaged in diplomatic and nuclear proposals with them. It’s so annoying to see in person. Iran is a pristine place where people shout “Destroy America” ​​and let the American flag burn. I’m wondering if the West can start thinking now.

Maybe the UN will reconsider allowing Iran to join the UN on the status of girls in early 2022, or Twitter will wake up and ban the hate-spreading ayatollah from its platform forever. I am surprised that we do not take into account the fact that Iran allows hundreds of women as young as 10 years old to marry each year.

When women in Iran take off their headscarves in protest and burn in the streets, we should support them. Iranian residents are standing up for Amini, and we should get our leaders to act. I don’t think the mainstream media has adequately considered Amini’s loss of life and Ms. Iran’s remedies, so we have to do it now. As an influencer with over 900,000 followers and many different accounts on Instagram, I try to show the world what the mainstream media usually can’t. I shared information and films from Iranians, the interviews I saw gave voices to the struggles of Iranian women, and I hope this data can help people better understand why Iranian men and women are fighting again.

I am hopeful. Iranian ladies have had enough. You may not be afraid. However, they need our help. You cannot change the system alone. I hope that, as the information loop continues, the Western world will draw inspiration from them and be brave enough to face them. In any other case, we don’t get another probability.

Dr. Sheila Nazarian is an Emmy-nominated, board-certified cosmetic surgeon based in Beverly Hills. She is the founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery, Spa26, TheSkinSpot.com and the Nazarian Institute. Dr. Nazarian is the star of the Netflix Genuine Sequence Pore and Skin Determination. Follow her on Instagram @drsheilanazarian

All opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the creators.

‘I fled Iran – Mahsa Amini’s death showed the world everything I already knew’

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles