Protests have continued to roil in Iran since a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, died by apparent beating at the hands of the so-called morality police. Her crime: She was detained for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. Some of her hair was unlawfully visible.
The authorities claimed Amini died of cardiac arrest, while her bodily injuries said otherwise- a story told all too often when it comes to interactions between women and the Iranian theocracy. Now some 40 days after her death, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets. Women are burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in defiance of the oppressive regime.
On November 1, 2022 FOLCS was joined by Iranian-American author, poet and essayist Roya Hakakian, to discuss what might be the beginning of a human rights revolution for Iranian women, and whether this could result in more reforms, if not the end of the current regime entirely. As Hakakian has aptly written in her recent essay, “Bonfire of the Headscarves” in the Atlantic, and testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, if we want to revive democracy around the world, this moment in Iran deserves our full attention.
Author, Poet, Essayist
Roya Hakakian is the author of Assassins of the Turquoise Palace and Journey from the Land of No, and has published two collections of poetry in Persian. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. She has collaborated on programming for leading journalism units in network television, including 60 Minutes. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and served on the editorial board of World Affairs. Since 2015, she has taught at THREAD, a writing workshop at Yale, and is a fellow at the Davenport College at Yale. She lives in Connecticut.