Thursday, 9 February 2012

Neda Agha-Soltan, a life cut short.


Tehran, Iran, 20 June 2009. People are protesting, they want freedom: they shout, they are angry. The streets are crowded with people. In the middle is Neda.

Neda Agha Soltan was a very special 27 year old, she was a gifted musician, was spiritual, she had dreams and aspired to be a mother, she loved the arts and travelling, and was hoping to live in Istanbul one day. The kind of person you would want to know. But most of all, Neda, like many other young people in Iran, longed to be free.
Neda died before she was given the chance to make her dreams come true.
When young Neda left her house in that spring afternoon, she didn’t know she would never see her mother again.
“She left the house mid-afternoon. I couldn’t join her but I said I’d keep in touch with her.” said Hajar Rostami Motlagh, Neda’s mother.
Hajar, as any mother would be in times like these, was worried for her child. She managed to get through to Neda twice during the protest. When Neda told her mother the streets were full of people, Hajar asked her to come back home. Soon afterwards, Hajar called her again. This was the last conversation Neda ever had with her mother. She was stuck with her friends in an area where soldiers had fired tear gas, her eyes were stinging.
“Then early that evening, I got a call from her music teacher. He said: ‘Come to the hospital, Neda has been shot’.”
Hajar learnt her daughter had been shot in the leg, she hurried to the hospital. When she arrived there, Neda’s music teacher, Mr Pahani’s shirt was covered in blood. She wanted to know the truth. She knew something was wrong. But everyone was telling her different things about where Neda had been shot.
“Fifteen or twenty minutes later, I learnt my daughter was dead.”
Neda was assassinated for wanting freedom.

Later, Mr Pahani who was accompanying Neda at the protest, revealed her last words to be "I'm burning, I'm burning!"

She had never been political, it was all about being young and feeling passionate about freedom said Hajar. She didn’t belong to any party or group nor did she support any faction.

“Every other young Iranian was there – she was one of them.” said Hajar “You can’t blame people for going out and wanting to feel free.” she added.

Before she died, Neda and her brother were looking into buying a piano and found one they liked. A few weeks later her brother Mohammad bought the piano and put it in Neda’s room in her memory.
Mohammad plays one hour every night to remember the good singer that was Neda.

Soon after her death, Mr Karroubi, part of the opposition, visited Neda’s family at their home. He told them she was innocent and called her a martyr.

“Her death has been so painful – words can never describe my true feelings. But knowing that the world cried for her… that has comforted me.” said Hajar.

Neda should never be forgotten.

“I am proud of her. The world sees her as a symbol, and that makes me happy.”


This text is part of an exercise for my course. It is however based on true facts and a real interview. I will not post a link to a video of Neda's last moments as it is quite painful and I'm sure you will find it if you really do want to see it. Any complaint about this text should be made to me via my university e-mail: SLJonckheere@uclan.ac.uk

No comments:

Post a Comment