An Atmospheric and Impressive Vigil for Iranian Women in Hoogeveen “Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world”

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” With this, Aya Wolting of Amnesty Hoogeveen opened the Iranian women’s vigil, and more broadly, against violence against women on Friday evening. About sixty people, both women and men, braved the cold to show their solidarity.

During the vigil at the fountains at the Hoofdstraat-Schutstraat-Het Haagje junction, the courage of the Iranian people to resist the rulers of the Islamic Republic was discussed. “It is not about fighting religion, but about fighting for human rights,” the Dutch-Iranian Nasim Azimi emphasized. People in Iran want the same rights that we have here in the Netherlands.

She gives examples of women who dared to take to the streets, sing, dance, or ride a bicycle without a headscarf. It seems like such daily chores, but in Iran this is strictly forbidden for women. It has already cost many of them their lives. Azimi names a handful of the growing group: “Hades Najafi, 22, was shot and killed. Mina Majidi, 62, was shot and killed on her way home.” Even children are victims: Mona Najib, 8, and Sarina Ismailzadeh, 16, are just two of unfortunately many examples.

Not to mention the prisons. No one in Iran has any illusions about what is happening there. Azimi: People would rather die than be caught. For example, two young women, aged 16 and 19, committed suicide after their release. They were raped and tortured in prison.”

Men in Iran have been very supportive of women. They also suffered like Mehrdad Shahidi and Hamid Reza Rouhi. They were only allowed 20 years old. Azimi called on people in Iran to help and share their stories online. “Be their voice!”

And decent, her mother, Shahnaz Azimi, contributed to the discourse with the Iranian poem “person” In Persian, which tells about how all people relate to each other.

Don’t look away!

Her predecessor’s words show why Rolene van de Pelt, member of Amnesty International Hoogeveen and club Soroptimist de Reislanden, considers the Orange the World campaign so important. This campaign highlights violence against women annually.

Van de Pelt: “Every year around 50,000 women die worldwide as a result of violence perpetrated by a family member, partner or ex-partner. In the Netherlands, every eight days a woman dies as a result of violence. Violence against women occurs in all strata of society, most often It happens where it should be safe; behind the front door.”

In Hoogeveen, many buildings and fountains are painted orange because of Orange the World. Van de Pelt calls attention to this problem not only during the campaign: “Break the taboo, don’t look away! We hope that a world without violence against women will come as close as ever!”

The poem explained what this world could look like “There is a country where women want to live” Written by Jock Smit, read by Luke Boyer, School Officer at Amnesty International. The last lines read: Where no one can tolerate violence anymore. Where everyone can rest when a man perishes. This is the country where people want to live. The country in which there is collective action.

Candles and singing

With the candle ceremony, attention was drawn to violence against women in various parts of the world. Of course in Iran, but also in other countries of the world. For example, a candle is lit for women and girls who are victims of genital mutilation and suffer a lifetime of consequences. Another was the lot of women and girls who were victims of rape by armies and militias, for example in Congo, Sudan, Tigre and Ukraine.

After lighting the last candle, a candle of hope, an Iranian resident of AZC spontaneously came forward to recite a short poem.

In addition to the many candles, the songs also gave much atmosphere to the vigil party. Of course she was Iranian Bray A song that has come to symbolize the society many Iranians imagine it to be. And also “Another Love” by Tom O’Dell. Odile dedicated it to the struggle in Iran during the performance. Singing this together, out in the cold, surrounded by lights and lights, was something special to say the least.

they change

Could this humble vigil, so far from Iran, contribute anything? Aya Woolting quotes anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, that is the only thing that has ever worked.”

and who knows; The Iranian-Dutch attendees were busy filming during the vigil. Perhaps the photos can help deliver another tingle for human rights in Iran. Or at least encourage the brave Iranian people!

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