Interview series on the current state of the women-led revolution in Iran

Namito: “We Iranians have a saying: You might leave Iran, but Iran never leaves you”

Namito (Photo: Neda Rajabi)

The situation in Iran has been boiling for around 20 years now, and each movement or unrest has led to the current state of society. With Aban (Bloody November 2019) Iran reached a tipping point, the brutal killing of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16th of September 2022 sent never felt before shockwaves to Iranians in Iran and the rest of the world – as a result a women-led revolution is taking place in Iran. “After 44 years of Islamic occupation, Iranians want their country and culture back and are fighting a battle against religious barbarism, oppression, misogyny, and corruption”, as Arya Zappa aptly analyzed the current happenings.

To give deeper insides in the current situation in Iran, Thomas Venker talked to the German Iranian Music producer and artist Namito; the web3 social-impact initiative Iran DAO, raising crypto and providing resources for Iran’s women-led revolution; the Senior Journalist at Iran International Maral Mohammadi; and the German Iranian Musician and artist Arya Zappa.

How would you summarize the nucleus of the current situation in Iran?

It is the famous point of no return. Iran will never be the same again, after the killing of Jina Mahsa Amini.

When did you first become aware that the situation in Iran was coming to a head?

I think this situation has been boiling for more than a decade now, I personally saw what the regime is capable of when I was – by incident – in Iran during the 2009 rigged elections and what followed to be called the green movement. The difference back then was that people just wanted to know “Where is my vote?”. This time the only request of the people is regime change and as mentioned before, it started in September 2022 by the killing of Jina Mahsa Amini.

Were you immediately aware of the extent of the conflict?

I was, yes. I immediately called my mom in Iran and told her, that I can not sit back and be silent about this level of brutality. She is 83 and knew that any activity against the regime in Iran meant that we might not be able to see each other in foreseeable future and told me just to do, what I think is right.

This is a good time to briefly review your individual life stories and connections with Iran:

I was born in Iran and when I was seven the revolution happened. Even at that age I felt that darkness is about to take over our beloved country. Soon after Saddam attacked Iran, a bloody war that lasted over eight years and took many lives. 1985 my parents decided it is better for my future to leave Iran and sent me to Germany. This was a very common destiny of people of my age. But you know, we Iranians have a saying: You might leave Iran, but Iran never leaves you. That is why I still feel emotionally involved when people suffer in Iran, because of an islamic Mafia with an huge army, that has taken the people hostage.

Namito (Photo: Neda Rajabi)

Do you feel that the global press is adequately reporting the events? If not: What do you criticize?

No, but it is way better than in the recent years. I get my informations days earlier from Social Media or Telegram.

In your opinion, which media should be followed to get the most reliable picture of the events?

There are many Instagram, Twitter and Telegram channels that deliver extremely fast and reliable data, like Massih Alinejad, Shahinloo or Hadaf Azadi.

The people on the ground in Iran are risking their lives with their protest. This is hardly comprehensible for people who do not live in such a totalitarian system. What can you do as a person who does not live in Iran (and has no family there) to help?
What do you think you should do?

Be their voice! I get many messages from people, who fight on the street and are grateful, that we magnify their voices. I feel ashamed that I can not do more, so it is always very emotional to be thanked to for sharing stories on social media.

To position oneself clearly politically and to get involved socially is one thing, the other is the concrete political process. How realistic is it that official diplomacy, NGOs and also agitative, oppositional groups in Iran will get a change process moderated with the system?

The system is so corrupt, it needs to be rebuilt from scratch. The Iranian regime is used to getting away with extreme brutality. But this time it is different. We are asking the armed forces to join the people before it is too late. The regime will fall, the only question for them is to decide, if they want to be on the right side of the history or feel the rage of the masses, once the regime has fallen and their masters escape with their wealth to Venezuela.





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