It’s been a month since nationwide protests in Iran started and it seems people are not willing to stop shouting their pains. People are hopeful that this time they can change something, even if not big enough.
People are hopeful, and this is dangerous. Hope is the general source for motivation. Hope can move you forward to the point that you actually affect your environment and change.
Since the start of the protests, many people have joined this movement, including Mehdi Mahdavikia, Ali Karimi, and Ali Daei. These are former football players for Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich football clubs. Some of the greatest ever football players in Iran.
In a country that you can lose everything for practicing your free speech rights, these people speaking publicly against the system is a brave action. They are now under the risk of losing their wealth and their public image in state-controlled economy and media. I admire them for that bravery.
Ali Daei, in an Instagram post, said that “in the current situation, silence is treason” and I agree with him. People have suffered enough from inconveniences and injustices imposed on them by the regime.
Everything is blamed on foreign governments and spies. The regime takes no responsibility on anything. Even with videos showing police officers shooting people, the system doesn’t even recognize its own brutality and claims the shooters are foreign officers in police uniform doing this to spread mistrust in security forces.
I am also tired. I was once a supporter of this regime, under the influence of state media and all the brainwashings done to me by strictly-controlled books and news published by this very government. I regret the time I spent supporting this regime.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if Iraq had won the eight-year war against Iran. Sometimes people ask me about what will we replace this regime with. I always think about it. What will we lose?
The next government, the next regime, can’t be any worse. What will they do? Shut down the internet? Ban free speech? Shoot people? Economic disaster? No emotional, economical, and humane safety? Giving up the independence and freedom of the country? All has happened to us before in this very regime. It feels we are actually occupied by a foreign brutal force.
People live in constant fear of getting arrested and imprisoned for their slightest criticism. I live in fear of getting arrested every time I write or speak critically against this regime, yet the system lies to us, looking in our eyes, that we have freedom.
Supporters of the regime, some living in foreign countries, control what gets published in foreign media. Specially those in NIAC, National Iranian American Council, are constantly spreading the regime’s propaganda. This makes people more helpless, and more angry.
People feel betrayed. Their fathers, brothers and sisters once started a revolution to make things better. They now feel betrayed and lied to by the very people they had hope in. They see the duality of system’s speeches and actions and hear the lies they’ve been told to.
An example is hijab. Hijab is mandatory in Iran but children of some government people and ayatollahs live with freedom of choosing their clothes and way of living in other countries, or privately inside the borders. While the morality police arrests our sisters, they wear bikinis and lie under sun and get tanned in European countries.
People ask, why these people don’t force their own children to wear hijab? Of course their children are responsible for their own actions, but if their children are mature and responsible enough to choose, why they think they can force us to do what they say? Are we different? Are we not humans?
We’re not sheeples, but we’re treated as such. We’re told to use what the regime wants, avoid what regime doesn’t like, speak and act as the system desires, and go where they need us to be. They see themselves as our shepherd and us as brainless sheeples who need protection.
I am disgusted by all of these and just like our football legend, Ali Daei, I think silence is treason.
Yet again, people are hopeful. People are motivated and braver than ever, determined to change the situation. They are moving forward with hope to achieve something greater for people. Hope is beautifully dangerous for the current situation. It can change everything.