A woman cuts her hair at a #Hair4Freedom event to show solidarity with Iranian women, in London A woman cuts her hair at a #Hair4Freedom event to show solidarity with Iranian women, in London 

Reading for Iran: Women generate the words our world needs

Young people from around the world join Iranian youth in mobilising to protest for rights, especially those of women, in Iran, where demonstrations have filled the streets after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the country's morality police.

By Francesca Merlo

Young people around the world are pulling out the stops to demonstrate closeness and solidarity with Iranian women.

On the occasion of a mobilisation called for by Iranian activists from 5 to 7 December, the day on which Iran celebrates 'student day', the young people of the Economy of Francesco have mobilised to participate by engaging in a reading marathon.

Throughout the day, from Italy, Portugal, India, the Ivory Coast, Australia, Guatemala, the USA and Mexico, young people will take turns reading, in different languages, the famous collection of oriental tales One Thousand and One Nights, also known as Arabian Nights.

A wave of demonstrations

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Economy of Francesco, the young entrepreneur members are recalled as saying, "we have witnessed three months of street protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish woman accused by Tehran's moral police on 16 September of not wearing her headscarf properly."

Since that day a wave of demonstrations has crossed the country to reach the entire international community.

"Some of us joined the Iranian women's protest by imitating that unequivocal and courageous gesture: cutting a lock of hair," say the economists. In Kurdish culture, cutting one's hair is a sign of mourning, and this custom has become a symbol of anger, a desperate cry demanding change, a clean cut that becomes a metaphor for words, for freedom, for rights.

Standing beside Iranian women

"Today," continue the young economists and businesswomen of the world, "we feel the duty to stand beside the Iranian women who are fighting for their freedom and beside all the young people who are trying - risking their lives - to build a better future. And we will do so using words, to emphasise the 'saving' capacity of words, the right to speak out and protest."

The statement closes by stating that the narrative device of One Thousand and One Nights also reminds us that storytelling is also a place to go to try to defeat death: ars narrandi, ars vivendi.

"Women have a special familiarity with words, because they have a special intimacy with life. They teach us the first words: let women again generate the necessary first words of the new world that is to be born."

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06 December 2022, 16:23