Through all of this work with Iranian protesters, I have come into contact and become friends with three people there.
For their safety, I can't give you any details of who they are, but I'll give you their names, since they're very common there.
Two of them have become very influential on a grass roots level, partially because they are in contact with so many people internationally, and have access to better information than most.
Through many, many email conversations, I have grown to love and admire and deeply respect these people, these friends.
Two of them are planning to deliberately seek martyrdom on Thursday. Here's what Fayah wrote to me:
"I love life. I love to laugh and be with my friends. There are so many books I want to read, movies I want to see, people I want to meet. I want to marry, to be a good wife and mother. I want to grow old with the people I love, to feel the sun on my face, to see the ocean, to travel.
My country is in a terrible state. People have no jobs. There is no money. People have no freedom. Women must hide themselves from the world, and we have no choices.
Our people--we are not terrorists. We hate terrorists. And that is what our government has become. They kill our people for no reason. They torture us in their prisons because we want freedom. They make our country look evil, they make our religion look evil.
We are fighting for our freedom, for our religion, for our country. If we do nothing while injustice abounds, we become unjust. We turn into the ones we hate.
I have to fight. I have to go back on the streets. I will make them kill me. I will join Neda, with my friends, and then maybe the world will hear us.
I never thought I would become a martyr, but it is needed. The more of us they kill, the smaller they become, the more strength the people will have. Maybe my death will mean nothing, but maybe it will buy my country freedom.
I am very sad that I will never be a mother, that I will never do the things I love, but I would rather die than do nothing and know that I am to blame for the tortures, the murder, the hatred.
Please tell the world how much we love life. That we are not terrorists. We just want to be free."
[Note: I have corrected spelling, removed identifying details, and cleaned up the word order a bit...English is her fourth language.]
Please, my friends, remember these names:
Please keep them in your thoughts and your prayers.
Gods bless the people of Iran.
If any of you want to reprint Fayah's letter, or disseminate it in any way, please do so. We are her voice, and it needs to be heard.
Chris again: THIS is something important. We can forget that revolutions are scary, painful events. Romania in 1989 was a revolution, against a truly evil, ruinous regime. I remember being worried by the news coming out of Romania 20 years ago; the consequences of that revolution are still occurring. Horrible, difficult events happened then. Horrible, difficult events are happening now in Iran. I can, will, and have to hope that all that can and will lead to a positive end: a hard-fought positive end, but a positive end nonetheless.
Again, the link to idiomagic's journal entry this is quoted from: http://idiomagic.livejournal.com/144770.html