Recently, Iran held presidential elections, and, let's just say things didn't go so well. Rumors of corruption ran rampant, and the people took to the streets. The Ayatollah and the Guardian Council promised to look into these claims of injustice. And after a few days of investigating, determined there very well may have been something sketchy going on. The rulers of Iran also determined, however, that its citizens should shut up about it already, and quit with all the protesting.
But of course, this did not happen. The people took to the streets and protested with renewed vigor and determination. Reports of violent clashes emerged from Iran, (thanks to Twitter of all things). And while the violence was condemned the world over, it took on an entirely more personal tone when the world heard the story of Neda Agha-Soltan.
Neda Agha-Soltan, 27, studied Islamic philosophy at Azad University, and studied singing privately. Prior to the election, Neda was not considered very political. She was engaged to be married. But in the face of the recent election, she herself took to the streets to protest. At around 6 p.m. she began to walk towards Kargar Avenue in Tehran. While observing the mass protests she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plain-clothes Basij paramilitaries.
It's important to know that Neda was not the first protest-related death in Iran in the last couple of days. What sets Neda's story apart is that her death was caught on video. And her death, thanks to social networking sites such as YouTube and Twitter, was broadcast and seen all around the world, almost instantly. It's amazing that a futile time waste of a website like Twitter could actually be making a difference in the world. But it is.
And now with a quick search on Google you too can watch this young woman's grizzly demise. You too can see the struggle of the Iranian people played out on this young woman's dying face. You too can watch her eyes look to the camera one last time, begging someone, anyone to take notice, to take action, and then in a moment, expire. You too can witness martyrdom in action.