Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Persian Letters

Iranian Women Snap 'Stealthy' Photos Free Of Hijab

"To those who say I should leave the country if I don't want to wear the hijab, I say the hijab wasn't my choice. I want to have freedom in my country."
"To those who say I should leave the country if I don't want to wear the hijab, I say the hijab wasn't my choice. I want to have freedom in my country."
An unveiled young woman stands in front of a sign that reads: "Sisters, observe your hijab." Another with red hair and dark glasses stands next to the ruins of Persepolis, while two others, also sans hijab, dance happily on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

They are among dozens of Iranian women inside the country who have posted their hijab-less photos on a newly launched Facebook page to share their "stealthy" moments of freedom from the veil. 

The administrators of the page, titled "Iranian Women's Freedoms Stealthy," say they do not belong to any political group and that the initiative reflects the concerns of Iranian women who face legal and social restrictions.

The page is the brainchild of exiled Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, who says she's receiving scores of unveiled photos of young and old Iranian women who want to share their brief moments of freedom from the hijab with others

Page administrators say all of the photos and captions posted have been sent by women from all over Iran. Launched on May 3, the page has garnered more than 27,000 likes.
 
"Have [the authorities] ever considered why women stand in front of signs about the hijab, and instead of observing it, take off their scarves?""Have [the authorities] ever considered why women stand in front of signs about the hijab, and instead of observing it, take off their scarves?"
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"Have [the authorities] ever considered why women stand in front of signs about the hijab, and instead of observing it, take off their scarves?"
"Have [the authorities] ever considered why women stand in front of signs about the hijab, and instead of observing it, take off their scarves?"
"This is my photo at Tehran's Yas sports center," explains the woman standing next to the hijab sign, one of many signs and posters in Iran promoting the Islamic dress code in public places as a means of protecting women and their values. "Have [the authorities] ever considered why women stand in front of signs about the hijab, and instead of observing it, take off their scarves?"

The caption for the photograph of the woman standing near the Persepolis reads: "Freedoms that last only for a few seconds."

The hijab became compulsory following the 1979 revolution and the creation of the Islamic republic. For more than three decades, women in Iran have been wearing the veil: some voluntarily, many under threat of harassment by police, as well as fines and arrests. 

Women who have posted their photos without the veil on a public page could be arrested for breaking the law. But they don't seem to care. They appear happy about their brief moments of freedom and defiance.

A young woman posing while holding her pink scarf over a mountain in the conservative city of Isfahan writes that "the look" of some men in the city is worse than the moral police that enforce the hijab.
"Freedoms that last only for a few seconds.""Freedoms that last only for a few seconds."
x
"Freedoms that last only for a few seconds."
"Freedoms that last only for a few seconds."
"To those who say I should leave the country if I don't want to wear the hijab, I say the hijab wasn't my choice," she writes. "I want to have freedom in my country."

Another woman who posted her picture without the veil while standing atop a mountain in the northwestern city of Tabriz writes about the pleasure of feeling the wind in her hair.

"We keep hoping that this freedom will not be stealthy," she writes.

--Golnaz Esfandiari
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by: jojnjo from: Dublin
May 08, 2014 00:56
Aren't Iranian women just beautiful when they are not covered up to the nines in cloth...just "Beautiful"...unlike the Iranian "Morality Police" crowd there...who should be covered up completely because of their frowns & their ugliness.


Well done to the beautiful brave women of Iran, who stand up to be counted in their quest to be "Free".

by: Hashemi from: Kandahar
May 08, 2014 01:14
Veil is compulsory for muslim women .
In Response

by: jojnjo from: Dublin
May 08, 2014 15:01
Hashemi, are you Taliban? If you are? your comment reflects that.

But a lot of Muslims don't think same is compulsory, so they don't agree with you. And if God intended women to cover their faces completely, why then would he give them faces at all. It is always nice to see the beauty of God's creation & definitely not nice for it to be hidden away...


Women of Iran, I salute you.
In Response

by: hamidreza from: london
May 09, 2014 08:02
hashemi!, please do not comment about Iran, F your brain, we hate your islamic calture and your thoughts. no one wants hijab in iran.
In Response

by: Tk from: Sweden
May 10, 2014 22:50
Well not all muslims thinks hijab is compulsory. On the other hand iranians blaming the muslims or arabs for what is happening in Iran is a joke. The khoemeinis are 100% a persian invention and one of the most extreme islamic versions on earth.

Its hence your problem from within your own country. So fix it and stop throwing ahit on islam and arabs...
In Response

by: Vitalis O from: Nigeria
May 12, 2014 13:37
Iranian Ladies are beautiful and feel more comfortable sans the hijab. They are not saying completely ''No' to the use of the hijab, they are only asking to have a choice and there is nothing wrong in that. Doing away with the hijab does not make the average pretty Iranian lady a whore. I think the policy makers should give them listening ears.
In Response

by: MajiD from: Iran
May 09, 2014 00:25
no one wants compulsory veil in Iran. we are not arab and being muslim wasn't our choice.
beautiful iranian girls have the right to choose
In Response

by: najabat from: tehran
May 13, 2014 02:24
have u been to arab country no

algeria women there r more western then Iranian Algerian people r more close to Europe then iranian

iranian women trying to be european lol

In Response

by: Louise Mensch from: Manhattan
May 09, 2014 01:26
No it isn't. No where in the Koran is it mandated. Modest dress is mandated for both sexes. Now keep quiet boy, women are speaking
In Response

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
May 09, 2014 03:54
The muslim men are the problem, not the women.
In Response

by: xortan from: xoxanoffski
May 09, 2014 20:00
one we shall get read of harmful islam in iran and hopefully the rest of the world too. grow up and stop being silly with religion and god nonsense!! we are iranians and do not imported foreign religions to destroy our culture of being iranians. islam is for the arabs who invented this hokos pokos muboo jumboo a long with other 2(judaism&christianity) hokos pokos muboo jumboo !! have you religious bigots not spilled so much blood of innocent people?
In Response

by: najabat from: tehran
May 13, 2014 02:27
them iranian women don't repersent the majority

they r the middel class

but it is not going to change any thing in iran

by: Jack from: US
May 08, 2014 02:11
how about women doing it in such a flourishing democracy as Saudi Arabia, which is the closest ally of US government, after having killed 3,000 americans on 9/11?

by: Sey from: World
May 08, 2014 02:56
Hijab? What I see most women in Iran (or at least the Iran you choose to show us) wear is a headscarf, sometimes what seems to be a bandana, but never a hijab. Hijab is a full-head-no-showing-your-hair cover, and most women in Tehran (or at least the Tehran you choose to show us) wear their headscarves way off their hairline, like a piece of fabric sometimes just held by inertia...something like Russian babushkas wear.

I've seen more pictures, videos, and reports of women wearing true hijabs in secular Turkey that I do in theocratic Iran (once again, at the least the Iran you choose to show us).
In Response

by: sisi from: tehran
May 09, 2014 07:45
so what? we call this headscarf Hijab !!! it's not the big deal u mention... u did not get the point sorry...
complete hijab or just a headscarf, when it is compulsory, it hurts.
In Response

by: Sey from: World
May 09, 2014 16:42
I wanted to ask this to an Iranian, and since you're from Tehran I will take the opportunity...

I thought that women were dead scared of appearing in the streets without the headscarf or whatever name you like... let's say immodest clothing... and that the morality police harassed them and even arrested them for such a "crime". That's what I've been reading and listening for years and years...that women live in a world of fear for the prospect of being persecuted/arrested/stoned to death for even the slightest taste of freedom.

So how come these women take pictures of themselves without the headscarf, create a facebook account, and post them online? Aren't they afraid the police might look for them? And what about those pictures and videos of the crazy parties in Tehran? Aren't those people literally soiling their pants over the chance of being arrested?

I know youngsters are defiant and stuff...but there's a thin line between being brave and being foolish, and if what I've been reading about Iran since I've got memory is 100% true, then you are basically suicidal.

Could anyone please tell me, this is a serious question.
In Response

by: f from: tehran
May 10, 2014 12:43
i know it's not easy to understand something like this.
you see, they say wearing hijab is law and they treat the women you say wear scarfs casually like criminals. you are walking down the street all the sudden the special kind of police called "gasht ershad" comes and arrests you for being slut just because you are wearing something that they don't approve. and they teach men whoever doesn't wear full hijab deserves to be treated badly. try and imagine living like that for a day. it's humiliating and stressful.
In Response

by: ZOULO from: CANADA
May 23, 2014 05:57
OMG, thank uuuuuu, I SOOOOOOOOO agree with u. Whenever i go to iran (recently last year when i was 16) i see persian women completely showing their hair and the scarf is around their neck, or just on one part of their head. like i dont understand why the hell their complaining, the girls ive seen have no hijab at all so like wtf u guys do have freedom lol

by: Frank from: London
May 08, 2014 07:58
I like the photo (in the link you provide) of the two girls sans hejab sitting astride the camel. It looks like the camel is doing the hejab observance for them! What that says about Iranian men... No, let's not discuss that. Oh, for carefree happy days again and the music of 70s singers of سوسن and روحپرور being played openly. What a great time that was.

by: Tarzan from: Britain
May 08, 2014 11:50
Anti Iran BS propaganda,CIA SORRORS FUNDED. FAKE
In Response

by: Yoong from: Iran
May 09, 2014 21:54
You are a charade! Get back to jungle Tarzan!
CIA??????????!!!!!!!!! Anti Iran??????? WTF dude?!
Brave Iranians hate hijab.

by: Curtis Wolf from: United States
May 08, 2014 12:00
No, Tarzan. It is called freedom of choice which is something that is clearly lacking in Iran due to the mullah regime. If you cannot differentiate mandatory hijab from Iranian culture, then you have been brainwashed by the idiots who run Iran.

by: irinka from: Tbilisi
May 08, 2014 16:54
good job, girl! go on and fight for your freedom <3

by: Joe from: San Antonio, TX
May 08, 2014 21:59
I live in Texas and love Iranian women, they are beautiful.

by: Peyman Aghssa from: Ann Arbor
May 08, 2014 22:40
Great job and keep it up until the down fall of the regime.
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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org