Zan, Zendegi, Azadi

The Marsh Family’s musical reflections on the news is always inciteful and usually makes me smile. Their most recent song Zan, Zendegi, Azadi (Women. Life. Freedom) is serious and pointed, reflecting on Mahsa Amini’s story.

On 16 September 2022, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died in a hospital in Tehran, Iran. Arrested for not wearing the hijab, eyewitnesses said she was severely beaten, and that she died as a result of police brutality,

Since then we have seen protests across Iran, and pictures of brutality by the security forces.  By October 2022, Iran Human Rights reported that at least 201 people were killed by security forces and over 1000 are now facing charges related to the protests.

‘Zan, Zendegi, Azadi’ has made me stop and reflect…

I know young women in their early 20s with their lives before them. Those with experience of life and in positions of power should present good role models of good people in a good world. Young women should see love not hate, hope not despair, acceptance not rejection, peace not violence.

Many have refused to be silenced by the security forces, determined not to be beaten down by fear, demanding that their voices be heard, standing up against injustice, insisting on their right to make their own choices.

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi… includes the line ‘Faith’s not just a veil, it’s the choice to wear it willingly.’ I so value the freedom I have to think, choose my faith, live it, and apply it to my life…

The classic Jewish/Christian image of ‘freedom’ is the story of Moses leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt… crossing the Red Sea… through the desert… facing choices… not always getting it right… eventually arriving in their ‘Promised Land’. Their freedom was costly.

Musing… Today I choose to wear my faith willingly… Zan, Zendegi, Azadi… Women, Life, Freedom… those who don’t have my privileges and freedoms… the cost of freedom… realising I take so much for granted.

4 thoughts on “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi

  1. Yet another meaningful message for us all today, Malcolm. Here in the UK we don’t know just how lucky and privileged we are when it comes to our Spiritual and Physical Freedom do we?


  2. You’re right Chris. It was only as I’ve been thinking about it I realise how much I value that freedom – and therefore respect how much I must respect those who use that freedom differently.


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