Sunday, June 21, 2009

Her name was Neda

Neda Agha Soltan

She was standing on the street with her father music professor. They were on Karekar Avenue, at the corner crossing Khosravi Street and Salehi Street in Tehran. I don't know why they were there. Maybe they were protesting against the government, or maybe they were just curious, wondering what was going on. Or maybe they lived there.

But because they were out in the street after warnings had been issued, someone shot her.

The bullet hit her in the chest. According to a doctor who was at the scene, it went straight to her heart.

The video catches her falling. Someone - maybe her father, maybe someone from the crowd - pulls her off the curb and eases her down to lie flat on the pavement. You can see her face, her mouth show a feeling - what is this, what has happened to me? Her rescuers' hands press and push onto her chest, to close her wound, or to resuscitate her.

As the video plays, she opens her mouth and gasps, then her eyes glance toward the camera. She knows we see her.

As the camera rolls, blood pours from her mouth - indicating the terrible injuries to her heart and lungs. Her rescuers' bodies fill the frame as they bend to save her, then the camera focuses on her face again. Blood flows like paint from her mouth, then her nose, down both sides of her face to the pavement beneath her. Blood collects into the hollow of her left eye, filling the socket. Her right eye, vacant yet pure, stares at the sky, her shaped eyebrow above, her mouth so perfect, so beautiful except for the blood. Now she is gone, she has passed.

It's on the video.

She was a real person, just like me, just like you. Her name was Neda Agha Soltan. Don't forget her.

UPDATE: The video links are no longer valid. You can probably find a video on the internet if you search. I've decided I can't watch footage of her death anymore. I've posted a photo of Neda as she was when she was alive. Although I would like to remove the photo of her death, I can't. It's what we have to remember.


Indy Cookie said...

God Bless you for this post. There but for the grace of God go US!!!

Gilly said...

We need to know what happens. And we need to SEE what happens.

But it seems obscene to me to film, in such detail, the death of a child like Neda.

But is her death any different from those gunned down in the US, those knifed in the UK, those shot in Northern Ireland merely because they are different, or disagree or are simply in the way?

Every life lost due to violence, of whatever kind, is a wound to our conscience. No life is less worthy than any other life.

We have to believe that, and act on it if we are to have any peace, both in our hearts and on our streets.

Beverly said...

My hears weeps over the tragedies created by our fellow men.

Nikki-ann said...

Truly appauling (her needless death, not your post).

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

It's difficult to believe it's 2009 and we're still doing this to each other.

Tragic and infuriating

Lucy said...

Thank you for posting and honoring her - just found your blog and I will follow. How appropriate that mourning doves are a symbol that resonates for you.

blognut said...

I can't believe we still can't figure out how to stop all of the violence.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking! What makes it worse is that innocent people are being dragged to such situations

Woman in a Window said...

Ah Jesus. I can't watch. It's not 'cause I don't want to know or simply want to avoid but I can't watch. What the hell can we do about this? This is what I wonder. Are you calling us to do something? Tell me because it's too much...

Kate said...

We must not forget.
Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

I can't watch. I just can't. But I can remember her. She is a face of the people in the midst of this struggle. And I can be angry that Neda died in such tragic violence.

cactus petunia said...

I am sick over this. I simply cannot understand how one human being can do this to another.
Thanks for honoring her.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

So very very sad.

It hurts.

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Oh, this is sooooo sad. :0( So much disrespect for life! I can understand why you can't watch the video of her death anymore. Just reading your words is enough of a visual for me.

I am so blessed to be a citizen of the United States of America. Even in the face of our own countries violence we do not have to live in the same kind of fear as so many people do that live abroad.


ric said...
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