Women Singing: An Issue of Religion or Politics?

By  translated by Parvaneh Torkamani

 

 

Is the issue of women’s singing rooted in religion or politics?

Throughout Iranian history, women’s voices and their singing has provoked discussion and argument. As far as modern history is concerned, discussions after the 1979 Iranian Revolution led to a complete ban on women’s singing forced all established female singers to stop their artistic activity, causing many of them immigrate to outside Iran’s borders. Then there was the loosening of restrictions after May 1997 that allowed women like Parisa and Sima Bina to start singing. Yet, every once in a while, the right of women to sing is challenged by the media and by the people.

But the history of women singing spans beyond that of the 1979 Revolution. It was a contentious issue even before the Revolution. This issue is so sensitive that in traditional theater such as Ta’zieh, men play women’s roles in the Karbala tragedy. Also in Mouloodi Singings—a kind of religious singing in praise of the Prophet Mohammad and his family on occasion of their births—women possess the right only to sing in front of other women. Young boys before puberty, under the age of seven could be present too in the event, but their singing was and is related to the level of their dignity. In tribal communities, however, women sang and danced alongside men and they still do.

Continue reading “Women Singing: An Issue of Religion or Politics?”

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The Disappeared Throughout the Decades: A Secret in the Heart of Security Houses of the Iranian Regime

by  translated by Parvaneh Torkamani

Demonstrators in Shahyad Square, Tehran, during the 1979 Revolution. Image via: Wikimedia Commons.

They came and took him from the front of his house. His friends saw that he was arrested on the street. Yesterday he left home and there has been no news of him since. Over the past four decades, one could hear such words from many families — families who are still looking for their loved ones, families who still don’t know what exactly happened to their loved ones, families who are not sure if one day their children will return.

This story and these questions are the story and questions of many families who have lost their loved ones over the past thirty-seven years. One family’s beloved was present at a protest and later disappeared; another family’s dear one belonged to a protest group and the news of her arrest had arrived, but later there was no news of her; a baby was born in prison, and after a few days of separation from her mother, she disappeared. In Iran, people have been missing for days, months, years, decades.

It is a black list, a famous black list, that includes people from every event, group, and organization, from every religion, sect, and tradition, who share in the same pain like these suffering people throughout the years.

The disappearance of people under authoritarian regimes or governments who do not care for the life and well-being of their citizens is not an issue that starts at one point and ends at another. The inventory gets longer as time goes by, but this dark night is not going to be over until there is an everlasting morning for all the people of this land.

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مصاحبه با رادیو سوئد – Interview with Radio Sweden

مصاحبه علی کلائی با رادیو سوئد در ارتباط با گذشته خود و همچنین مسئله آزادی بیان و وضعیت آن در ایران

Iranske skribenten Ali Kalaei försöker påverka i exil

Publicerat fredag 15 juli kl 14.09
“Yttrandefrihet lika viktigt som att andas”
(3:05 min)
Ali Kalaei.
Ali Kalaei är fristadsförfattare i Eskilstuna. Foto: Matilda Källén/SR

Efter en fängelsedom blev Ali Kalaie tvungen att lämna sitt hemland Iran, där han kämpat för mänskliga rättigheter och yttrandefrihet sedan studietiden. Sedan i våras är han fristadsförfattare i Eskilstuna. Att försöka påverka i exil är inte lika effektivt, menar han, men likväl viktigt.

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The Human Right Activists in Iran and 10 Years of Experience and Team Work

ali kalai

Peace Line Monthly / Ali Kalaei – Out of the ashes of a great incident something new will always be born; something that perhaps is part of the evolution of that incident itself. A phoenix is born from its own ashes; although the new phoenix might be reborn with a different form each time, yet it will be the continuation and evolution of the same story, which has taken a new shape.

Years ago, at a time when the candle of the reformist government was about to burn out and excitements and hopes of the days after May 1997 (1) were waning to the autumn of a coalesced government structure and fully locked atmosphere, some stood up and stepped in a path that is being walked on till this very day. In the final days of the Reformist Government, which all its strengths and weaknesses a side, had let a generation grow that was taught and believed in civil, civility and modernity, a movement sparkled that consequently in the March of the other year (the year of enthronement of Ahmadinejad and announcement of him as the president to a republic which was still shocked by his presidency), created an organization named “Human Right Activists in Iran, HRAI” with the aim of human rights activism and reflecting the obvious and hidden violations of the human rights in Iran. Despite all the calamity and struggles, HRAI has continued its activism till this very day and in comparison to other independent non-governmental and civil organizations in Iran, has done an amazing job.

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