As told to Adventure.com. To protect the author, we have kept their identity anonymous.
It’s been a tough time in Iran, especially over the last three years—high inflation, bubble economy, no job security and, on top of that, Covid. The government was not honest about Covid death tolls either, and for a long time, they refused public vaccinations.
Covid hit many small businesses on a big scale—many of these small businesses are run by single mothers and they still can’t recover from such damage. We also had no social or economic support from the government.
On the weekends, we’d normally hang out in the cafés and restaurants—there are no night clubs or bars in Iran. But prices have gone up so much that even going to cafés and restaurants isn’t an option anymore. Instead, we might gather in a friend’s garden or holiday place to party—with the risk of police raids. I call them “go-to-jail parties.” You can get arrested simply for being in a mixed gender party.
I’ve been totally lucky with my family and have always had their support, no matter what decisions I’ve made. I studied at university, picked my major, and since graduation, I’ve been working in the tourism industry. But many women don’t have any of these basic rights and are pushed down by society or family members.
I just wish for the basic human rights—I don’t think non-Iranians truly understand what I mean. It’s not about the right to vote or right for education. It’s much more basic. I mean, the right to eat, drink, read, write or wear whatever you want. To have an option and express it in any shape or form you want. To check into a hotel or travel as an unmarried woman wherever you want. To practice whatever religion you want. To date and marry whoever you want. Own a freaking dog as a pet if you want. These are the BASIC human rights. Iranians don’t have them. And for the last 43 years, they have been arrested, tortured and killed for a daily basis for wanting them. I just wish for the right to live normally, as many of you do, and NOT live in constant fear.
The death of Mahsa Amini [a 22-year Iranian woman arrested for not wearing the hijab according to government rules and who subsequently died in hospital under suspicious circumstances] has been a tragic moment. We’re full of anger that the same story is happening again and again. We cannot help it.