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Neda Agha-Soltan: Persian Women Iranian Martyrs

Updated on July 6, 2014

A beautiful womans tragic death

(Authors note added 5-13-2012: This article was written right after Neda died. This article however can also be used for educational and historical purposes)


As I sat watching TV while my sons fiance tried on wedding dresses Sunday, the graphic pictures of a woman slain on the streets of Iran captured my attention. Her name was Neda and she was struck by a sniper bullet during the Tehran protests over the latest Iranian presidential election. 2 videos were apparently taken, one of them by a nearby bystander with a cell phone.

Neda Agha-Soltan, who was later said to have told her friend 'it's just one bullet', died in the arms of her friend as onlookers stood by helplessly. As I watched this young woman die in front of me on the TV screen I felt a helpless feeling myself, my heart going out to her friend and music teacher Hamid Panahi who repeatedly pleaded with Neda, "Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, Neda dear."

I had been following the aftermath of the Iranian election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad closely, but to be honest was very shocked to see the massive outrage this election caused. Speculation of stuffed ballot boxes and election improprieties had quickly caused upheaval with civil unrest and protests, like the one that Neda was participating in.

An innocent bystander, with no weapons and not fighting, Neda died an ugly death on the streets of Iran while her friend desperately tried to soothe the fatally stricken woman.

Strangely enough, Neda's name means "voice" or "calling" or "Divine message" in Persian.

Since her tragic death she is now been referred to as the "Voice of Iran" ...leading many to call Neda a martyr for the Iranian people.

Wiki's tribute to Neda

Neda Salehi Agha-Soltan (Persian: ندا آقا سلطان - Nedā Āġā-Soltān; born 1982, died June 20, 2009) was an Iranian woman whose killing, during the 2009 Iranian election protests, was captured on video by bystanders. The graphic videos were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly became a rallying cry for the opposition. Neda means "voice" or "calling" or "Divine message" in , and she has been referred to as the "voice of Iran" and "a symbol of pro-democracy protesters battering the Islamic regime" in the world. Her last name has also been spelled as Soltani in some media reports.

Neda's death has captured the world's attention

As a mother my heart goes out to Neda's family. I think of how Neda's mother will never be able to see her own daughter marry and try on wedding dresses...

As a friend of many my heart goes out to Neda's friends, especially her music teacher who frantically tried to help his friend as she died. As an American and United States citizen I am outraged that Neda died this way, as many are. President Obama said today, "I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost".

"She only ever said that she wanted one thing," Caspian Makan, who said he was Soltan's boyfriend, told The Associated Press. "She wanted democracy and freedom for the people of Iran."

Twitterers across the globe are talking about the "rigged" Iranians election which led to Neda's death here:

To join the Facebook group on behalf of Neda you can click here.

To all of you who are following Neda's lifeand her tragic death, and especially to the family of this beautiful woman, my sympathies go out to you. May Neda's courage serve as a symbol for those who seek freedom and to those who seek true peace.


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  • profile image

    i-tank 5 years ago

    neda agha ]he is not wark of musalman women -ar you muslam women]muslam women go to led of allah-not go in runwey]he odaor of allah muslam women is cen piec-he is not of war]ple give me-ok]

  • profile image

    Lona P 6 years ago

    Without the video and its worldwide distribution Neda Agha-Soltan would just have become another nameless statistic. Without the video it would, yes, have been "easier" for the family and friends to mourn her and bury her in privacy. With the video and its distribution the world saw how oppressive the Iranian regime is; the regime was embarrassed and therefore cracked down on the family by preventing them from performing the proper Muslim burial rites for Neda. The family were innocent of the video just as Neda was innocent of protesting but both were made to suffer for the world expose of Iran's shame. Neda gave her life for a cause she was not even invloved in and the family lost their rights to a decent burial and private mourning period because their loved one had become a "cause celebre."

  • Dorsi profile image

    Dorsi Diaz 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    prof.sajjad) Thanks for stopping by and I will take a look at that clip again.

  • profile image

    prof.sajjad 7 years ago

    certainly it was a drama of America and england also israel.

    miss.nida was also part of this drama also there are some

    facts in this clip. photoshop work also people aroud the body of nida are not giving CPR butt pressing the throat

    of this lady.look at this clip again.

  • packerpack profile image

    Om Prakash Singh 8 years ago from India, Calcutta

    I just knew that there has been some problem going on in Iran related to their election result. I have been keeping very busy lately because of my office work and hence didn't know about this incidence. Feeling sorry for her and thanks for sharing the story

  • RedElf profile image

    RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

    Dorsi, thanks so much for sharing this young woman's tragic end. We can only hope that her death will inspire others to make a change.

  • SweetiePie profile image

    SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

    I know of quite a few Iranians who have immigrated to the US for obvious reasons.  It is sad what has happened to Iran because Persian culture and cuisine is truly beautiful.  Most people only think of the Revolution and the current oppressive governemtn, but I encourage people to read Pomegranate Soup, Rosewater and Soda Bread, and Reading Lolita in Tehran to learn about the beauty too. 

  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

    Poor girl, may she rest in peace.

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    Christopher F 8 years ago

    Neda Soltani is thought to have been watching a rally against the apparently rigged Iranian presidential election when she was killed. She is almost uniformly identified as a university student. She’s a victim of a terrible atrocity, committed in the name of oppressing political freedom. At a recent protest, it is suspected that either Iranian Revolutionary Guard or Basij (paramilitary volunteer police – the Iranian equivalent of the S.S.) personnel opened fire into the crowd, fatally wounding Neda Soltani. Pictures and video of the event have been posted to the internet of the event, and she has become a martyr and symbol for the struggle in Iran for political freedom. Payday loans won't bring back, or anyone else killed in the name of perpetuating authoritarian regimes.

  • profile image

    Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

    A very sad ending to a promising young life...Well written hub...

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    This is a very touching hub, thanks for spreading the word.

  • Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

    This whole event and troubles just makes me want to cry from the inside out.

  • RooBee profile image

    RooBee 8 years ago from Here

    Thanks for providing a lovely tribute about this lovely person. It is so hard to see that footage, but I hope that her very public death will serve some greater good. I hope that her incredible courage will inspire others to stand up against injustice. When so many young women are concerned with whether they are thin enough or have the right handbag, others give their life to stand in solidarity with a people crying out for freedom. It makes you think about what you want to concern yourself with and focus your energy on.

    Great, great hub Dorsi.

  • tony0724 profile image

    tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

    Yeah Dorsi I saw this footage so many times on CNN . And everytime It was like a punch In the stomach . I truly feel for the Iranian people under the Iron fist of the Iranian theocracy . And I feel for that beautiful young lady who had her life robbed from her ! Such a waste !