Saturday, October 25, 2008

Esha Momeni's Mother: "Esha Wanted to Show Just How Powerful Iranian Women Are"

The One Million Signatures Campaign in California , 24th October 2008

Campaign for Equality: A number of the members of the Mothers Committee visited the mother and grandmother of Esha Momeni on 20th October and conveyed their regrets at Esha's arrest.
Esha's mother, who was extremely upset by her daughter's arrest, said the following during this meeting with the Mothers Committee:

"During the time Esha has been here, I have seen very little of her. I took the matter up with here, and she said that I should come to America and see her there. She has been pursuing her tasks and research with great enthusiasm." Her mother, emphasizing that she was sure Esha had not been engaged in any oppositional activity and that she would be released, said: "I feel so emotional every time I think of that day when Esha explained to me with such tremendous enthusiasm what her thesis project was and how excited she was to be coming to Tehran and how while she was spending a few months with us she would also be working on her Master's thesis. She wanted to show her professors and her American friends how powerful Iranian women are, and that the Taleban are not in power in Iran, to show how much progress Iranian women have made. She said that in America people have absolutely no idea about the situation of women in Iran and that they confuse us with Afghan women, that Iranian women dress in the same way as Afghan women and that they are prisoners in their homes. They even think that we don't have the right to vote and that is the reason I want to carry out research on Iranian women. And now she is in prison, and I am here waiting for her. Esha loves Iran and the people of Iran. For this reason she chose to write her thesis about active Iranian women. I hope she is freed as soon as possible and that she doesn't fall behind in her work and study."

Concerning the original motive for Esha's involvement in women's activism, she said: "The most important reason for Esha's being drawn to women's issues was her personal experience of a life full of violence. She was deeply saddened by this. I said to the gentlemen who came to the house, "if you were in her place, you would do the same thing". And I would do the same thing too. She has suffered a lot by taking this course. From every standpoint she was superior to her husband, but she was forced to put up with him."

Maryam Zandi, one of the mothers of the committee, said at this meeting: "Esha was extremely glad to see that three generations of Iranian women were working hard side by side, in a peaceful and civil manner, in order to obtain equal rights. It is truly a great shame that this passionate woman should spend even one day in prison. I hope that she is quickly set free."

Khadijeh Moghaddam, another member of the Mothers Committee, continuing Ms. Zandi's words, said: "Esha, like many of the young members of the Campaign, is enthusiastic, compassionate, and desires the progress of her country. When I spoke with Esha, I used to forget that she doesn't live in Iran. While possessing a sharp intelligence, she is also patient and capable. When I read Esha's biography, I realized how much trouble she has gone to in order to get where she is today. I truly congratulate Esha's family on having such a daughter and I hope she is set free as soon as possible. A cell is no place for such a young person."

At the conclusion of this visit, the Mothers Committee expressed the desire that Esha be released as swiftly as possible, and declared that they were ready to provide help to Esha's mother in any form that she might request.

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