Revolution in my living room

Iran today from the perspective of an Irish-Iranian American


Revolution in my living room
by Sienna Mae Heath

I am an Irish-Iranian American member of the human race. Who are you?

Iran has been defined as “over there” by many people who are not familiar with the country. But ever-growing technology has brought “over there” into our houses.

The burst of publicity on the Iranian people’s peaceful freedom fighting has proven to be not always so peaceful through our television and laptop screens. In my house, such broadcasts are particularly poignant. YouTube videos are playing throughout the house, surrounding my parents and me with the sounds and struggles of the Iranian people’s bittersweet cries. We’re also surrounding ourselves with the sounds of loving and creative solidarity events like poetry readings and musical collaborations from all across the globe. Sometimes it feels like it’s all right here in my living room, right here in America.

While Iranian and non-Iranian people are coming together, it hasn’t been enough yet. Once in a while I’ll see my Iranian mother crying over her computer screen. Sometimes I cry too. I’m crying because a part of me that I barely know is dying, or maybe just being born. The comedies we used to watch don’t brighten our days the way they used to. My Facebook posts aren’t as popular: many of my Iran-related links are left without any comments, but I know that someone is clicking on them.

At the same time, the attention isn’t so bad. The Iranian people - not just the Iranian government - should have made CNN headlines long before the summer of 2009. Not only their cries for human rights but their literature and music have finally become appreciated and admired around the world. They should have made headlines for the past thirty years, but like their last revolution in 1979 (when my mom left her home in Iran), the news reports lost interest.

As the Twitter updates dwindle and as the Iranian government cracks down on the already weary and broken backs of their citizens, will the American interest, fascination, and maybe even sympathy fall into the cracks of the Iranian soil, in between the government and its opposition? Will the brief American curiosity and compassion for people over there fade away?

As an Irish-Iranian, an American, and a human being, I sincerely hope not.

While I have relatives in Iran, the focus of recent news broadcasts should transcend heritage bonds and form bonds throughout humanity. The news on television and the voice of the people through mediums such as Twitter have come together, as should the people over there and the people over here. Through technology and through our hearts, it is time. My aunts, uncles, and cousins deserve just as much as yours.

While we’re on Facebook for hours, my cousin in Iran got on Facebook for just five minutes to let me know she was alive.

As the Twitter updates and trending topics sway from genocide to pop culture: What are you doing?



Very lovely and touching article Siena! Merci!

by gol-dust on

My entire family who lives there participated in the rallies as they did in the last one, but this time with their children. As for me, unlike my 8 siblings, I never had the opportunity in 79 and now.

What am I doing? As the president of my union I am fighting against the illegally imposed furlough on the engineers at my work place, and trying to catch on the events in iran on

I am sure my brother who is a professor of political scociology in London, would tell you a totally different story. In fact, he has taken leave of absence from his work just to devote his time to help to overthrow this murderer regime. After all, he has written books on Iranian revolution, and has been working and hoping for this moment for the last 30 years. He has to honor his brother whom got killed in 79.

This regime has betrayed my brother, my family and the entire iranian nation. They should be defeated! It is not going to be  cakewalk! The religious people with power all the most brutals who will do anything to keep on to their power. Thank you for thinking of Iran!


Dear Mort,

by monarch9181 on

I agree, the revolution is very much held together by the arts and by other non-violent means of spreading the human rights movement in Iran (and throughout the world). When I ask "What are you doing?" I include the "poetry readings" and "musical collaborations" that are "in my living room" along with the sort of news broadcasts akin to the photo above my article. So truly, yes, the movement is not sapping but rather changing form (for the better) into less violent means such as music, literature, chanting, and green bracelets. Thank you for your words of wisdom, ~Sienna

Mort Gilani

Dear Sienna,

by Mort Gilani on

It is not necessary to hold rallies with millions in the street every day. There are many ways by which Iranians can exhaust this regime, and people are doing that.
The propaganda apparatus of Islamic Republic including some charlatans with inapt names in this site always tried to portray the wrong image of IRAN. Now, they want us to believe that the movement’s strength is sapping, and they want to divert the conversation from the problems of the regime to the challenges of the movement, but time is on our side because:
1) The moral support for the movement has a huge momentum. It is great that Tutu, Bon Jovi, Robert Redford, Sean Penn, Madonna, fashion designers, people of Iraq, and many others are showing solidarity with the people of Iran.
2) Iranians are unleashing their artistic talent against the regime. The importance of art for a revolution is comparable to that of water for fish.
3) There will be daily rallies in every single university throughout the country after schools open in two months.
4) If I am not mistaken the soccer leagues are scheduled to start soon. The regime either has to cancel every single game or deal with a crowd of 50,000 to 100,000 chanting anti-government slogans in every major and minor game.
5) The regime was cash-strapped before the election and is bankrupt now. In my view, we will soon witness worker strikes too.

And, the list goes on ...