Mitra Hejazipour, amongst Iran’s most completed chess gamers, demonstrated exceptional braveness when she defied the Islamic Republic’s stringent costume code for ladies by eradicating her scarf throughout a event.
Now residing in exile in France after being expelled from the Iranian group on the time, she says she is in awe of the bravery of Iranians who poured into the streets one 12 months in the past after the police custody loss of life of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for allegedly violating the costume code.
Hejazipour, 30, who acquired French citizenship in March, has loved immense success on the board since arriving in France.
This 12 months, she received the French chess championships and helped her group to 3rd place on the world group championships.
However she instructed Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview that on the primary anniversary of Amini’s loss of life, she can not take her thoughts off the scenario in her dwelling nation, caught between hope that protesters might obtain a breakthrough and concern of repression towards them.
“There are a lot of causes for folks to push and protest towards this regime, even when it prices them their lives or they’re imprisoned,” she stated.
“I see the braveness. I see that, in reality, they’re suffocating. It is about to blow up. Individuals do not assume an excessive amount of concerning the penalties.”
Feeling of freedom
The primary time that Hejazipour publicly appeared with out her scarf was in a photograph taken in Germany, revealed on her Instagram account in February 2018, she stated.
Impressed by ladies who had been taking off their compulsory headscarves and placing them on sticks in Iran, she stated she wished “to have this sense of freedom when you may really feel the wind blowing by your hair.”
Nevertheless, she stated she needed to take away the publish following threatening messages despatched by the Iranian regime.
She then eliminated the scarf in competitors throughout the Blitz Chess World Championships in Moscow in December 2019.
Hejazipour grew to become the second Iranian participant to be expelled from the group for that reason, two years after Dorsa Derakhshani, who’s now competing for the US.
“It was chess,” which she began “at six years outdated with my father,” that “allowed me this freedom,” stated Hejazipour, who was thought of a chess prodigy earlier than she was even in her teenagers.
“I used to be fortunate as a result of I traveled loads and talked with folks from completely different cultures and religions,” she stated.
Concern and hope
From France, she stated she needs to “present Iranian ladies that they don’t seem to be alone” by taking part in occasions and speaking about “the scenario in Iran,” saying it’s “the least I can do.”
“I believe that the regime isn’t giving up and can by no means hand over as a result of the hijab is the premise of the Iranian Islamic regime.
“However ladies attempt to put on the veil much less and fewer. After we have a look at photographs and movies from Iran, we see that there are fewer ladies carrying the veil. That, I believe, reveals that braveness has developed. It isn’t that the regime is giving up.”
On what the end result of the protest motion could possibly be, she added: “From what I noticed final 12 months and what I find out about this regime, I’ve concern, in fact, however I’ve hope on the identical time. As a result of they cannot kill everybody, they cannot imprison everybody.”