Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Camerapersons: Athar Rather and Aniket Rawat
I am an Iranian, studying and living in New Delhi. While my country is witnessing waves of protests, it is extremely difficult to live away from my family, in Iran’s capital Tehran, and not think about their wellbeing.
The visuals we are getting to watch on social media, it's very disturbing and God forbid, nothing should happen to them. I'm constantly praying for them.
Whenever I speak to them, my first question to them is, 'Are you okay?' And when they say, 'They are fine,' that's when I feel relieved.
'Difficult to Connect With Family In Iran'
It isn't easy to speak to them on call. All social media networks in the country are either blocked or restricted by the Iranian government. Internet, too, is very patchy. Many a time, for several hours of the day, the internet connection is unavailable.
I get to speak to my parents, once every 3-4 days, and that too using an international calling card, for which, I have to pay Rs 800 for a 60-minute call, since WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media networks are restricted.
On 12 October, after failing to connect with my friend for an entire day. I finally, received a call from her via Instagram. She was using VPN to connect the call and she told that the internet was unavailable because of the protest, and all the shops were closed in Sanandaj province.
On the call, she told me,
"People in this condition feel, as if, they are dead even before actually dying. They don't have a normal life. It's really awful."My friend from Iran
She recently graduated from a university and had planned to get a job. But in this situation, there are hardly any new jobs available.
She further says, "Ever since the government started restricting access to Instagram, and WhatsApp, several online businesses have closed down. I started my own business on Instagram, but because of the restriction, I am not able to access anything. This has hampered my business also."
I wish, I could speak to her for a longer time, but she was worried that the call might be tapped, so we had to end the conversation quickly.
'Protests In Iran, Are Not Just About Hijab'
People think that this protest is mainly about Hijab, but it's not the case. Actually, it is a part of our protest. We have many problems. The biggest problem is – our economy. Iran is facing sanctions and now it's time to change that.
We need to solve this problem through friendly talks, but unfortunately, the government never tries to speak to the people to solve the problem. The government always blames foreign countries, every time there is a protest in Iran.
The last time, when I heard our leader speaking, he was blaming Israel, and the USA, for the unrest in the country. They even talked about Saudi Arabia but there will not be any mention of the poor state of the stock market or the dollar rates in Iran.
Dear government of Iran, I am unable to control my emotions, I want to say that these people deserve more. Please help them. Killing them, putting limitations on them, and ignoring them is not good.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)