The Washington Post

Iran woman uses rap to ‘rage against’ conservative regime [VIDEO]

Samira’s face is intentionally fuzzy on her rap video (Screengrab from PBS video)

Samira goes to such lengths because she is a 23-year-old rapper in Iran who records songs about feeling suppressed by the conservative cleric regime. There are two choices when faced with Iran’s regime, she told PBS News Hour in an interview: “Either accept everything as it is ... or rage against it.”

Samira has chosen to rage.

Watch Samira’s video below:

Since she was a teenager, Samira has felt unhappy with restrictions on how she should dress or how she should behave, but the opposition protests in Iran in 2009 solidified her position.

During the protests, Samira says she saw a man gunned down right behind her and wrote the lyrics to “Freedom Dream” that same night. She wrote the song, she says, imagining that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was her audience.

Watch “Freedom Dream”:

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

“As a rap singer I try to voice what other young people were thinking and could not express,” Samira told PBS. “I always thought that what I would write and sing would give courage to others and they would also speak.”

In her songs, Samira often begins with her own personal troubles and then relates them to larger social issues.

Rappers and rock musicians are popular in Iran, despite lack of a stage.

Lyrics to ‘Freedom Dream’:

Captive and prisoners behind the dark walls,

We know our destiny to freedom.

We, the cage birds fearful of outside, in Evin prison

We sing the song of flight.

Together, solid as a row of cypress.

In memory of brave Neda, Alive and Green!

Dedicated to the soil of Iran,

Captive of the bitter sunset,

But tomorrow’s green sunrise belongs to us!


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