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Weekend Recs: Iranian Protests

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Over the past month, protests in Iran have been raging after the death of an Iran-born Kurdish young woman, Jîna Amini, also known by her Iranian legal name Mahsa Amini. This sparked global conversations about women’s rights. Although protests were provoked by Amini’s murder and focused on Iran’s treatment of women, many protestors are broadly calling for an overthrow of the current regime. This weekend’s recs will give you an overview of some key information and context about what is currently happening in Iran.

If you have 5 minutes…and need a basic overview of the Iran situation, read this BBC article. It will answer any questions about the situation for those who may not be caught up.

If you have another 5 minutes…and can’t imagine your life without the Internet, read this article about how the Iranian government is shutting down Iranian citizens’ access to the Internet, heavily suppressing their message.

If you have 7 minutes…and don’t know the turbulent history between Iran and the U.S., read this article from The Hill. The U.S. inadvertently played a major role in the current regimes rise to power, and as much of our conflicts in the Middle East, it was triggered by oil interests.

If you have another 7 minutes…and are wondering why I am referring to Mahsa Amini as Jîna, read this opinion piece. “Mahsa”  was the legal Iranian name given to her, while “Jîna” was her Kurdish name, a key facet often overlooked in media coverage. It is very possible that her Kurdish ethnicity played a role in her murder.

If you have 10 minutes…and want to learn more about Amini’s death that sparked global protests, read this New York Times article. Her death was the result of Iran’s strict “morality” laws, which strip women of the right to choose whether to practice hijab or not.

If you have another 10 minutes…and want to learn more about the response of the Iranian people, read this New York Times article. The article specifically focuses on how young people have been the driving force behind recent protests.

If you have 12 minutes…and are wondering how the Iranian military regime has responded to protests, read this article from the New York Times. The Iranian regime’s security forces remain supportive of the current regime and have stifled protests.

Photo by Neil Webb on Unsplash

If you have 15 minutes…and want to hear the stories of two girls who were killed as a result of protesting the death of Mahsa “Jîna” Amini, read this New York Times article. Nika Shakarami and Sarina Esmailzadeh are just two girls of many who have been brutalized in the military response to the protests.

If you have another 15 minutes…and want to learn some basic history on the Kurds in Iran, read this article. Despite the Iranian government’s harsh and violent treatment of all women, Amini’s Kurdish identity is something that should not be erased, and Iran has a long history with the Kurds.

If you have 1 hour and 32 minutes…and want to check out a documentary about women’s rights activism in Iran, watch NASRIN, available online through Falvey. This 2020 documentary highlights the story of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian political prisoner and women’s rights activist.

If you have 1 hour and 41 minutes…and want to learn about international women’s rights and girl’s global access to education, watch Girl Rising, also available online through Falvey. Girl Rising is a documentary that features the stories of 9 girls around the world as they share their stories.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Library Statement on Protests

Falvey Memorial Library stands united with those who seek social justice and equality and supports those protesting worldwide to dismantle institutionalized racism and white supremacy.

As Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, wrote in his email to the campus community, “With COVID-19, we witnessed what was occurring and swiftly and dramatically changed behaviors in order to save lives. As I think about George Floyd, and the numerous other black men and women who have been killed unjustly, I can’t help but wonder, why isn’t our reaction the same? When will we understand that injustice affects us all? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best when he said: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

To the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members of the Villanova community, we see you, we hear you, and we will listen, learn, and grow. Falvey Memorial Library is committed to creating a community in the spirit of Villanova University’s Augustinian values; to ensure the Library is a place where all feel welcome and safe.

Learn more about diversity and inclusion on Falvey Memorial Library’s Diversity and Inclusion Subject Guide.


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Last Modified: June 4, 2020