On Sept. 28, Iranian musician Shervin Hajipour dropped a song called "Bareye," which means, “For the Sake of.”
In the somber ballad, he sings of why Iranians are rising up in protest: “For dancing in the streets," he intones. “For my sister, for your sister, for our sisters.”
The protests in Iran, which emerged in response to the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, have embroiled dozens of cities across the country and evolved into the most widespread challenge to Iran’s leadership in years.
A series of festering crises have helped fuel public rage, including the country's political repression, ailing economy and global isolation.
The scope of the ongoing unrest, the most sustained in over a decade, remains unclear as witnesses report spontaneous gatherings across the country featuring small acts of defiance — protesters shouting slogans from rooftops, cutting their hair and burning their state-mandated headscarves.
“For the Sake of” has been a huge hit. Hajipour’s original post on Instagram was watched close to 40 million times and received 1.5 million likes, even during an almost total internet shutdown in Iran.
But all the attention came at a cost for Hajipour. He has been arrested and the music video has been taken down from his Instagram page. His lawyer said he was released on bail Tuesday and rejoined his family in the northern city of Babolsar.
Iranians though, have been resharing his music in hopes of keeping the spotlight on his situation. Some say this song has become the anthem of the protests.
The Associated Press contribued to this report.
Every week, more than 2 million listeners tune into our broadcast and follow our digital coverage like this story, which is available to read for free thanks to charitable contributions from listeners like you. But less than 1% of our audience supports our program directly. From now through the end of the year, every gift will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor, which means your gift will help us unlock a $67,000 challenge match.
Will you join our growing list of loyal supporters and double your impact today?