The Heroes of 2022

Time Magazine recognizes the Women of Iran as the heroes of 2022

Opinion by Camryn Banafsheha ’27

The Middle Eastern and North African Student Association hosted an all-school assembly to educate students about the protests on Jan. 9. Guest speakers comedian Maz Jobrani P’26, Dr. Nelly Zahiri P’26’26 and Palisades community council president Maryam Zar shared stories about their own experiences in Iran and spoke to the middle school about ways to support the movement.

Amanda Shu ’27 said that the assembly brought forth a sense of understanding and sympathy towards those involved in the protests.

“I thought it was very eye opening. It made me more aware of the crisis in the Middle East and it made me want to speak out and help others that don’t have the freedom that I have,” Shu ’27 said. “I feel empathetic towards the young girls being silenced and I want to be their voice.”

The annual Time Magazine Heroes of the Year article – an honorable achievement to its recipients – this year represents a group of people who have symbolized innovation and unity. Time Magazine recognized the Women of Iran as the heroes of 2022.

For the past 44 years, a tyrannical regime has ruled over Iran, denying women of many basic rights. Generations of the past have spoken out against the harsh limitations through outbursts of rebellion; however, no past Iranian uprising has reached this extent.

In September of 2022, Iranian morality police arrested a young Mahsa Amini for incorrectly wearing her hijab – a mandatory hair cover – in public. Days later, she died in custody of the police, an occurrence that upset people across the globe. Immediately after the news of her death broke on social media, the freedom rallies began.

In the span of four months, people all around the world have gathered in honor of Amini and the other innocent lives that have been taken. Many of the protestors are the women in Iran, themselves. From the age of 13, motivated students have filled the streets with chants and signs, risking their lives with every step. Although there have been severe consequences, the people have persisted.

Time Magazine has acknowledged the selflessness and bravery that the Iranian women have embodied during this historical time. The title Heroes of the Year is a milestone for the movement as it has raised awareness and served as an accurate description of the people who have fought for human rights in Iran.