Zarrin Mohyeddin vividly remembers where she was exactly 40 years ago.She was 27 years old and living in Tehran, the capital city of her native Iran. The country had endured months of mass protests against social injustice and corruption. And on February 11, 1979, Iran’s authoritarian regime and secular monarchy, under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, finally collapsed.The revolution transformed Iran into an Islamic Republic.
Zarrin Mohyeddin vividly remembers where she was during Iran’s revolution 40 years ago.But Mohyeddin wasn’t celebrating on the streets with many of her peers. Instead, she recalls, she was in her bedroom crying.“It was a very sad time,” she said.READ MORE: Human rights lawyer calls for international action to weaken Iran regimeMohyeddin was an activist from a progressive political family, who enjoyed a liberal western lifestyle — going to parties, driving and attending school alongside her male peers. She also chose not to wear a hijab.“We were free,” she said. “We lived with the women who wore the hijab and they lived with us. We didn’t care that she is wearing a veil or scarf. And they didn’t care that we were in mini-skirt. At least they didn’t show it.”
Zarrin Mohyeddin enjoying a party in Tehran, Iran, just a few months before the Islamic Revolution in 1979.UnknownBut as the country’s monarchy collapsed, Mohyeddin worried that the revolution would backfire and that the Supreme Leader would reverse many existing freedoms and enforce a hard religious line. She was right.“Everything was destroyed,” she said.But Mohyeddin never had to endure Iran’s new Islamic Republic.WATCH: Iran: A timeline from Persian monarchy to Islamic Republic