A group of artists in Sweden expressed solidarity with the women in Iran by organising an artistically entertaining and reflectively educating event. On the occasion they also denounced the suppression of women’s rights and repression of freedom in Iran. The event titled Women, Life, Freedom took place on 19 November 2022 at Mölndal Cultural House for which the artists got together by performing music, reciting poetry, showing movies and recounting the state of affairs in Iran, then and now.
Women, Life, Freedom is a global protest by the Iranian diaspora and supporters of regime change in Iran in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini on 22 September 2022. She died in Tehran after the police (morality police) arrested her for allegedly breaking the rule of wearing the hijab.
Rasoul Nejadmehr, an independent researcher and cultural policy expert in Europe, recalled the life and the death of Khalil Alinejad, who is suspected to have died at the hand of the Iranian regime in Sweden. Rasoul said his musical talent was akin to the magic that scared the Iranian regime.
Tanbur: The Ancient Spiritual Musical Instrument
The Iran-born Syed Khalil Alinejad was a master of the divine and spiritual instrument tanbur. He is regarded as the best tanbur player since the invention of tanbur, an ancient Persian string instrument. He had migrated to Sweden as an asylum seeker due to a lack of freedom of speech and opinion in Iran and to teach tar, setar and tanbur.
The Tanbur Society believes that the original two-stringed Kurdish-Persian instrument Tanbur or Tanbour or Tambur is the forefather of all stringed instruments in the world, which the Greeks later called it pandoura. Its version in India is sitar and tambura.
Pillars of Yarsan Faith:
According to a report, Khalil Alinejad inherited the Yarsan or Yari faith whose pillars are purity, truth, inexistence – degenerating desires and reda: self-sacrifice and service to fellow human beings. But that faith is seen as a cult by the Iranian regime. He died in Sweden’s second-largest city Gothenburg as a result of a stabbing but his killers were yet unidentified.
Maryam Javedmehr unveiled the event by playing tanbour along with young children who attempted to play ancient musical instruments. Musicians, Daniel Stighäll and Fan-Qi, from Sweden and Taiwan, performed music in support of Iranian women.