I Am Neda: Could This Be The Birth Of A New Iranian Revolution?

It’s been 10 days since the controversial election in Iran. And ever since, Iranian women have been protesting in full force for a fair election. But on Saturday night, a devastating video began circulating the internet that showed a young woman, Neda, dying after being shot in the heart at a protest in Tehran.

Warning: The video after the jump is extremely graphic and unsettling. It shows Neda falling in a big pool of blood. Another video making the rounds on the web shows her face, blood streaming out of her nose and mouth and her gaze completely blank.

Although I’ve been hearing about the violent protests in Tehran, I never once imagined violence of this nature. I’m not sure what I was picturing, but it wasn’t the bloody massacre of a twenty-something student who was just expressing her political voice. And it appears that people around the world are finding this video just as disturbing as I am. Time reports that Neda has been dubbed a martyr, a concept extremely important in Islam. And since her death, the phrase “I Am Neda” has become the new catch phrase of protesters throughout Iran. Some are even saying Neda’s death could change the course of history. [Salon]

Neda is one of 17 protestors killed this weekend in Iran. No one is exactly sure who she is. Double X reports that her name is Neda Agha-Soltan, that she born in 1982, and that she was a student at the protest with her class. USA Today says the name Neda means “the call” or “the voice” in Farsi, and could be symbolic. Whoever she is, we are certainly mourning her death. And waiting to see what kind of impact it will have. Are Iranian women going to come out in even bigger droves to protest now? Or will fear kick in? I hope the latter won’t be the case, but after seeing this video, I wonder if I’d still be brave and impassioned enough to step outside onto the streets of a country at war with itself.

For comprehensive, to-the-minute updates on the violence in Iran, visit The New York Times blog, The Lede.