Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian, from classroom to the university of freedom
The life of freedom lovers is very short and is full of lessons of resistance and love. We learn that the price of freedom is life. But from all the lessons of resistance, the most unforgettable and long-lasting are those of the struggle of women and young girls.
This is the epic story of resistance by a generation of Iranian women and girls who found the beauty of life in their resistance and rebellion against tyranny and dictatorship. This is the story of those who bravely stood up and paid the price for freedom with their lives.
Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian were two sisters who were born in Qom. Their lives were short but full of lessons of persistence, resistance, and choice. They were born in the era of the Shah’s dictatorship.
Zahra Ebrahimian was born in 1960. Together with her sister, Kobra, they became acquainted with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) through their brother, Ali Ebrahimian, a political prisoner who was executed during the Shah’s reign.
In 1977, Zahra began her political activities in Lorzadeh Mosque. She participated in the 1979 Revolution before taking a job at Fatemeh Amini Stadium. Zahra was also one of the active members of the Muslim Women’s Society in Khazaneh, one of the impoverished districts in South Tehran.
Zahra was always at the forefront. She was wounded several times while defending the Reza Rezaei clinic and association, which Khomeini’s revolutionary guards attacked.
Kobra Ebrahimian was born in 1963. She was a 12th grader at Salman High School. During the 1978 protests against the Shah’s regime, she was politically active in school and actively participated in demonstrations.
After the victory of the 1979 Revolution, Kobra also worked in connection with pro-Mojahedin students. She promoted the PMOI ideals and goals by distributing newspapers and leaflets at school and on the streets.
Kobra was also active in PMOI ceremonies and rallies.
June 20, 1981: Tehran engulfed in smoke and blood
June 20 is a historic day in Iran. It was the day to choose between Khomeini’s absolute tyranny and freedom.
On this day, half a million people in Tehran staged a peaceful demonstration at the call of the Mojahedin, as Khomeini announced the end of all political activities and banned all parties.
This peaceful demonstration was a resounding response to the Khomeini regime.
Khomeini, who saw his regime in danger as the protests spread that day, issued a decree – broadcast on state radio – ordering the killing and execution of protesters.
In response, his guards fired at demonstrators in Ferdowsi Square, the starting point of the demonstration, killing innocent, defenseless people.
Khomeini’s bloody repression of the peaceful demonstration marked the beginning of an era of repression, arrests, and brutal mass executions in Iran.
Many unidentified girls were arrested and executed on the night of June 20.
The following day, their photos were published in government newspapers so that families could identify the victims.
After the arrests and the rampant killing of innocent people, the Revolutionary Guards arrested those who managed to return to their homes at night or in the following days. Among them is the Ebrahimian family.
At 10:00 pm on Sunday, June 21, 1981, a group of Basij members and Revolutionary Guards raided their home to arrest Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian. Both were arrested, along with their mother and brother; they were detained at the District 10 police station.
Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian were severely beaten and tortured by Khomeini’s guards at the detention center before being transferred to Evin Prison with their mother and brother.
Zahra’s and Kobra’s emotions were not tied to a blood relationship as sisters but to the love of freedom and the struggle against dictatorship.
Zahra and Kobra Ebrahimian resisted the torture and were executed that night, along with eight of their comrades. The next day, the Khomeini regime announced their execution by publishing photos and names of the two sisters in state media.
Both of the bodies were buried at night by the Revolutionary Guards. The family was not allowed to hold any funeral ceremony for them.
Zahra was 21, and Kobra was 18 when they were martyred. When they were under torture, they only thought about the glory of freedom. They were two young girls who learned the lesson of freedom and endurance, not just at school but also on the streets and battlefields.
They taught future generations that the beauty of life is in the sacrifice you make for the freedom of your people and country. However, their deaths, like their lives, are a model for girls who are now members of the resistance units, fighting to overthrow the clerical regime.