WHEN I was younger I loved my life in Iran, playing with my friends and going to school.
I thought the life we lived here was the same as any other young girl in the world – but now I know differently.
Two weeks ago I was walking home from school with two friends.
We gossiped about things at school and listened to music, just like teenage girls everywhere.
But what happened next doesn’t happen in most other places.
Three men in Basij uniforms stopped us and asked us questions about the music and what we had in our bags.
They pushed us and were very aggressive, so I asked, “Who are you?”
The answer came immediately – a fist to my eye.
I fell to the ground in agony and then everything went black.
The next thing I knew, I was back home. When I woke up I couldn’t see very well and the light was sending blasts of pain through my eyes into my head.
My family was afraid to call a doctor, so we contacted a nurse who lives on our block.
It may sound crazy, but my family was afraid that getting hit by the Basij would be taken as a sign of guilt.
Ever since it happened I’ve jumped up in horror when someone rings our doorbell, afraid it’s the Basij again.
I believe that every siren I hear on the street is for me or my family.
I don’t know what I did wrong so I don’t know what they will punish me for.
It wasn’t that we weren’t wearing the hijab properly like some of the brave women at the recent protests.
We were just walking home from school and listening to music.
I never thought this could happen here. My three brothers have a good business, my father is a respected war veteran and my mother trained many children to be a school teacher.
We are a good family and have never done anything wrong.
But everything has changed since the Tehran protests and the Basij are now roaming the streets looking for people to challenge them to enforce their rules – even teenage girls.
It’s normal life in Iran now, but I don’t think the rest of the world realizes how bad it’s gotten.
Hopefully that will change with the attention of the World Cup.
The people here love football and are very proud of the national team.
We all celebrated when the team qualified for Qatar and we really hoped they would do well – we even thought they could beat England!
But the protests changed everything. People now feel that the team does not represent the Iranian nation but the regime and all of its aggression against its own people.
How can we support the national team when the Basij attack people like me on the street for no reason?
And how can Fifa allow a country that behaves like Iran to take part in the World Cup?
Russia was banned from invading Ukraine, but our government is now helping Russia fight in Ukraine.
How can Fifa support that – and how can the rest of the world allow that?
Fifa must take a stand and ban Iran from the World Cup.
But as bad as it feels for us at the moment, there is still hope.
Of course, when the regime tries to force the population to adopt a certain way of life, it is the weakest link that suffers the most.
In Iran, the regime thinks women are the weakest link – but they are wrong.
In an Iranian household, the mother is in charge.
From our mothers we draw our strength and determination – and our hope that one day something will change in Iran.
We have no idea when this change will come – but it will happen eventually, we’re sure of it.
And then the girls can listen to music again on their way home from school – and we will all support our team again at the World Cup.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6570104/kick-iran-out-world-cup-teen-beaten-henchmen/ I was beaten unconscious by Iranian government henchmen for listening to music – Fifa must kick my country out of the World Cup