SF home's bold new paint job raises awareness for ongoing fight for women's rights in Iran

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022
SF home's new paint job raises awareness for women's rights in Iran
A San Francisco home with a bold new paint job is gaining attention and raising awareness for the ongoing fight for women's freedom in Iran.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A San Francisco home with a bold new paint job is gaining attention and raising awareness for the ongoing fight for freedom in Iran.

The facade of the home, which sits prominently on heavily-traveled Bay Street across from Fort Mason is now green, white and red with the words "Women. Life. Freedom." in both English and Farsi.

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Those words are the rallying cry for the people of Iran and around the world including here in San Francisco. They were chanted during a large protest in Union Square on Sunday to illustrate the country's 40-year fight for rights. Protests recently ignited over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in custody for allegedly violating hijab rules.

Salman Shariat is a first generation Persian American. He came up with the idea to paint his home one week ago.

"It happened very quickly. With Fleet Week coming up it was important to get it done before Fleet Week started. I thought this was a good way to get people to see it and notice it," said Shariat.

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A second global rally in support of the people of Iran is planned in San Francisco, coming after the death "Jina" Mahsa Amini in police custody.

He was touched by how those who expedited the work on the home came from different ethnic backgrounds as him but understood the importance of the message. It's a message that seems to be working. A number of passersby stopped to take photos or just look. Sarah, an Iranian American woman who requested we not use her last name, walked two miles to see it in person.

"All my friends from Irvine, in New York, all my friends all around the U.S. are posting this specific building. Even people who don't know what's going on in Iran walk by and will question it and want to know more. I think that's the beauty of it," said Sarah.

Hamid Azimi of the group Iranian American Community of Northern California believes Shariat's home is just one example of how this round of demonstrations may actually create a regime change.

"Things are not the same as before. The young generation is organized. They're working in small teams both on the streets and on social media and everyone knows this time around it's different. People from all walks of life are helping," said Azimi.

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As for Shariat, he's not sure how long the paint job will stick around.

"Today's problems don't worry me. I haven't solved yesterday's yet," said Shariat.

He's just grateful to be Persian American and living in this country. To have the privilege of being able to paint his home. And see the response from his community.

"Joy. Smiles. Love it. I love that it makes people smile, it makes me smile which is awesome," said Shariat.

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