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Mila Mincy: Woman, Life, Freedom

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Growing up, Mila Mincy’s warm memories with her family formed the basis of her Persian identity. But in learning more about her culture’s history, she has learned more about herself. YR Media brings her Perspective.

My understanding of my family’s Persian culture was simple as a little girl: It was pure love.

I loved every exuberant family moment, every opportunity taken for gatherings. Learning curse words in Farsi from uncles exhilarated me; my khalehs reprimanding as they stifled laughter. I hid my smiles, knowing my cheeks awaited red lipstick kisses.

When I was 10 years old, my mother placed a book on my desk with a crimson jacket — “Persepolis,” it read, an autobiography by Marjane Satrapi. The young girl on the cover wore a dark hijab – she sat, arms crossed, weary-eyed and lonely. I studied the portrayal, wondering why she looked so sullen. When I reached the end of Persepolis, I set the book back down on my desk.

The contrast between my childhood within a Persian family to Satrapi’s violently oppressed girlhood was dramatic. Her stories depicted brutality during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the historic uprising that led to the currently ruling regime in Iran. Satrapi narrates the force of the government’s increasingly violent control, the persecution and riots just outside her home.


I remember looking around rooms full of loved ones with new understanding. Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins – their same laughter echoing throughout our gatherings now seemed like an act of defiance against their country’s repressive government.

The regime’s most recent crackdown, targeting women and girls, adds to my shock. Detained by unthinkably austere laws with severe punishment, Iranian girls and women fight for their lives in a humanitarian crisis. I stand in solidarity with this female-led movement and can hear their anger. They risk their lives with the powerful chant: Woman. Life. Freedom.

Reflecting on my journey, I find myself questioning identities. I’m a child who has been celebrated by a large Persian family. Yet, I’m also someone reminded of the women and girls’ bravery and sacrifice. Today, I know myself as both — and I carry these identities with me.

With a Perspective, I’m Mila Mincy.

Mila Mincy is 17 years old. Her Perspective was produced by YR Media.

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