Today and Every Day In Solidarity with the Palestinian People

The Raha Iranian Feminist Collective stands today and every day in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and freedom from Israel’s regime of apartheid and military occupation. Just as we stand against all forms of colonialism, we unequivocally stand against Israeli colonial domination and recognize the right of colonized people to active resistance.

We support the tearing down of walls and reclaiming of land by Palestinians, and we mourn the past and present loss of life. At this moment, we must center who is ultimately accountable – the Israeli state that has subjected Palestinians to occupation, ethnic cleansing, and daily forms of terror, and the U.S. government that has provided billions in unconditional funding to support the apartheid regime. We oppose the Zionist project in its entirety–any government that only grants full rights to members of a certain religion or race can never be just.

As diasporic feminists, we believe women’s liberation is inseparable from the fight against coloniality and state repression in all its forms. We long for a future of peace and freedom across the region. Peace can only come through demilitarization, decarceration, and mutual thriving. We insist that solidarity among grassroots freedom movements, from Palestine to Iran, is the only alternative to the cynical geopolitical rivalries and interventions of militarized nation states and empires.

Free Palestine!!! End the occupation!!!


Liberation Comes From Below

No More War 2020
Raha Iranian Feminist Collective

We have had enough of war. This week, this year, our whole lives, we’ve known fear, exile, separation, bomb shelters, trauma, surveillance, anger, and hopelessness at endless war. We know the immediate and generational impacts of militarism and state repression. 

We’ve also known resilience and community, as we gather together in each other’s homes, strategizing about how to oppose war, children asleep on beds piled with coats as we pick over fruits and politics. Here, in our diasporic feminist community, we know the value of life and of each other. 

We shudder at the nationalisms that strengthen as war approaches. We strongly oppose the recent assassination of Qasem Soleimani by the Trump administration as part of an alarming and intensifying push to war, as well as subsequent airstrikes by the Iranian government on Iraqi bases. Rather than rallying behind any government, we reject all foreign interventions in Iran, Iraq, Syria and around the world that create death and misery. 

We align ourselves in solidarity with people in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and across the world working for — and imagining — truly democratic futures. 

Just in the last two months there have been mass, people-led movements in the streets of both Iraq and Iran. In Iraq, tens of thousands of people faced state repression as they demanded an end to Iranian and U.S. control over their government and the chance to remake their society from the bottom up. In Iran, protests erupted in response to gasoline price hikes, which crystallized anger at the massive inequality produced by a combination of U.S. sanctions and domestic policies of privatization and austerity. The Iranian government violently suppressed these popular protests in a few short days. 

This latest U.S. attack on Soleimani risks sidelining mass movements in Iraq, threatening an all-out proxy war between the U.S. and Iran. In Iran, people went from grieving the murdered protesters to confronting the possibility of U.S. bombs targeting cultural sites. The assassination of Soleimani is already leading to further militarization and securitization of Iraqi and Iranian societies — making it much harder for popular democratic movements to grow and sustain themselves.

We strongly oppose the use of economic sanctions on Iran which have deteriorated the living conditions of Iranians by dramatically increasing the cost of food and other necessities, blocking access to life-saving medications, contributing to pollution through reversion to local oil refineries, and providing cover for increased state repression. We understand sanctions as economic warfare that sets the stage for military warfare. We will not forget the Iraqi lives that were lost to U.S. sanctions and how those sanctions paved the way for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. 

As feminists, we understand that patriarchy and militarism go hand in hand. Any attempt to justify war in the name of liberating women or LGBTQ people is an attack on the very possibility of gender, sexual, and reproductive justice. 

We call on all people to oppose sanctions and wars, including proxy wars and the “war on terror.” 

  • We call on all people to act in solidarity with grassroots movements for democracy everywhere. 
  • We believe our solidarity and activism must start by challenging institutions that perpetuate violence while claiming to act in our name and spending our tax dollars. In the U.S., we must oppose all forms of militarism, including arms sales, here and everywhere. 
  • We must resist surveillance and the militarization of police, borders, and prisons, which target Black and brown communities in the name of “counter-terrorism” and “public safety.”

State powers want us to imagine that war happens in contained, tactical ways, that peace is the justification that always lives in a future far out of our reach.  

Imagine with us instead. Imagine we dissolve these bans, borders, bombs, armies, and prisons. Instead of missiles, grenades, and bombs, the skies should be clear for birds, sunshine, and clean air. The earth needs to be free to grow gardens of vegetables and flowers. Imagine all the foreign powers go home, sanctions are lifted, resources flourish, and activists from Tehran to Baghdad to Washington, DC to Damascus are free to organize on our own terms for a society that recognizes and respects life, history, and possibility.

About Raha

We are a feminist collective of Iranians and Iranian-Americans in New York City. Raha is open to people of all genders committed to working as a collective combating patriarchy both in our work and in our process. We work to raise awareness about movements for justice in Iran and the U.S. through internal education, creative messaging, solidarity actions and public education.

Understanding that patriarchy and militarism go hand in hand, we seek to challenge the different ways they operate in both the U.S. and Iran. We see this work as inextricably linked to a diverse range of grassroots movements for economic, racial, reproductive, gender and sexual justice with which we seek to build alliances. We stand against the criminalizing, profiling, and discriminating of Iranians and all immigrant communities and communities of color. 

We believe that all genuine liberation comes from below.


No War 2020Illustration by Monica Trinidad



After Marriage: Redefining Freedom in the Crosshairs of Empire and Dictatorship

CLAGS After Marriage banner

Raha presented at the CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) conference, “After Marriage: The Future of LGBTQ Politics and Scholarship,” on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 9am at John Jay College.

During the “Transnational Issues in LGBTQ Politics” session, Raha members delivered a collaborative piece titled “After Marriage, Redefining Freedom in the Crosshairs of Empire and Dictatorship: Observations towards a new politics of sexuality.”

Sanctions as Tool of War: A Comparative Look at Iraq and Iran – Mon, 4/29 @ CUNY GC

Raha is co-sponsoring this incredible and informative event on Monday, 4/29/13 at 7pm in CUNY Grad Center Room 9100.

Sanctions as a Tool of War: A Comparative Look at Iraq and Iran

Sanctions are still presented in mainstream political discussion as a peaceful alternative to military intervention. But the experience of Iraqis, whose society was devastated by over ten years of harsh economic sanctions, shows us that sanctions against countries that defy Washington are a form of collective punishment used to augment the effects of war and/or lay the groundwork for war. While sanctions against Iran have yet to reach the levels and effects experienced in Iraq, there is much to be learned by placing these two different cases in a common frame. How are sanctions used by the US as part of its efforts to dominate the Middle East? What are the effects they have on everyday life and on social movements? And how have activists attempted to organize transnational solidarity to oppose sanctions? This event will look at previous campaigns against sanctions in Iraq and help launch a new campaign against the medical shortages caused by sanctions against Iran.

More info on the event is HERE.

Raha is participating in the CLAGS Homonationalism and Pinkwashing Conference

Raha will be participating in the Homonationalism and Pinkwashing Conference at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY on Wed, April 10, 2013 at 9:30a in the panel called Queer Iran. The conference schedule is listed HERE.

Our talk is called:

Politics of solidarity/Politics of sexuality, beyond the framework of identity

The US has engaged in multiple wars in the Middle East, often relying on humanitarian propaganda. How do we oppose Islamophobia and interventionist policies from the West while building solidarity with those struggling against legal and social repression in Iran? This presentation will approach  homonationalism with a feminist analysis of the relation of nationalism and sexuality. We will present a list of Do’s and Don’ts for activists interested in queer issues in Iran.

The conference has been long sold out, but you can catch audio of our presentation LIVE at:

Or follow the Twitter hashtag: #homoconf

March 14, Shalah Talebi: Narrating Transformation and Transforming through Storytelling

We are co-sponsoring this event, Narrating Transformation and Transforming through Storytelling with Shalah Talebi.

Shalah Talebi: Narrating Transformation and Transforming through Storytelling

March 14, 2013
Room 6496
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016


In Ghosts of Revolution (2011), Shalah Talebi’s haunting account of her years as a political prisoner in Iran, she engages two interrelated premises put forth by Walter Benjamin: that telling stories of lived experiences opens the possibility of a true human connection, the transmission of wisdom, and individual and social transformation; and, to paraphrase Benjamin, that death sanctions everything the storyteller can tell, for the storyteller borrows her authority from death.

Cosponsored by the Narrating Change Seminar in the Humanities; the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression; the Postcolonial Studies Group; the Committee on Globalization and Social Change; and the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective.

More info:

Free and open to the public. The building and the venues are fully accessible. For more information please visit, call 212.817.2005, or e-mail

July 1st – March Against Sanctions on Iran!

Join Raha, Havaar and others as we say no to crippling sanctions.

Details and info for this march are HERE.

See you on July 1st — at 3:00 pm — at the German Mission to the United Nations:
871 United Nations Plaza (at First Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets),
New York, NY

Co-Sponsored by the Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD), Occupy Wall Street – Global Justice (OWS-GJ), Pakistan Solidarity Network (PSN), South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI), War Resisters League (WRL), Raha – Iranian Feminist Collective, and Where is My Vote? – NY (WIMV-NY)

If you are unable to join us in New York on July 1, we ask you to speak up and protest wherever you are.

Spread the word !!