Multicultural Kid Blogs has always advocated for equality, inclusivity, and unity in our world. We have bloggers of various racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds that work together to create wonderful resources for raising our children as Global Citizens.
The recent protests in Iran, where women once again rose up against the unfair treatment of women, brought a lot of support and conversation to this ongoing issue. The question of equality of women in Iran is not new: also in the past, there have been tragic cases of mistreatment of women. And some of them were put to death for standing up for their rights. Forty years ago, 10 brave women gave their lives for a cause, for the ability to choose how to live their lives. And now, forty years later, the campaign #OurStoryIsOne has been born to honor them and the women who have given their lives and freedom for the same reason.
One of our own bloggers, the artist and musician Elika Mahony, took part in this campaign and I decided to interview her to learn more about it.
Interview with Elika Mahony
Varya Sanina-Garmroud: Hello, and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Elika Ehsani Mahony: My name is Elika Mahony and I am a composer, vocalist, pianist, and professional organizer. I consider myself a world citizen; my parents are from Iran, I was born in the US, raised in Kenya, and now live in China. My love of music began when I was a young child growing up in Africa surrounded by music at home and in the community.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to create Bahá’í-inspired music that transcends boundaries, uplifts the spirit, and fosters heart-to-heart connections. Throughout my career, I have released 11 albums, each exploring diverse themes drawn from the Bahá’í Writings. From tests and difficulties to healing, from contemplating the meaning of life to the sacredness of marriage, my music touches upon the profound aspects of the human experience.
Varya: How did you decide to become a singer?
Elika: In college, I started composing and setting the Bahá’í writings to music, which I enjoyed singing with a dear friend at Bahá’í gatherings. We were asked to sing for a TV show together and subsequently were increasingly invited to perform at various events and programs. These experiences inspired us to record an album titled ‘Melodies of the Nightingale’ so that more people could hear our music.
Varya: And that album is still one of our favorites! What moves you the most to compose music?
Elika: When I am doing my daily reading of the Bahá’í Writings I frequently come across passages of great beauty and feel impelled to set them to music. For my albums, I like to choose a theme that is common to all. For example, we all go through tests and difficulties in life. So In 2007, I released an album titled ‘Fire and Gold’ that set to music uplifting quotations from the Bahá’í prayers and writings on this theme. Once I have chosen a passage, I sit at the piano and see where my heart leads me and what chords and melodies would work well with the quotation. The music that comes to my heart in that moment I truly believe is not from me, but is a gift from the spiritual realm.
The Campaign #OurStoryIsOne
Varya: I have noticed that you took part in the campaign #OurStoryIsOne. What does it stand for?
Elika: #OurStoryIsOne is a global campaign to honor the ten women executed in Shiraz in 1983. It is a remembrance of the long struggle for equality lived by women of all faiths in Iran for more than four decades and which continues to this day. The campaign bears witness to the fact that the women of Iran have become unified in their resilience, responding with unwavering strength to oppression and injustice.
Varya: There is a video that you released in honor of this campaign. What’s the story behind it and what’s the significance of that story for our world?
Elika: My latest video titled ‘Ten Courageous Women’ shines a light on the extraordinary example of 10 Bahá’í women in Iran who were martyred 40 years ago on June 18, 1983, for their beliefs. These courageous women stood firm in their faith, inspiring us all with their unwavering devotion and indomitable spirit. The video also shares the plight of Iranian women today who have been striving for equality and justice. Many of them have been mistreated and imprisoned as they have been standing up for the principles of justice and equality under all conditions. I wanted to honor the stories and legacies of these brave women, spreading their message of hope, unity, and love to all corners of the world.
Varya: Such heartbreaking, yet inspiring events! As a mother of two girls, I hope that all girls and women may be able to make choices and be treated equally. Humanity has progressed a lot in the past 40 years. It is, however, not enough and we are still far from making sure that all members of our planet have equal rights and opportunities.
Thank you so much for answering my questions and for sharing the idea behind the campaign with us!