We have learned of our sources that Marizeh ,
Ashraf-o-Sadaat Mortazayi
a legendary singer of Iran during the 60s up
to contemporary Iran has died at 86,after
enduring great illness.
At the moment many Iranians and those in love
with "traditional Iranian music and ART"
and also those Human Right activists involved
in a long thrive for FREEDOM and Democracy for
Iran are in deep mourning , since they have lost a
GREAT companion and supporter who spent her life
defending "Goodness and ritual values of Humanity".

Marizeh had a long story which might one day be portrayed
in a film script , but her life has been full of struggle ,
devotion to Art and Humanity, and standing against one of the must unique and violent religious dictatorships in the past decade : Iranian theocracy .

She suffered a great deal for this and lost many "friends " and gained new friends .

She had at the last years of her life joined the NCRI (Opposition delegate in exile ) accompanying its president elect Maryam Rajavi in many official ceremonies which increased a smearing campaign already ongoing against her detachment of the present regime and escape into exile.

She was the first Woman to officially Sing the "Prayers call" which is not customary at all in radical Islamic point of view. This Prayer has been constantly used by an opposition to regime in Iran in public TV, broadcast to Iran and other countries in the area.

A look at her Profile

More back ground

Some of Marizhehs songs

One Concert in support of the "Red Rose" symbolic of the resistance ongoing for more than 100 years .." till the white pigeons get to the freedom nest "..

One of Marizeh's many speeches during the previous activities :

Where, in this dark night,

shall I hang my tattered cloak?

Nima : father of modern Persian Poetry

I come from a land over whose blood-red earth the hawk of oppression, murder, misery and torture has spread its wings. A land whose springtime and gardens lie plundered under viscous autumn's attack. A land whose smiles and joy have given way to grief, so rrow and sadness. An ancient land, now the nesting grounds for the owl of destruction. A land forced to die a slow death. Ahmad Shamlou, Iran's renowned poet, speaks of this land of heart-rending pain and sorrow:

They smell your mouth, lest you have said the words I love you. They smell your heart. These are strange times, my dearest.

At the side of the robber's stake, Love is being whipped. Love must be kept hidden in the closet of the house.

Now the butchers stand at the passageways with their blood-drenched chopping blocks and cleavers... carving the smiles from lips and the songs from mouths. Delight must be kept hidden in the closet of the house.

The canary is being roasted over a fire of lilies and jasmine. These are strange times, my dearest.

Do you see the catastrophe?

"The canary is being roasted over a fire of lilies and jasmine." I was a canary, a song bird. The butchers ruling over Iran stopped me from singing for fifteen years. A canary lives only to sing. If you take away its song, it will die, fluttering about, a s I did for fifteen years, eating my heart out. Like the frog trapped in the sea. If it opens its mouth, the salt water will kill it. And if it doesn't, it will die of anguish.

My pain was to be a woman and a singer. The dark-minded turbaned rulers of Iran are the arch enemies of women. Women who sing must bear a double torment. Life is so bleak for women in Iran. Words fail me; I cannot convey the suffering endured by the women of my homeland. Unless you have drawn a breath under the evil shadow of clerical rule, you cannot really comprehend the plodding pain they endure.

How to understand why in just one province, so many women have committed suicide, some by setting themselves afire?

Where in the world do girls of 12 and 14 burn themselves alive?

Where does one hear about a father who kills himself after killing his five daughters?

Little girls, 8, 9 years old, are raped. Young girls in prison are raped before their execution. 113,000 arrests in one year for letting a strand of hair stray from beneath one's scarf.

What can I say? Everyone knows of this scandal. The clerical regime is infamous. It is despised the world over. You all know fully well that life for the women of Iran is a burning hell. The booklet Iran: Subjugation of Women makes it clear how well you know of their suffering.

But all that I have said is but one side of the story. In this frozen sea, a volcano is about to erupt. The people of Qazvin rose up in demonstrations against the ruling mullahs in August. For two days, the city was theirs, and not a single government off ice was spared from the wrath of the protesting populace. The demonstrations in Mashad, Shiraz, Tabriz, and other Iranian cities show that the people will take no more. The medieval regime grasps onto its power only with the force of arms, prisons, and to rture. These instances of popular resistance show that Iran's people not only have not died under this severe repression, but are intent on overthrowing this evil regime and ridding the world of its terrorism, backwardness, and medieval mentality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Iran's women have not died under the oppression of this anti-woman regime. Right now, Iranian women, shoulder to shoulder with Iran's men, are working to uproot the mullahs' regime. I have the honor of here referring to a woman who has rightfully been cho sen by the Iranian Resistance as the President of the free Iran of tomorrow. In contrast to the mullahs, who have brought only sadness, sorrow, death and destruction, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Resistance's President-elect, strives to bring hope, joy, prospe rity and laughter back to devastated Iran. She leads the powerful Resistance of Iran, and for all Iranians, men and women, she is the focus of hope for liberty and freedom.

Inspired by this woman, who is the fountainhead of hope for a future liberated and prosperous Iran, I cry out here: Regardless of the wishes of Khomeini and his criminal heirs, we are alive. We shall resist, until the day of hope, life and democracy retur ns to Iran. We expect all those who love democracy to help us.


Some of her latest concerts out of Iran

The last article on Marzieh the Diva of Iranian music

From Cultural Icon to Freedom Fighter

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/November 1995

... Marzieh, Iran's best-known female singer has performed for Britain's Queen Elizabeth. German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and once in Tehran and once in the United States for President Richard Nixon...

"I want to ask the whole world to impose an economic and military embargo on this regime which is highly isolated in Iran." she told the Washington Report in an interview in the U.S. national capital. "

The people of Iran are determined and have the means to bring about change. But the world has a responsibility to deprive this regime of the resources and the means of repression.

"I want to emphasize that the sanctions imposed by President Clinton are in the interests of the people of Iran, and the rest of the world must join in a comprehensive embargo. They must support the aspirations of the people of Iran for democracy and for peace. The ruling mullahs have done nothing for the past 15 years but suppress the people, plunder their wealth and export terrorism, fundamentalism and chaos to keep themselves in power. It is only the ruling clergy and their associates who are benefiting and the rest of the 66 million Iranians are living in poverty and discontent."

Such strong statements, on the record, are seldom heard from Iranians with relatives still living in Iran. In the case of Marzieh, the near-legendary "nightingale of Persia"... political opposition takes special courage. her husband, a banker, and her 18-year-old granddaughter still live in Tehran, as does her 42-year-old daughter, Hengameh Amini, a French trained architect. When Marzieh defected in August 1994, her daughter, who had never been involved in politics, was arrested and held incommunicado in prison. She was released from prison after Amnesty International and a number of world leaders generated a protest campaign, but she remains under house arrest.

At present Marzieh depends upon her reputation as the Grande dame of Iranian music to protect her family as she pursues a schedule of international concerts sponsored by the Mojahedin-e- Khalq (People's Mojahedin), the largest organized Iranian opposition group. Asked about danger to her own person from a regime that has been accused by various European and Middle Eastern governments of assassinating its political enemies, particularly Mujahedin leaders, on their soil, Marzieh responds with optimism.

"As far as the people of Iran are concerned, they are well- prepared to bring about the necessary change because of the anger they have expressed against the mullahs and through the Mojahedin," she explains. "it is a movement that consists of the elite-the most dedicated members of society and those who have sacrificed... I hope the rest of the world will get to know the quality and the dignity of the people of this resistance."

There is little in the life of this one-time icon of Iranian art and culture to explain her conversion, at age 69, to a firebrand activist willing to risk everything for a political cause. In the world press she has been compared to Greece's Melina Mercouri or Britain's Vanessa Redgrave, both of whom put their beliefs ahead of successful careers and personal safety...

... [Marzieh's] performing career actually began in 1942 when, as a strikingly beautiful 17-year-old, for 37 performances she played the role of Shirin in a famous Iranian play, "Shirin and Farhad."

"In the same year I was invited to cooperate with Tehran radio," she recalls. "Three consecutive weeks, every Friday from 12:30 to 1 p.m., I was on the air, performing live. The public reacted enthusiastically."

Her instant success lead to a nightly radio program from 10 to 11 p.m. that had perhaps the largest audience in the country....

Marzieh's enormous popularity led to competition among composers, lyricists, and poets to get her to perform their works. As a result, she still has a repertoire of more than 1,000 songs, and her unique style has influenced Persian music permanently.

All of those personal successes were played out against a background of severe society tension, however, as religious conservatives scorned music and sought to humiliate actors and singers by calling them corrupt....

... So long as Khomeini ruled, only military or revolutionary music could be played. Because he decreed that "women's voices should not be heard by men other than members of their own families," there was no role at all for women singers.

Marzieh, a charismatic and vivacious woman whose singing voice is as strong today as when she began her career more than 50 years ago, grows indignant as she describes this interpretation of her religion. "In Islam it is not prohibited for women to sing and in fact the Prophet Mohammad very much enjoyed great voices," she explains. "His granddaughter, Zeinab, was a great orator and there were many prominent women in the early years of Islam.

"There was no prohibition on others hearing the voices of women. The Prophet was the messenger of the emancipation of women. The point is that these mullahs by no means represent true Islam. They misuse and harm Islam. True Islam is represented by the Mojahedin."...

Although she traveled abroad frequently, she also spent about eight months of every year in a house on her family's land in Lalun, a village outside of Tehran. There, she said, her voice remained strong because daily "I went into the desert and sang for the birds, the trees, the river, the passing clouds and the stars."

In 1994, en route to an engagement with the BBC in London and then a trip to the United States, she stooped in Paris for a conversation with Maryam Rajavi, whose brother and sister had been executed in Iran and who had been elected by the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the president-elect of a future multi-part democratic government. It was then that Marzieh decided to remain in Paris where she was appointed adviser for cultural and artistic affairs to Mrs. Rajavi, and a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, of which the People's Mojahedin is the major constituent party.

"The situation of women in my country was constantly deteriorating. I therefore decided in France to echo the cry of the women in Iran ...