“#MahsaAmini” Single Releases on Sept 16, on Anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s Murder


Iraqis in Pajamas’s new single, “#MahsaAmini,” releases Sept 16, one year since Mahsa Amini was beaten to death, and calls attention to human rights violations in Iran.

Loolwa Khazzoom

On Sept 16, one year since Iranian “morality police” killed 22 year old Mahsa Amini, Iraqis in Pajamas band releases #MahsaAmini, in solidarity with Iranian protestors.

Seattle, WA – Iraqis in Pajamas front woman Loolwa Khazzoom was deeply shaken up by the murder of Mahsa Amini. The daughter of an Iraqi Jewish refugee, Khazzoom heard about the murder immediately after the incident, through TikTok videos posted by Iranian women, beseeching, “Be our voice.” Khazzoom jumped into action – widely sharing social media content on topic, writing to her US government officials, launching a fundraising campaign for United for Iran – which supports Iranian protestors – and writing a poem, “#MahsaAmini,” which later became the band’s new single. 

The song tells the story of Mahsa Amini’s murder, then connects the dots between the forced requirement to wear the hijab, and the general ideology of violence against women worldwide. “Say her name with me,” Khazzoom pleads in the chorus, then additionally speaks the names of Iranian protestors who have been tortured and/or murdered in the year since Amini’s death. (See lyrics below.) For Khazzoom, the song emerged from a deeply personal place. As a girl, she experienced sexual violence that stemmed from Middle Eastern men’s obsession with women’s hair, and in addition, she inherited her grandmother’s abaya – the full-body covering that all women of Iraq had to wear by Muslim law, regardless of a woman’s religion. 

Listen to #MahsaAmini single here. Get hi-res photos, and find out more about Iraqis in Pajamas, on the band’s press page. Lyrics, endorsements, and additional info about the band and musicians below.

Song Lyrics

Jina Mahsa Amini

A young woman
Just trying to
Breathe easy
Walk through
The streets of Tehran

Mahsa Amini

But police grabbed her
Beat her to death mercilessly
Tell me
Is this your idea
Of godliness
And modesty?

Mahsa Amini
Say her name with me

You cover women up
For your shame
And indecency
Projectile vomit
Onto us
Your perverse thoughts
And obscenity

We won’t take it anymore
And suffer silently
Burn the hijab
Show your face

Mahsa Amini
Say her name with me

Iranian women
Gddesses in Black
Risking your lives
Under threat
Of attack

Your courage
Is breathtaking
Igniting the world
To act
We hear you
We see you
Ladies we’ve got
Your back

Mahsa Amini
Say her name with me

©2022 by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved.

Protestor Names 

The following protestor names are spoken and woven throughout the song:

  • Nika Shakarami
  • Hadis Najafi
  • Armita Abassi
  • Sasan Ghorbani
  • Mehdi Mohammadifard
  • Javad Rouhi
  • Sarina Saedi
  • Arshia Takdastan
  • Nasrin Ghader
  • Fereshteh Ahmadi
  • Minoo Majidi
  • Hamed Salahshoor
  • Nima Nouri
  • Saeed Yaghoubi
  • Gazaleh Chalavi
  • Setareh Tajik
  • Majid Kazemi
  • Saleh Mirhashemi
  • Hamidrezah Rouhu

Endorsement Excerpts
Loolwa is a force of nature. It’s no surprise to us that…her courageous heart expresses itself so eloquently in the hurricane of her gritty music. – Deva Premal & Miten, Billboard chart-topping musicians

Loolwa Khazzoom is a brilliant lyricist and a dedicated artist, with the ability to teach through her art. Loolwa and her band, Iraqis in Pajamas, bring deeply personal truth through song and lyric and make us think through our own human reaction, through their profound and often cathartic performances. We need more of this!  We need more art that makes us think in this turbulent world. Loolwa is the pearl in the oyster of a nation in great need of more awareness and enlightened thinking. – Lara Lavi, Grammy Award-winning musician

See full endorsements here.

About Iraqis in Pajamas
In turn vulnerable and angry, haunting and inspiring, Iraqis in Pajamas disarms audiences, opening them to deep contemplation about trauma, healing, and transformation. With songs in English, Judeo-Arabic, and Hebrew, the band has a unique sound – an innovative blend of ancient Iraqi Jewish prayers, alternative rock, and personal storytelling about topics as varied as cancer, domestic violence, racism, mental illness, street harassment, family caregiving, and national exile. The band is virtual, spanning two countries and three states – with singer, songwriter, and bass player Loolwa Khazzoom in Seattle, WA, drum composer/performer Chris Belin in Pittsburgh PA, and guitar composer/performer and sound engineer Mike Deeth in Vicoria, BC.

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