Pink Card Episode 4

Blue Girl (Warning: this episode includes description of a suicide.) The newest generation of Iranian girl soccer fans take a bold new approach. They cross-dress as men to sneak into Azadi Stadium, documenting their rebellion live on social media – an irreverent middle finger to the government. One of those girls is Zeinab Sahafy, from Episode 1. One night four of her friends are arrested and she flees for her life. Another girl, still in the country, loses her life. In a moment described as “a miracle,” Iran’s regime relents on its ban and thousands of women enter the stadium. We end Pink Card wondering how this hard-won slice of freedom connects to the 2022 historic protests and a possible new revolution, more than 40 years after Shima’s teenage mother left home.


Episode 4: Blue Girl

SHIMA OLIAEE: Before we jump in, this episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners. Please check the show notes for more detailed descriptions, and take care of yourself.

SHIMA OLIAEE: I heard you didn’t sleep either. We didn’t sleep.

ZEINAB SAHAFY: [farsi] merci, khalee mamnoun.

MOM: [farsi] ee-nah!


MOM: [farsi]

SHIMA OLIAEE: It’s 5 o’clock in the evening in Samsun, Turkey. Muslim prayers begin to blare outside, played out of stereos from mosque windows, just a little down the beach from where we’re staying. My mom and I are here to finally meet Zeinab Sahafy, who still cannot return to Iran. For the first time in my life, my mom and I are in the Middle East, together. My mom’s only been back once since I was born. In 2009 she visited Iran. I wasn’t invited. When I asked her why not, she said why would you go anywhere where you are half a man?

MOM: [farsi] [stirring sound]

ZEINAB SAHAFY: [farsi – says yes.]

SHIMA OLIAEE: My mom immediately offers Zeinab coffee. We stand side by side on my hotel balcony, looking out at the Black Sea.

SHIMA: I was telling her about the pishi outside!


SHIMA OLIAEE: Pishi is little cat in farsi.

SHIMA: Was like doing a little prayer, and then scratching its back –

SHIMA OLIAEE: The cat was moving in rhythm with the recitation of the prayers.


SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab tells us back in Iran she used to be afraid of cats. She’d have nightmares that one was living underneath her front porch. She’d cry and cry when she saw them. I thought about how she’d lived couch to couch now for three years in Turkey, a place where cats are pretty much inescapable. They’re in every corner of the town.

MOM: The pishi almost ate our meat for ghormeh sabzi. [laughter]


SHIMA OLIAEE: The week we see Zeinab her mother’s Turkish visa has finally gone through. She can legally be a Turkish resident now. Zeinab has grown rail thin. Her hair is still long and falls past her knees. She shows me a new tattoo of soccer star Ali Daie’s name. She’s got about 20 now. As my mom pours Zeinab a coffee, I ask my first question, about her name.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She tells me it’s a religious name. It comes from the historical figure Lady Zeinab, the sister of Imam Hossein.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The tale goes that all of Lady Zeinab’s family is murdered in a single night. After the tragedy, with almost nothing to survive on, she speaks out about every crime committed by the powerful caliphate. She speaks to both the masses and directly to those in authority, defying the very tyrants who had hoped to extinguish her light of faith.


SHIMA OLIAEE: They couldn’t break her.

SHIMA OLIAEE: It’s important to remember that Zeinab’s family is very religious. Only one person, her uncle, supported her love of soccer. He snuck Zeinab into a stadium game for the first time when she was twelve.


SHIMA OLIAEE: He took her to the top row in the upper story and as she looked down, a police officer walked up to her.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She was so excited she didn’t realize that she was being caught, and that she might be in trouble.


SHIMA OLIAEE: The officer asked her if she was a girl and without even thinking, she said, yes, so the police officer took her hand.


SHIMA OLIAEE: In our interview, she mimicked how roughly he grabbed her. No matter how much she pleaded, he wouldn’t let her hand go.


SHIMA OLIAEE: For her to be released from custody, he forced her to sign a contract stating she would never return to the stadium. She didn’t keep that promise… And it’s a choice that changed the course of her life and her family’s…

SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab’s story is the story of today’s generation. A generation of girls who dare to put their freedom, their joy, above the restrictions placed on them since birth.

SHIMA OLIAEE: I’m Shima Oliaee from Shirazad Productions. And from 30 for 30 podcasts, this is Pink Card. Our final installment. Episode 4. Blue Girl.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The first time Zeinab successfully snuck into a game was a few months after she first got caught with her uncle at the local stadium. She showed up at the very next game in her hometown, Ahvaz, just a few months later.


MOM: [farsi]


SHIMA OLIAEE: That time- She did manage to get in… dressed… as a boy. And that’s how it starts – testing the limits at local matches.

SHIMA OLIAEE: As a kid Zeinab started out simple, putting on a baseball cap and just keeping her head down. A few years later she started strapping down her breasts. She’d use ace bandages to do so. A year after that, she donned men’s underwear and placed a sock very strategically, in her pants. Over the years, Zeinab’s disguise grew to new levels of artistry.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The process to become a boy usually took Zeinab about four hours.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She started with cutting off pieces of her hair and gluing it to her face. She covered her face in dark makeup, and muddied her fingernails.

ZEINAB SAHAFY: [boy’s voice in farsi]

SHIMA OLIAEE: She practiced throwing her voice, in case the police tried to interrogate her.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab relished fooling the guards, but the games in her hometown were infrequent. She wanted more. So she set her eyes on a bigger prize: Azadi Stadium.

SHIMA OLIAEE: At first, she tells no one and goes it alone. From her hometown to Azadi Stadium – it’s a 15 hour train ride. When she gets there, there are thousands of men in the crowd, a thousand opportunities to be caught and sent to prison. But Zeinab knows that in order to get in she has to be cool. At Azadi’s three security checkpoints – Security guards graze between her legs to make sure she isn’t hiding anything


SHIMA OLIAEE:. She tells me, when their hands cross over her chest, she can’t be scared or they will feel her heart beating faster.


SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab goes through almost two days of preparation to sit in the stands for two hours.
But once Zeinab is inside, she is as free as she wants to be.

SHIMA OLIAEE: By 2016 she’s on Instagram live sharing the game with an audience of almost a quarter of a million people around the world in real time. Zeinab takes pride in fooling the police, directly to them. And with this clever ruse, Zeinab is in great company.

AZAR NAFISI: Gordafarid is another woman.

SHIMA OLIAEE: This is Azar Nafisi again.

AZAR NAFISI: And, uh, I’m a writer.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Best-selling author and historian. She told me that women have cross-dressed in Iran going back centuries. She told me about a girl named Gordafarid, a character in Shahnameh, the Book of Kings, whose story echoes Zeinab’s.

AZAR NAFISI: She dresses herself as a man, puts on a Roman helmet and goes to the war. And she roared at the enemy ranks, where are your heroes, your warriors, your tried and tested chieftains! So she invites them all to the fight.

SHIMA OLIAEE: For centuries women have dressed as men to access places of power, and to experience joys they’d been denied. Zeinab’s defiance was at first centered on her own pleasure. She longed to see a game, so she found a way in. But for Sara and the White Scarves –

SARA: We specifically didn’t want to go this way. We were insisting on our rights, to just go as women. It was like our red line at the time.

SHIMA OLIAEE: In the stadium campaign they started in the 2000s – the whole point was to enter as women. The difference was the tools they had at their disposal.

SARA: Zeinab and her friends, they became so popular, and they were openly with their own name, they were on Instagram posting things, talking to foreign media.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab and her friends also grew bolder and smarter. She followed the money: FIFA, who provides funds to Iran for its participation in the global football federation.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She read from FIFA’s rules and regulations that girls must be allowed to enter the stadium. She learned that the clergy – Iran’s religious leaders – told FI12FA most women didn’t want to attend games. That it wasn’t in Iran’s culture. She thought, that’s bullshit.


SHIMA OLIAEE: So she fought back.

She began recording young people all across Iran giving statements that everyone – boys and girls – wanted women to be able to attend the stadium games, and they deserved to be there.

SHIMA OLIAEE: By 2018, she even inspired some girls to visit the holy city Qom to ask clergy directly about women watching soccer games.

The clergy said it was okay based on the Quran.

SHIMA OLIAEE: More and more girls started Instagram live-ing themselves from inside the stadium with full beards, strapped down chests, and red capes. The videos of youth around Iran stating that women DID want to go to games gained greater and greater traction, many young women were dressing in drag and attending games.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Photos Zeinab took with four of her closest friends in the stands posing with mustaches and beards went viral worldwide. By 2019, it became in vogue to sneak into Azadi in drag.

It was the beginning of their own revolution.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Then, on a quiet night in August of that same year…back in her hometown of Ahvaz, Zeinab got a call. Five of her closest friends had been ambushed by police, arrested and sent to Iran’s most notorious prison.

SARA: All of them, they got arrested. There’s a really scary prison in south of Tehran, outside of the city.

SHIMA OLIAEE: That’s Evin Prison.

SARA: All the women there, they are like murderers, or they have a really huge crimes and they are living there for like years. There’s no proper water. There’s nothing there. These really young girls, they send them to that prison. That’s why, after that, there is no news about them. I think they really scared them.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Intelligence officers had been tracking Zeinab on social media. They were coming for her next.


SHIMA OLIAEE: Bail for each of her friends was at about $20,000. Zeinab was from a poor family that could never afford that. So, she felt she had no choice but to flee the country.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She says she got home at midnight and was just there for 30 minutes before going to the airport.
She didn’t say goodbye. She only told her mother she was leaving.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She took a taxi to the airport alone, and boarded a plane.


SHIMA OLIAEE: In one night, she became an exile living in Turkey.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab turned off her phone. She assumed her calls were being monitored and didn’t want to put her family in danger. To fight her feelings of being alone, she watched a video of her 7 month old brother.


SHIMA OLIAEE: She says her little brother, more than 20 years younger than her, was the hardest to leave behind. When she arrived in Istanbul, Zeinab got taken in by an Iraqi family. For weeks she lived off the kindness of strangers. One morning, she wakes up in the living room where she’d been crashing, and turns on the TV.

BROADCASTER: FIFA will send a delegation to Iran following the death of a female football fan who set herself on fire after being arrested for attending a match. The dramatic case sparked outrage and is quickly becoming a symbol of women’s fight for more freedom in Iran.]

SHIMA OLIAEE: Sahar Kodayari was 29 years old. In the photo shared across international media outlets, her entire face is painted blue. She LOVED Team Esteghlal, they wear all blue.

BROADCASTER: The world’s soccer governing body is under pressure to sanction Iran after Sahar Khodayari dubbed “the blue girl” died on Monday.]

SHIMA OLIAEE: In March of that year she got caught sneaking into Azadi Stadium dressed as a boy. After an excruciating interrogation and trial, a judge sentenced her to six months in prison. Sara, the White Scarf from the last episode, says Sahar’s family was very conservative.

SARA: Not, everyone has like an open-minded family. It is still really shameful to go to prison, for most of the families.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Sahar had just finished her university studies and was living back home. That same day of her sentencing, she walked up the steps of the courthouse in central Tehran and lit herself on fire. 90% of her body burned.

Sahar died seven days later.


SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab tells me when she found out that she couldn’t believe it. She thought that the media outlets were posting clickbait articles to boost their views. She didn’t want to believe that a girl had set herself on fire because of the stadium. But it did happen. The White Scarves, scattered around the world, heard the news. Sara found out in an airport.

SARA: I had like such a difficult panic attacks for some days. I couldn’t breathe

SHIMA OLIAEE: She was returning from a UN meeting where she had pleaded with FIFA’s human rights officials over the stadium ban.

SARA: It was one of my saddest saddest, um, time that I will always remember.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Nasrin, away from Iran for 9 years at the time, heard while living in Boston.

NASRIN: This girl like lost her life. We asked the team members of national team. You should do something. You should not play. They had this, this written on their shirt about blue girl, but that was all that they, they have done, these men.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Mahboubeh, the oldest of the White Scarves, thought back to her time in prison — to the torture she experienced.

MAHBOUBEH: We say white torture, white torture is about the not letting you to go out, fresh air. Lights are on all the time. They interrogate you, insulting, playing psychologic game, blaming, shaming, make you to, to break.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Sahar’s story went viral around the globe – with the hashtag BlueGirl. Protesters in places like Hong Kong took to the streets.

SHIMA OLIAEE: In the States, Megan Rapinoe dedicated her FIFA Player of the Year award to Blue Girl. Every day following blue girl’s death, tensions mounted in Iran. Iranian soccer legend Ali Karimi called all Iranian games to be halted until something was done to remove the stadium ban.

[Interview on site
ESTEGHLAL PLAYER: But for this kind of thing doesn’t matter color, doesn’t matter the nationality -]

SHIMA OLIAEE: Khodayari’s beloved team Esteghlal put out a video prayer.

[Interview on site
PLAYER: So we make one goal for her.]

SHIMA OLIAEE: Read by each player. And a statement reading: “What can we do to support our dear Sahar? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. We are cowards.”

SHIMA OLIAEE: FIFA finally called on Iran’s government to let women into games. They tweet to refute any suggestion that they had been inactive in the fight for women’s rights in Iran. They offered condolences to the family and friends of blue girl and announced they were working with Iran for women to attend games, starting with the World Cup qualifiers. Those games were set to start in mere weeks.

SHIMA OLIAEE: 24 days after bluegirl’s death, on October 3, 2019, in the middle of the night, a website appeared… selling tickets for women to attend a World Cup qualifying match — between Iran and Cambodia at Azadi stadium.

SARA: Imagine in a weekend, which was like a Thursday night, 11pm. They released 600 tickets.

SHIMA OLIAEE: 600 tickets appeared, available to purchase on a totally different-0 website for women. There was no official announcement. Women found out about the tickets and the website through word of mouth. It was chaotic. Tickets sold out instantly. The following night, 700 more tickets were released. The next night, 700 more.

SARA: Imagine – it was really late night – just before the bed, I was checking my phone, and if I went to sleep, I probably would, lose this opportunity.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Sara nabbed a ticket the third night. Out of 78 thousand seats, 35 hundred tickets were released for women. No one was sure if they were even real.

SHIMA OLIAEE: On October 10, 2019, game day, women crowded the streets and the subways to get to the stadium. On the trains, women did cheers for blue girl the entire way there.

SHIMA OLIAEE: They shouted blue girl is with us, she deserves freedom too. Those on the bus, honked and shouted for Iran.

SHIMA OLIAEE: And once all the girls arrived at the gates, they were held for hours. Sara wondered if it had all been a trick and perhaps the tickets had been released solely to ambush the women.

SARA: We thought like, they’re gonna react or they gonna arrest us –

SHIMA OLIAEE: But then suddenly –

The gates OPENED.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Cheers and screams and horns could be heard throughout the arena and in the underpass – the same underpass Sara had waltzed through with her younger counterparts during the South Korea game — only this time it wasn’t a fluke!

SARA: It was amazing.

SHIMA OLIAEE: When they entered the arena, the women were serenaded by Iranian pop songs.
In one corner, female fans packed the seats – screaming and waving flags. The rest of the stadium was mostly empty. Women were segregated from the men by empty stretches of seats and metal fencing.

SARA: There were two girls behind me. They start shouting for blue girl.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The police –

SARA: They suddenly came to them and they were like, you have to close your mouth, or we will remove you from the stadium.

SHIMA OLIAEE: That made all the women shout even louder: Yelling, leave her alone! Leave her alone! In Farsi.

SHIMA OLIAEE: And then –
The Iranian players entered the pitch.

SHIMA OLIAEE: It was a moment of such joy, coupled with tragedy, not just the death of blue girl, but over 40 years of women’s lives suppressed by tyrants.
Sara brought her mom to the game with her.

SARA: And so many, they brought their moms. Because most of them they weren’t really been to the stadium. It was the first time for her too. It was such an amazing moment.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab watched from a mostly empty cafe in Turkey.


SHIMA OLIAEE: Zeinab says that her friends and family were texting her during the game saying, you should be here. Some of her girlfriends didn’t even go that day because they felt it wasn’t right to be there while Zeinab was still in exile.


SHIMA OLIAEE: They told her they couldn’t do it without her.

SHIMA OLIAEE: In the end, Iran beat Cambodia 14-0. They annihilated their opponent. When the game was over, instead of filming the celebration on the field, the news cameras turned around to capture the women of Iran in the stands of Azadi stadium. For the first time, officially, in forty years. The Iranian team walked across the field to stand in front of their section.

SARA: Oh my God! Like, it was so beautiful. All the players came in front of the women, and they clap for us. I start to tearing up. It, it was so beautiful. I saw lots of familiar faces, like many of activist friends I hadn’t see for many years, they were all there [laughter] For me, it wasn’t anymore about watching a game, it was about watching the faces of these women. It was amazing, because when they were coming inside the stadium, usually if on a street you walk, you don’t see happy faces. People are mostly depressed. But that day they were so happy, their face was, you know, blossoming.

SHIMA OLIAEE: After the game, the women leaving the stadium were stopped by Iranian news reporters to ask about the historic moment. The women, faces painted in green white, and red, were ecstatic…

IRANIAN WOMAN – [farsi]]

SHIMA OLIAEE: “We are feeling great, very happy, we are thankful to the officials who let us in….”

IRANIAN WOMAN – [farsi]]

SHIMA OLIAEE: I’m really happy and excited to be here for the first time, we would like it to not be the first and last.

IRANIAN WOMAN – [farsi]]

SHIMA OLIAEE: We’ve proved to the world that Iranian women are the strongest in the world, and this will continue!

SHIMA OLIAEE: Our last night in Turkey, my mom and I watched a game with Zeinab. We’re at the same cafe where she watched that game on October 10, 2019.


MOM: When she went to the games in Iran, because she was always afraid to be caught, she wouldn’t eat anything but now she drinks lots of tea – come on, one more!

ZEINAB SAHAFY: [singing cheer in farsi]

SHIMA OLIAEE: Watching Zeinab…I can’t help but ask myself, does Iran deserve its women? To Zeinab, I ask her, was it all worth it?


SHIMA OLIAEE: She says she would never regret what she did. She says, I wish I could just be a normal person. Someone who doesn’t care about wearing a hijab, someone who doesn’t care if she goes to the soccer stadium or not. Sometimes she wishes she were normal. But, when they put her in jail, she didn’t think, why did this happen to me?


SHIMA OLIAEE: She knew that she had to go for her freedom.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Back in Tehran, after the Iran-Cambodia game…the regime said women would be let into games from then on. But the pandemic stopped any fan from attending a game at Azadi. When ticket sales resumed, it was 2022…

SHIMA OLIAEE: For the first few games, women were again forbidden from purchasing tickets.
But in March, women were able to get tickets for a Lebanon vs. Iran match.
When they arrived at the stadium, they were pepper sprayed and beaten by police forces, forbidden from entering.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The FIFA World Congress was held just a few days later and no one made any mention of the brutality.

SHIMA OLIAEE: As the 2022 World Cup drew nearer, the Iranian government announced they would release tickets again for women for a blue team match in honor of bluegirl. At the game, the officials started playing the song “Hello Commander,” a song written in 2022, meant to be sung by children. In the lyrics, they offer themselves to be martyrs for the regime. The singers didn’t even get to the chorus before the entire stadium booed.

SHIMA OLIAEE: And this is where I thought the series ended.

MOM: Hi, Steve!

SHIMA: Hey mom, do you see what’s happening in Iran?

MOM: Huh?

SHIMA: Do you see what’s happening in Iran?

MOM: Oh, yes yes yes.

SHIMA: Do you see, do you see all these girls?

MOM: Shimajan, shimajan! I need to call you later. I have an emergency. I’ll call you in five minutes.

SHIMA: What is the emergency?

MOM: I have a match. It was canceled all of a sudden, it’s sunny. And if I don’t show up, we lose.

SHIMA: Okay. But mom, there’s a revolution happening in Iran.

MOM: I know, I know. I thought he was the captain calling me, so I answered saying I’m on my way. And then it was you. So let me call you from the car please.

SHIMA: Okay. Okay. I’ll talk to you in a minute on your way to the match. Okay. Bye.

MOM: Okay. Bye.

SHIMA OLIAEE: In fall of 2022, just two months before the World Cup in Qatar.

SHIMA OLIAEE: A 22 year old girl was murdered in police custody for wearing an improper hijab. Her name was Mahsa Amini.

SHIMA OLIAEE: When it was announced that after going into a coma, she had died. The doctors delivered her body to her parents. Only her face and feet could be seen. The rest of her body had been bludgeoned. She was picked up because a piece of hair was showing through her headscarf.

SHIMA OLIAEE: This series started with a revolution and it ends with one.
The chant is no longer azadi, azadi. It is zan zendengi azadi: Women. Life. freedom.

SHIMA OLIAEE: “This is a woman’s revolution” has been spray painted on walls across Iran. Gigantic billboards picturing the morality police, with the message “we will protect you” have been set ablaze. Schoolgirls have torn down photos of Khamenei and played hopscotch on them, taking selfies with their long hair and their middle fingers towards the supreme leader’s portrait. Around the globe women have cut off their hair. It’s a nod to a form of grieving that pre-dates Islam in Iran. Zeinab stood in a square in Turkey, and cut hers off too.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The regime has arrested, jailed and killed protesters across Iran. That includes children.

SHIMA OLIAEE: When I made one last visit to Mahboubeh,the oldest white scarf, who has seen all of it – from the ‘79 revolution, to today, and is now in exile on the West Coast, I ask her…

SHIMA: How do you have hope, after all of this? Do you have hope?

MAHBOUBEH: Yes, yes! Of course. This is win, that after three decades you are asking me a story. You asking a story, I am telling this story. And someone gonna continue this story.

SHIMA OLIAEE: One of the most famous pieces of literature from Iran is the tale of 1001 nights. If you don’t know the original premise, it’s that a sultan, overcome with rage after being betrayed by his love, decides he will marry a virgin each night and execute her by morning. A girl named Scheherazade, comes up with a plan. She will offer herself up to the sultan. But the night the king beds her, before he goes to sleep, Scheherazade’s younger sister reveals herself in the bedchambers. As planned, she asks her older sister to tell her a story.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Scheherazade begins to tell a tale which keeps the sultan riveted until morning but she refuses to share the ending until the following night. In this way, she tells story after story and through the stories, avoids death for herself and the women who are supposed to come after her. She reforms even the heart of the murderous king.

SHIMA OLIAEE: The part that has always struck me about this story isn’t just the ingenuity of her plan. It’s that in the process of bringing in her younger sister, she makes her a witness, an accomplice, in order to free all women.

SHIMA OLIAEE: In that same way Maboubeh’s generation – starting in the 70s, helped Nasrin’s generation in the 90s … and then Sara … and then Zeinab. And still the generations to come!

[Home video
Young SHIMA: Everyone say yay! Thank you, thank you very much.
MOM: Shimajan get out [farsi]
Young SHIMA: Noooo, I got to be in front of it.
MOM: oh ok, [laugh]
Young SHIMA: See, I’m doing a show!]

SHIMA OLIAEE: That’s our series, Pink Card. Thank you for listening. This series is dedicated to the teen girls in Iran who have lost their lives since the ‘22 Revolution began, to the Afghan women who protested in front of the Iranian embassy, and the everyday people of Iran who continue to speak out, regardless of the consequences.

And of course, my mother, who tried to give me the joy of Iran and soccer.

SHIMA OLIAEE: Pink Card was created and hosted by me, Shima Oliaee, and my incredible production team. My editor, Sayre Quevedo. Audio mixing and music maker extraordinaire, Ramtin Arablouei. Our Production Coordinator is Marisa Bravo.

Nesa Azakhizadeh wrote our theme song. Series Art is by Forouzan Safari. Fact checking by Diba Motasham.

Our Executive Producers are Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, and me, Shima Oliaee.

Archival producers are Meghan Coyle and Matt Day.

THANK YOU to the team at ESPN 30 for 30. Marsha Cooke and Brian Lockhart are executive producers. Eve Troeh is Senior Editorial Producer. Cath Sankey is line producer and Gus Navarro is associate producer. Fact Checking by Andrew Distler. Production Management by Tom Picard, Maria Delgado and Jennifer Thorpe. ESPN development and production teams include Adam Neuhaus, Tara Nodolny, Marquis Daisy, Isabella Seman, Gentry Kirby, Diamante McKelvie and Anthony Salas.

Special thanks to Julia Lowrie Henderson and Trevor Gill.

Thank you again to Nina Ansary, Maryam Shojaei, Minky Worden, Hadi Gaemi, Ramin Golbang, Moya Dodd, Sarah Shahi, and everyone at the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Thank you to all Iranian women. You’re changing the world.


Creator, Host, and Executive Producer: Shima Oliaee
Editor: Sayre Quevedo
Audio Mixing and Music: Ramtin Arablouei
Production Coordinator: Marisa Bravo
Theme Music: Nesa Azakhizadeh
Series Art: Forouzan Safari
Fact Checking: Diba Motasham
Archival producers: Meghan Coyle and Matt Day.

Executive Producers: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird

For 30 for 30 Podcasts
Executive Producers: Marsha Cooke and Brian Lockhart
Senior Editorial Producer: Eve Troeh
Line Producer: Cath Sankey
Associate Producer: Gus Navarro
Licensing Support: Jennifer Thorpe
Senior Director of Development: Adam Neuhaus
Fact Checking: Andrew Distler
Production Management: Tom Picard, Maria Delgado and Jennifer Thorpe
Development Team: Adam Neuhaus and Tara Nodolny
Production Team: Marquis Daisy, Gentry Kirby, Diamante McKelvie, Isabella Seman, and Anthony Salas.

Special thanks to Julia Lowrie Henderson and Trevor Gill.

Thank you to Nina Ansary, Maryam Shojaei, Minky Worden, Hadi Gaemi, Ramin Golbang, Moya Dodd, Sarah Shahi, and everyone at the Center for Human Rights in Iran.