On August 5, with election results still in dispute, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term as the sixth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Three candidates, including Mir-Hossein Mousavi challenged incumbent Ahmadinejad in the election held on June 12. On June 13 with only two thirds of the votes counted it was announced that Ahmadinejad had won the election. Mousavi urged his supporters to fight the decision without committing acts of violence. Hundreds of thousands of protesters soon arrived in Tehran to denounce President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim to victory in the disputed election. Tragically, in the days that followed hundreds of protesters were killed in the ensuing violence as Iranian security forces fired upon the peaceful civilian demonstrators.
On June 20th in Nashville, a local guitarist recieved a video post showing a young woman gunned down in the streets of Tehran. “I saw her death, moments after it was posted on Twitter and knew this was a defining moment for us all.” Captured on video and simultaneously witnessed around the globe, images of the unknown Iranian woman captivated and sorrowed a watching world. Personifying the nation’s revolutionary movement, she was soon identified through illegal internet posts streaming out of Tehran. She was Neda Agha-Soltan, a 26 year old university student who lived in the capitol city. As innumerable messages of condolence, grief and outrage were posted on Twitter, it was the message expressing sadness and hope, attributed to a Nashville guitar player, that was quoted by CNN, The Huffington Post and numerous other news sources.
“RIP NEDA, The World cries seeing your last breath, you didn’t die in vain. We remember you.”
In July, Tennessee investigative reporter, Sharon Cobb discovered that Greg Vorobiov was the Nashville guitarist who helped promote the name of the woman whose face is now the symbol of revolution and opposition in Iran.
A self proclaimed champion of the underdog, Vorobiov was following the June events occurring in Iran with interest, hoping that justice would prevail. In order to mentally process and emotionally assimilate the tragedy he witnessed on June 20th, Greg Vorobiov turned to his music. “After seeing her death, I realized I must go deeper within to help me process the pain and suffering I was seeing and feeling. My requiem Song For Neda is the result of trying to quell the visceral, vortex of emotions I felt and I’m grateful for music in my life for the needed balance and solace in these troubled times. Expressing an understanding of the universal and timeless nature of Neda’s unfortunate story Vorobiov said “In a different place and time it could have easily been you or I, our brother or sister but that day it was Neda.” With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad installed into office, it seems that Neda and the other slain demonstrators died in vain, but Greg Vorobiov is confident that Neda whose name means voice, calling or divine message in Persian will remain a global symbol of freedom and that her voice will never be silenced.
Greg Vorobiov lives in Bellevue with his wife Kathy, the East Coast Area Brand Manager for the Guess Jeans clothing line. Known professionally as Greg V, Greg Vorobiov is an accomplished guitarist and composer who has worked with numerous national acts including Wynonna, Hal Ketchum, Lonestar, John Rich and Keith Urban.
Go here to view the interview with Greg V, conducted by reporter and film maker, Sharon Cobb.