She studied philosophy and took underground singing lessons — women are banned from singing publicly in Iran. Her name means “voice” in Persian, and many are now calling her the voice of Iran.
On June 20, 2009, Neda, a philosophy student, was sitting in her car in traffic on Kargar Avenue in the city of Tehran, near the Amir-Abad area, accompanied by her music teacher and close friend, Hamid Panahi. They were on their way to attend a march in protest of the issues surrounding the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Having gotten out of the car because of the excessive heat, she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plainclothes Basij paramilitaries who were attempting to subdue the protesters.