The heartbreaking video and the death of a Kurdish-Iranian family

By Jiyar Gol
BBC Persian

Publishedduration38 minutes agoimage copyrightFamily handout

A video clip of a Kurdish-Iranian girl who died with her family attempting to cross the English Channel last month highlights their drive for a better life.

The clip shows a nine-year-old girl crying and laughing. "My name is Anita Iranejad, I am from Sardasht," she says.

It is a screen test for a short film to be shot in her hometown. In the background, her father Rasoul Iranejad can be heard gently prompting her: "I would like to be an actress… say it."

The video suggests not just paternal pride, but ambition. Rasoul wants his daughter to achieve her dream. But that is a tall order for a little girl from this impoverished and politically oppressed region. The family are from Sardasht, a small, predominantly Kurdish city in western Iran

A year after the screen test, Rasoul, his wife Shiva Mohammad Panahi, and their three children Anita, six-year-old Armin and baby Artin, 15 months, embarked on a dangerous journey to Europe.