Sahar Khodayari, known to many as Blue Girl (after the color of her favorite soccer team), disguised herself as a man in a failed attempt to enter Iran’s Azadi (Freedom) Stadium and cheer on her favorite players. In Iran, women are prohibited from attending soccer games; she was detained after authorities noticed her disguise. On September 2, 2019, after she found out that she could spend six months in prison for her alleged crime, Sahar Khodayari set herself on fire outside a Tehran courthouse. She would rather die than submit to a regime that denies women freedom and equality.

These lines of Hâfez, Iran’s most revered poet, sound to me like something Blue Girl may have been thinking before she committed her fatal act:

I have in mind, if possible,
To do something that can end sorrow.

بر سر آنم که گر ز دست برآید
دست به کاری زنم که غصه سرآید

Hâfez, Ghazal 228


  • For SATB chorus, bass trombone, tuba, timpano, & percussion
  • Category: Choral
  • Year Composed: 2019 (rev. 2022)
  • Duration: 5'
  • Text Writer: Hâfez (14th c.)
  • Language: Persian (Farsi)
  • Tags: Iranian Culture, Literature, Mortality, Poetry, Social Justice
  • View Score ›


  • 2022
  • Indiana University Jacobs School of Music NOTUS Student Choral Composition Contest
  • First Prize


  • 31 MAR 2023
  • Blue - Premiere
  • Indiana University
  • Bloomington, IN
  • NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble; Miggi Angangco, conductor; Justin Carrothers, bass trombone; Aiden Keiser, tuba; Conner Viets, timpano; Drew Neal, percussion