RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As protests continue in Iran after the death of a 22-year-old woman in September, more than 100 people circled around the Memorial Tower at NC State on Saturday in support of Iranian protesters.
Mahsa Amini, 22, died while in police custody after she was arrested for allegedly violating the state's hijab rules.
Amini's death triggered the protests which have grown to underscore a larger issue with the government, according to protesters.
"They killed an innocent girl, and that triggered everything," Fara Pourshariati said. "People were saying enough is enough."
Pourshariati explained how it's more than just grief.
"We understand that the Muslim countries, they give choices, especially when it comes for coverage and hijab, they give you choices if you want to do it, do it, if you don't want to do it, don't do it but unfortunately, in our country, more than 40 years it's been our way or no way," Pourshariati said.
Pourshariati, who's the president of the Women's Council of Realtors Greater Triangle, shared how different her life would have been if she wasn't in the U.S.
"If I was in Iran, I don't believe I would become the way I am right now," Pourshariati said. "We are role model, and we are running many committees ... as a woman, I want that for women and girls back home to have that freedom and opportunity. If they have some disagreement, they don't have to be killed."
For Iranian students at NC State, there's a lot of concern for loved ones back at home.
"It's a lot of stress, it's a lot of anxiety and feeling like there's no help," Azin Saberi said. "Knowing I have no news on them (relatives), what's happening, if they're safe, or anything, it just brings a lot of stress that no one really needs and just knowing that there's no support for the people it's even worse."
For two hours, Cary resident Hamideh Cole walked alongside her children.
"I want my children to appreciate how lucky they are, and the opportunities we have here," Cole said. "Be appreciative of what you have and fight for the people that can't be heard."