The importance of martyrdom to Shi'a Islam can't be overstated. The 1979 revolution was in large paart driven by a cycle of martyrdom; their funerals created bigger public rallies, which led to more deaths, which led to more rallies.

The video above shows the first martyr of this uprising. Already, at the demonstrations in New York in front of the UN, demonstrators are holding up still images of that young woman's bloodied face rather than slogans. Her face is now the face of the protest.

When that video goes viral -- a video showing a young protester gunned down, and the frantic efforts to save her -- the effect on the Shi'a community around the world is going to be traumatic, and devastating.

UPDATE: Her name, it seems, was Neda. And from the comments section on an Al Giordano post, her passing has not gone unmourned:

Today was a big day—Today I was killed

Yesterday on Balatarin I wrote with the title "Tomorrow is a big day. Perhaps I get killed tomorrow." I have come to say I am alive but my sister was killed. . . I came to say that my sister died in my father's arms. . . I came to say that my sister had great hopes. . . I came to say when my sister was killed she was a dear human being . . . who like me wanted one day to let her hair out .. . who like me would read "Forugh" and her heart wanted to live with freedom and equality . . . and wanted to hold her head up and say, "I am an Iranian" . . . And her heart wanted to love a man with disheveled hair. . . . She wanted to have a girl whose hair she would braid and for whom she would sing lullabies.

My sister died for not having a life. . . .My sister died because there is no end to injustice. . . .My sister died for having loved life so much . . . And my sister died because she loved the people like a lover. . .

My dear sister, I wish you had closed your eyes when you died. . . . Your last look is burning my soul . . . Good night, sister. . . . May your sleep be sweet. . . .

UPDATE 2: A different, longer video of Neda's death can be found here.

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