In the Lion's Den: The Paradox of Iran's Jewry Under the Islamic Republic of Iran
The most open and vehement rhetorical assaults against Israel have been staged by Tehran since the Iranian revolution of 1979. Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earned global notoriety by casting doubt about the Holocaust and promising to wipe Israel off the map of the world. And yet, Iran continues to remain home to a much-diminished yet sizable Jewish community. This talk will focus on how this paradox came into being and why its continuity is detrimental to Iran’s claim for regional hegemony.
Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran
Revolutions are often remembered by those who had a stake in them –fallen royals and rulers, or newly-minted officialdom. In her talk about the historic 1979 revolution that transformed Iran, and subsequently the entire region, Roya Hakakian speaks from the rare perspective of a girl witness.
Global Anti-Semitism: What About Iran?
The Anti-Defamation League’s most recent report, the Global 100 Study released recently, measured public attitudes and opinions toward Jews in over 100 countries. Contrary to the leadership’s vehement anti-Semitic rhetoric and global expectations, the findings about Iran contrasts vastly from the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa. Roya Hakakian explains why Iran is so unique and why the country, 36 years since the rise of its Islamic theocracy, continues to be home to a sizable community of Jews in the Middle East.
Murder in Berlin: How the Rule of Law Defeated Islamic Terrorism
13 years after the '79 Iranian revolution, four Iranian Kurdish exiled opposition leaders were assassinated in Berlin, Germany. One of the survivors and another victims’ widow began a crusade pitting them against not only Tehran but against some of the greatest powers in Germany. When an undeterred federal prosecutor, a real life Atticus Finch, took over the trial, a historic verdict followed which shook both Europe and Iran, and achieved something few could have predicted—justice.
The Art of Telling True Stories
At the age of 19, having arrived in the United States as a refugee, Roya Hakakian begins to learn English. Several years later, having been inspired by her encounter with the legendary poet, Allen Ginsburg, she does something that few writers have ever done: She crosses from writing in Persian (in which she had already published two books of poetry), into writing in a whole new language: in English. Since then, she has published countless articles and essays in leading publications, written for radio and television, and taught the art of writing non-fiction.