created by the Grade 11 students from the Technical Vocational High School in Winnipeg after reading Prisoner of Tehran.
was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. Her memoir of her life in Iran, Prisoner of Tehran, was published in Canada by Penguin Canada in 2007, has been published in 28 other countries, and has been an international bestseller. In 2007, Marina received the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament and, in 2008, the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy. She was the recipient of the Morris Abram Human Rights Award from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2014. In 2008/2009, she was an Aurea Fellow at University of Toronto’s Massey College, where she wrote her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, published in 2010. Marina regularly speaks at high schools, universities, and conferences around the world, including University of Milan, Oxford University, Yale, Tufts, and Stanford, and sits on the Board of Directors at the CCVT (Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture) and Vigdis, a Norwegian charitable organization that provides legal and other forms of assistance to female political prisoners around the world. In addition, she is the chair of the Writers in Exile Committee at PEN Canada, a member of the International Council of the Oslo Freedom Forum, and has been a volunteer at her church’s Refugee Committee since 2010. She has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the School of Continuing Studies at University of Toronto and currently teaches memoir writing at the SCS. In 2014, she was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at the School. Occasionally, she writes book reviews and opinion pieces for the Globe and Mail and other publications.
As a young child from a Russian Orthodox family growing up in Tehran, Iran, for me, Christmas meant going to a very long mass and getting terribly bored -- but it was all worth it, because after the mass, my grandma would rush me home and allow me to take a star-shaped cookie from the Christmas tree. My parents were not religious at all and never attended mass with Grandma and me. The Russian Orthodox were a very small minority in Tehran, and most of the people attending mass at our church were old women. Even though Grandma, or Baboo as I called her, couldn’t carry a tune, she was a member of the church choir. I remember her clearly, standing next to the other singers, who were all at least as old as she was, her gray hair gathered in a tight bun behind her head, her white blouse and black skirt perfectly ironed, and a little red scarf tied around her slim neck. I watched her as she smiled singing the joyful hymns, which had found their way out of her heart and were now floating over the little flickering flames of candles, images of the Virgin and the Child, and the congregation. I saw my grandmother smile almost only at Christmas and Easter. She was a very kind and generous woman who had lived a very difficult life, and, as she had explained to me, had forgotten how to smile. So Christmas became a miracle to me at a very young age because it was one of the two very special days of the year when I could see happiness in my grandmother’s eyes.
Mimmo Calopresti, Elvira Dones, Lucrezia Lerro, Giuseppe Lupo, Marina Nemat e Gustavo Zagrebelsky sono i vincitori della seconda edizione del Premio Fondazione Carical Grinzane Cavour per la cultura Euromediterranea. Il premio, suddiviso in quattro sezioni e istituito dalla Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria e Lucania e dal Grinzane Cavour, si propone di riconoscere i meriti di quanti hanno contribuito all'approfondimento e alla conoscenza delle culture mediterranee, favorire il dialogo tra i popoli e valorizzare le giovani risorse culturali calabresi e lucane. I vincitori sono per la sezione Società Civile la scrittrice iraniana Marina Nemat per La Prigioniera di Teheran (Cairo Editore) e la scrittrice albanese Elvira Dones per La Vergine giurata (Feltrinelli); per la sezione Storia del Pensiero Gustavo Zagrebelsky con Crucifige e la democrazia (Einaudi), mentre per la sezione Narrativa Giuseppe Lupo con La carovana Zanardelli (Marsilio editore) e Lucrezia Lerro per La più bella del mondo (Bompiani). Infine per la sezione Creatività premiato il regista e attore cinematografico Mimmo Calopresti. La cerimonia di consegna dei premi si terrà a Cosenza il 14 ottobre.
TORONTO, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - Toronto-area author Marina Nemat will be
I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,
Regardless of others, ever regardful of others,
Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man,
Stuff'd with the stuff that is coarse and stuff'd with the stuff
that is fine,
One of the Nation of many nations, the smallest the same and the
largest the same,
A Southerner soon as a Northerner, a planter nonchalant and
hospitable down by the Oconee I live,
A Yankee bound my own way ready for trade, my joints the limberest
joints on earth and the sternest joints on earth,
A Kentuckian walking the vale of the Elkhorn in my deer-skin
leggings, a Louisianian or Georgian,
A boatman over lakes or bays or along coasts, a Hoosier, Badger, Buckeye;
At home on Kanadian snow-shoes or up in the bush, or with fishermen
At home in the fleet of ice-boats, sailing with the rest and tacking,
At home on the hills of Vermont or in the woods of Maine, or the
Comrade of Californians, comrade of free North-Westerners, (loving
their big proportions,)
Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen, comrade of all who shake hands
and welcome to drink and meat,
A learner with the simplest, a teacher of the thoughtfullest,
A novice beginning yet experient of myriads of seasons,
Of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion,
A farmer, mechanic, artist, gentleman, sailor, quaker,
Prisoner, fancy-man, rowdy, lawyer, physician, priest.
Title: Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir
The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is lying to the world. They took the stage at the UN, whose Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, recently released a damning report of that country. The IRI has not allowed Dr. Shaheed to visit Iran. If Iran is truly a utopia, why not allow a UN delegation to inspect Iranian prisons?
Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran
government tells fictional stories to the world, journalists, members of religious minorities, including Christians, Bahai, Dervish, political prisoners, representatives of labour unions, and journalists languish in prisons. Let’s not forget them, stand up to their tormentors, and ask questions to expose the truth. What keeps political prisoners alive is knowing that the world has not forgotten them. Bombing never fixes problems in the long run. Iran should not be bombed, because murder never fixes murder, and evil never cures evil. What the people of Iran need is moral support, and eventually, they will find their way, even though slowly and painfully, to democracy.