Friday, November 16, 2012

The Tale of Two Nazanins

The Tale of Two Nazanins by Nazanin Afshin-Jam
This story is about two very different Nazanins. The Candaian Nazanin Afshin-Jam is a runner-up to Miss World. She is Iranian-born and in the world of fashion and music. She competed for Miss World in China and was wondering how she could make a difference using her media attention. Upon the hundreds of e-mails she received was one from an Iranian teenager named Nazanin who was in prison because she had killed a man.

The Iranian Nazanin Fatehi has grown up in poverty. She wants only to learn to read and become a teacher. She has gone to school sporadically because she must help her mother to raise the other children or to take care fo her father when ill. Nazanin is caught up in a violent situation when she is cornered in a field with some young men who are going to rape her. She defends herself with a knife and stabs the man to death. She is imprisoned and sentenced to death.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam must battle the United Nations and a myriad of other organizations to get the Iranian government to stay the execution. The perseverance and sheer work effort finallly pays off.

We hear of these Muslim-based countries and their treatment of women. This story is but one but really brings home how little value is placed on the life of a female.

First Line: "I was sitting at the computer desk, wedged in between the kitchen and the dining room in the downtown Vancouver condominium belonging to my sister and her husband."

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