Nina Ansary: The Untold Story of Women in Iran

BCRW and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University are proud to host author and Barnard/Columbia University alum Nina Ansary in a conversation with Richard Bulliet, Columbia Professor of History and Middle East Studies, on Ansary’s widely anticipated book Jewels of Allah. Based on her doctoral thesis on the women’s movement in Iran, Jewels of Allah shatters stereotypical assumptions and the often misunderstood story of women in Iran today. Challenging the dominant narrative of the demise of women and their downward spiral into passive submission since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Ansary argues that “despite the current regime’s best laid plans to redirect women into the private domain, the female population in Iran is distinguished by an unprecedented surge in female literacy and a flourishing feminist movement against the boundaries of traditional religious prescription.” Join us for an engaging discussion of what Ansary describes as “the unanticipated consequences of measures undertaken by the Islamic regime, which ironically ended up empowering women.”

Born in Tehran and now based in Los Angeles, Dr. Nina Ansary is a historian, human rights advocate, and leading expert on the women’s movement in Iran. Her critically acclaimed book, Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran, is inspired by her scholarly journey at Columbia University and shatters the stereotypical assumptions and the often misunderstood story of women in Iran today. Since establishing a social media presence in March 2014, Dr. Ansary has been voted as one of the top social influencers on Iran and won support from an eclectic following of over 200,000 people worldwide, including actress Terri Hatcher, British pop singer Kim Wilde, TV host Montel Williams, Vogue UK editor Laura Bailey, and journalist Arianna Huffington, to just name a few. Dr. Ansary was recently honored as one of “the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century” by Women’s ENews, contributes to The Daily Beast, Womens ENews, BBC, Al Jazeera, and The Huffington Post, and serves on the Middle East Institute Advisory Board at Columbia University and on Columbia University’s Global Leadership Council. Visit or connect @drninaansary.

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