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40 Years of Resistance by the Women of Iran Culminates in a National Movement that has the Attention of the World

Fri, Nov 18


Santa Barbara

40 Years of Resistance by the Women of Iran Culminates in a National Movement that has the Attention of the World

Speaker: Maryam Zar, Founder of Womenfound

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Time & Location

Nov 18, 2022, 3:30 PM PST

Santa Barbara, 1332 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

About the event

3:30 PM - Check in; 3:45-5:00PM Program presentation and Q&A 5:00PM Informal Reception with Maryam Zar - Refreshments & no-host bar

As you might have heard, there is something remarkable happening in Iran. A revolution is taking place in Iran and it is being led by women. Young women. They are standing up against the Islamic Regime demanding their freedoms and demanding that there be a regime change. This was sparked in mid-September when a young 22-year old Iranian girl, Mahsa Amini, was arrested and taken into government custody, beaten into a coma, and ultimately died as a result of the beatings. This was all because she was not wearing her headscarf (hijab) "properly".

Since then, the streets of Iran have been full of people protesting peacefully. The demand is for "Women. Life. Freedom" - a phrase that is being chanted by all protestors.

Professor Colleen Graffy, CCC & Committee on Foreign Relations member & M/C recently participated in a Pepperdine University Panel with Maryam Zar, who kindly agreed to come to Santa Barbara to speak with our Committee on Foreign Relations members on November 18th.

Maryam Zar was born in Iran and came to the US in 1979. She grew up in New Jersey and went to Boston University for a BS in Mass Communication and Pepperdine Law School.

In 1992 she returned to Iran. She became an advertising executive as well as a correspondent at a time when the nation was emerging from war. She made her mark as a fiercely capable woman in a patriarchal land and was named Editor for an English language newspaper called Iran News. She eventually produced and edited Page 7, dedicated to socio-economic developments. Before leaving Iran, she became a correspondent for publications based in London and Dubai, with a cover story in Gulf Marketing Review (1994). She returned to the States to pursue a law degree and become involved in the work of empowering women.

In 2010 she founded Womenfound, an organization focused on raising awareness for the plight of women around the world and advocating for their empowerment. She was appointed to the LA City Commission on the Status of Women by Mayor Garcetti (2017), and currently chairs the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (an alliance of 14 Neighborhood and Community Councils on LA’s Westside).

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