On The Streets of Tehran
From Egypt to Libya and Syria to Iran, uprisings have been shaking the Middle East and the rest of the world. The nuclear standoff between Tehran and the West is reaching a climax that could result in war and change the course of world events. News media help us witness these developments, but how much do we know about the people and societies behind them? Living and working in Iran for six years, Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi delved beyond the headlines to discover the unique perspectives of the Iranian people by seeing Iran through their eyes. She met progressive students protesting for change and their classmates who beat them into silence, as well as poor prostitutes living in a roach-infested shack and Iranians eating caviar in penthouses. Saberi sheds light on women’s and minorities’ rights in Iran, the country’s economic woes, its cultural scene, and underground parties, as well as the situation of human rights in Iran and what it means for democracy, the Middle East, and the world.
Courage Under Fire
Abducted and placed in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, Ms. Saberi was falsely accused of espionage and sentenced to 8 years in prison. She was released after 100 days, following an international outcry. Ms. Saberi tells the dramatic account of her imprisonment and stories of the Iranians she met during her six years living and reporting in Iran. She also shares the timeless and universal messages she learned from her fellow women political prisoners, who taught her how to find meaning in suffering, turn adversities into opportunities, and stay true to one’s principles. During her interview with Diane Sawyer, Ms. Saberi said she realized, "Do what you think is right, even if you suffer for it. In the end you will be victorious." She has worked, written, and lectured extensively on human rights issues and the ever-changing landscape of Iranian politics since her release in 2009.
Roxana Saberi is an author and journalist.
She moved to Iran in 2003 to work as the Iran correspondent for the U.S.-based Feature Story News. She filed reports for organizations including NPR, BBC, ABC Radio and Fox News and was working on a book about Iran when she was arrested on January 31, 2009. Saberi was later sentenced to eight years in prison on a trumped-up charge of espionage. In May 2009, an Iranian court overturned the sentence, and she was released.
After returning to the United States, Saberi wrote Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran, which was published by HarperCollins and has been translated into several languages. She also worked as a freelance journalist, with articles published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN.com, The Daily Beast, and Chicago Tribune. She has been interviewed by organizations such as FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, CNN, PRI, NPR, and C-SPAN, as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For nearly three years, she reported for Al Jazeera America in the U.S and abroad, specializing in human rights and social justice.
Saberi has spoken across the United States and has traveled to Europe, South America, and the Middle East to speak with the public, media, and government officials about Iran, human rights, and overcoming adversity.
She has received the Medill Medal of Courage, the Ilaria A lpi Freedom of the Press Award, the NCAA Award of Valor, a Project for Middle East Democracy Award, an East-West Freedom Award from the Levantine Cultural Center, and the Concordia College Sent Forth Award. She was named one of Jaycees’ 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Americans and was honored by the Japanese American Citizens League as an “Outstanding Woman.” Saberi was chosen as a “commended” artist for the Freedom to Create Main Prize, and she has received a Champion of Change Award from the World Women Global Council. She is an active board member of the Overseas Press Club.
Saberi grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, the daughter of Reza Saberi, who was born in Iran, and Akiko Saberi, who is from Japan. Chosen Miss North Dakota in 1997, Saberi was among the top ten finalists in Miss America and also named the first Miss America Scholar.
She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with degrees in communications and French. Saberi holds her first master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and her second master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge.