BookTalkUNA presents

Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny

We are honored to invite you to an evening of discussion with
2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, activist and writer

is held in conjunction with
the Institute of International Education

Monday, April 18, 2011
6 p.m. — Reception
6:30 p.m. — Presentation
7:15 p.m. — Book Signing

Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY

ADMISSION: You must make a reservation to attend (see below)

"If you do not have the power to overthrow the rule of oppression, inform others of the oppression." — Persian proverb

For over fifty years the Shah Pahlavi dynasty ruled Iran until Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 Islamic Revolution seized power and began its own reign of tyranny. The questions about the revolution shape Shirin Ebadi's new book,The Golden Cage, while the answers shed light on Islamic Iran's current events and tell us why it strives for nuclear energy, chants "Death to Israel," and claims to be the most powerful force in the Middle East and Muslim world.

History perhaps is best described through the life stories we each can hold dearly. The Golden Cage is one such story, about three brothers the author knew through their sister, Pari, a childhood friend. Each brother subscribes to a different political ideology that tears Iran and their lives apart. As Pari observes, her brothers live deluded lives in golden cages of ideology. These words mark the beginning of this story, illuminating the multifaceted Iran of today and years past.

Shirin Ebadi was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote human rights, in particular, the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. She is the first Muslim woman to receive the prize.

Dr. Ebadi was one of the first female judges in Iran. She served as president of the city court of Tehran (1975-79) and was the first Iranian woman to achieve Chief Justice status. She was dismissed, along with other women judges, from that position after the Islamic Revolution in February of 1979. She was made a clerk in the court she had once presided over, until she petitioned for early retirement. After obtaining her lawyer's license in 1992, she set up private practice. As a lawyer, Dr. Ebadi has taken on many controversial cases defending political dissidents and as a result has been arrested numerous times.

In addition to being an internationally-recognized advocate of human rights, she has also established many non-governmental organizations in Iran, including the Center for the Defense of Human Rights (2001), and the Million Signatures Campaign, a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian law. Dr. Ebadi is also a university professor and often students from outside Iran take part in her human rights training courses. In January 2006, along with five other women Nobel Peace Laureates, Dr. Ebadi took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women's Initiative, based in Ottawa.

In 2004, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world, and by Time magazine as one of 2004's top 100 most influential people.

She has published over 70 articles and a dozen books dedicated to various aspects of human rights, some of which have been published by UNICEF. Among her books translated into English are The Rights of the Child: A Study of Legal Aspects of Children's Rights in Iran (1994, published with support from UNICEF), History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran (2000) and Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (2006), which was translated into forty languages.

In May, Dr. Ebadi will participate at the inaugural Newark Peace Education Summit, joining the Dalai Lama, Somaly Mam and other international leaders, as well as students and local anti-violence activists. The three-day event will focus on peacemaking as a way for individuals, communities and nations to resolve conflicts and problems.

Selected Links

Shirin Ebadi on Tunisia and Egypt

Guardian: Calls for Iran to release prominent human rights lawyer

The Nobel Women's Initiative


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NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed seating to all our BookTalk events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while Student Members attend all events for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?