The Most Successful Iranian Women
This week I decided to write about some of the most successful Iranian women who do not live in Iran. There are many, and I only wrote about three of them here. They had to flee the country to be successful. Before introducing these successful women, I would rather bring some wise sentences from our late renowned poet and writer, Mr. Ahmad Shamloo.
“Everyone who does not hide a dagger in his sleeve is my relative. He does not frown, nor does his smile trick him into violating others’ right to bread and shelter. I do not prefer Iranians to non-Iranians, nor do I prefer Iranians to Iranians. I am a Persian Kurdish Baluch, a Persian-speaking Turk, an African-American, an Australian, an Asian-American, and a black-Indian-white-black man who has no problem with myself. But without others, I feel the fear of death under my skin. I am a human being among other human beings on the sacred planet Earth, having no meaning without others’ presence. I prefer poetry to be trumpets, not lullabies”.
Born in 1975 in Iran, Darya Safaei is a dentist, human rights activist, women’s rights activist, and member of the Belgian parliament of the right-wing and nationalist Enfea (N-VA) party. She has been a protestor in various countries against the ban on women entering sports stadiums. Saeed Bashirtash, her husband, is also an Iranian political activist and one of the Islamic Republic’s opponents. As a dental student in Tehran during the student protests in the late 1991s, Safaei was arrested. Her husband, also a dentist, was one of the leading student protest organizers. Her husband fled to Turkey. Awaiting trial, Safaei was temporarily released. After her temporary release, she also ran to Turkey. They were accepted as a refugee in Belgium. Having received a Belgian dental degree, Safaei and her husband Saeed Bashirtash have dental clinics in Brussels and Antwerp. “I can not forget how difficult life is in Iran,” Safaei said in an interview about life in Belgium.
Professor Mona Jarrahi
Born in 1979 in Iran, Mona Jarahi is an Engineering professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology at age 21, she went to the USA to earn her master’s and a Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 2003 and 2007, respectively. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She was the only Iranian among the 102 top talents receiving the Young Professionals of the Year award from US President Barack Obama for her groundbreaking research and terahertz technology projects. Terahertz technology is applied in the medical, pharmaceutical, and machinery industries. The Engineering Pioneers Award from the Grainger Foundation National Academy of Engineering, the Early Career Achievement Award from the National Science Foundation, and the defense advanced research projects agency young faculty award are among the numerous awards bestowed to Professor Jarrahi.
Maryam Mirzakhani, the only woman, winning the Fields Medal in 2014 for her work on Dynamics and Geometry of Riemannian Surfaces and Their Dimensional Spaces, was an Iranian- American mathematic professor at Stanford University. She was born in May 1977 in Iran and passed away in July 2017 due to breast cancer. She won two gold medals in the mathematic Olympiad in 1994 (Hong Kong) and 1995 (Canada). Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Sharif University of Technology in Iran, she went to Harvard University to work under the supervision of Curtis McMullen, also a Fields medal winner. Popular Science named her as one of the Top 10 Young Minds of the Year in 2005. The International Union of World Mathematical Societies marked her birthday as a women’s day in Mathematics.