May 07, 2009
Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Roya Hakakian whose book "Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran," chronicles her intellectual odyssey from teenage rebel to Iranian-American writer. In the conversation, Roya Hakakian reflects on the craft of writing, the importance of poetry in Iranian culture, the betrayal of the revolution by the Ayatollahs and the impact of the revolution on the Jewish community in Iran. She also compares the struggle within both Islam and Judaism as young people reconcile modernity with religious identity.
ROYA HAKAKIAN has collaborated on over a dozen hours of programming for leading journalism units on network television, including 60 Minutes and on A& E's "Travels With Harry", and ABC Documentary Specials with the late Peter Jennings, Discovery and The Learning Channel. Commissioned by UNICEF, Roya's most recent film, Armed and Innocent on the subject of the involvement of underage children in wars around the world was a nominee for best short documentary at several festivals around the world.
Roya is the author of two collections of poetry in Persian, the first of which, For the Sake of Water, was nominated as poetry book of the year by Iran News in 1993. She was listed among the leading new voices in Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies around the world, including La Regle Du Jeu , Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature , and the forthcoming W.W. Norton's Contemporary Voices of the Eastern World: An Anthology of Poems . She contributes to the Persian Literary Review, and served as the poetry editor of Par Magazine for six years.
Her opinion columns, essays, and book reviews appear in English language publications, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal among them. She is also a contributor to the Weekend Edition of NPR's All Things Considered. Roya is a member of the editorial board of the journal, World Affairs: A Journal Of Ideas And Debate.
Roya is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and serves on the board of Refugees International. She was a fellow at [[Yale University]]’s Whitney Humanities Center. She speaks on the subject of the Middle East and human rights and has appeared on CSPAN-Book TV, CNN International, CBS Early Show, and Now with Bill Moyers. Her memoir of growing up a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran, Journey from the Land of No : A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran (Crown) was a Barnes & Noble's Pick of the Week, Ms. Magazine Must Read of the Summer, Publishers Weekly's Best Book of the Year, Elle Magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of 2004, and was named Best Memoir by the Connecticut Center for the Book in 2005. Roya is also a recipient of the 2008 Guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction.
Born and raised in a Jewish family in Tehran, Roya came to the United States in May 1985 on political asylum. She lives in Connecticut.
In these lively and unedited video interviews, distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists. The interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world. At the heart of each interview is a focus on individuals and ideas that make a difference.
Harry Kreisler is executive producer and host of the series, which is produced at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California - Berkeley. Conceived in 1982 by Mr. Kreisler as a way to capture and preserve through conversation and technology the intellectual ferment of our times, Conversations with History includes over 450 interviews.
Conversations with History is made possible by support from the Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation, from UCTV, and from UC Berkeley's Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Institute of Governmental Studies, and by the Ford endowment at the Institute of International Studies.