Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mediawashed Middle East

This week my blog post Mediawashed Middle East went live on PEN America's blog. It begins:

For six years I have been speaking about the Middle East in schools, libraries, and community centers in the U.S. I discuss my novels set in Iran, and my experience at Iran’s first International Children’s Book Festival. I also show photos of the Iranian school children, teens, and college students I’ve met—young women who asked me about their career paths...  

Read more at: at:

Thanks much to Lyn Miller-Lachman for the opportunity to write for PEN.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2013

Yesterday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2013. Angella Nazarian, a writer who has contributed to my forthcoming anthology Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran, wrote a piece about this for the Huffington Post, "An Intimate Conversation with CNN Hero Somaly Mamavailable."

More information on this topic is available through a study conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,

Human trafficking of children and adults haunts me. I have written a young adult novel Night Letter that will be released in February, which set in early 2Oth century Persia. The story touches upon human trafficking and how the newly formed Majlis (parliament) of Iran stood up for women's rights.

Other related young adult novels include Sold, by Patricia McCormik, and, Trafficked, by Kim Purcell.