Roya Hakakian

    Roya Hakakian is a writer whose work has appeared both in print and on television. She has developed over a dozen hours of programming for leading journalism units on network television, including 60 Minutes. Hakakian is the author of two collections of poems in Persian and is listed among the leading voices of contemporary Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies around the world, including Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. She contributes to the Persian Literary Review and served as the poetry editor of Par Magazine for six years. 

    Hakakian has contributed countless columns, essays, and book reviews to leading English language publications, most recently to The Atlantic and The New York Review of Books. She has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. Her work mostly centers around the issues of human rights, social justice, and the conditions of minorities, especially Jews and women in the Middle East. She is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and has served on several non-profit boards, including Refugees International. She is a fellow at Yale University’s Davenport College and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

    Hakakian’s memoir of growing up a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran, Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran has been translated into many languages, and Hakakian is also a recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction. Her second nonfiction book, the Assassins of the Turquoise Palace, about Iran’s terror campaign against exiled Iranian dissidents in Western Europe, was named a Notable Book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review. Her most recent work is A Beginner’s Guide to America for the Immigrant and the Curious (Knopf 2021).