‘Jewels of Allah’ – winner of the 2016 International Book Award in ‘Women’s Issues’
Born in Tehran and now based in Los Angeles, Dr. Ansary’s literary debut, Jewels of Allah, winner of the 2016 International Book Award in “Women’s Issues”, is the first book to shatter stereotypical assumptions about Iranian women.
Dr. Ansary has presented at Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, New York and Harvard universities as well as worldwide conferences in Dublin, Milan and London.
Her advocacy for women’s rights worldwide has won support from an eclectic following of over 200,000 influencers, including Arianna Huffington, actress Nazanin Boniadi, actor Taye Diggs, TV host Montel Williams, Vogue UK editor Laura Bailey and British pop singer Kim Wilde.
Recently profiled in The New York Times as one of “Five Iranian Visionaries You Need to Know,” Dr. Ansary has also been honored as one of “The 21 Leaders of the 21st Century” by Women’s ENews. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post. She has appeared on Fox News, Larry King, The BBC and CBS Radio and been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The UK Daily Telegraph, among others.
Dr. Ansary holds an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD in History from Columbia University. She serves on the board of trustees at the Iranian-American Women’s Foundation, Barnard College, the Middle East Institute Advisory Board at Columbia University and on Columbia University’s Global Leadership Council.
“The popular narrative about women’s lives in Iran over the last forty years goes something like this: ‘During the Pahlavi Monarchy, women were on an upward trajectory. In a nation on the cusp of modernity, women actively participated. They were given the right to vote and were free to be in public without veils; they wore miniskirts on university campuses. Then came the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with Ayatollah Khomeini at the helm. The burgeoning freedoms for women were extinguished. The veil was required and institutions were segregated by gender. The Islamic Republic had thus achieved its goal of resurrecting the image of the traditional Muslim woman.’
The problem with popular narratives is that, despite their convenient half-truths, the real story is more complicated, unexpected, and less tidy. Inspired by author Nina Ansary s scholarly journey, Jewels of Allah is a provocative roller coaster ride that shatters the stereotypical assumptions and the often misunderstood story of women in Iran today. Highlighting many courageous female leaders and advocates throughout Iran s history, the book illuminates the unanticipated consequences of the Islamic Revolution and the unexpected twists and turns leading to a full-blown feminist movement within a post-revolutionary patriarchal society.”
Jewels of Allah is dedicated to every individual oppressed by discriminatory ideology.
100% of the proceeds are donated to charities supporting women in Iran, including the Omid Foundation, shortlisted for the 2016 Civil Society Charity Award.