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PBS Destination America “Mahnaz Afkhami and Farah Ebrahimi”

Fri, Apr 15, 2005

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PBS Destination America

Watch the excerpt from “Mahnaz Afkhami and Farah Ebrahimi: Iran”
Part 1 2005 Destination America_Mahnaz Afkhami
Part 2 2005 Destination America_Mahnaz Afkhami

The PBS program “Destination America” is organized around some of the driving forces that have compelled individuals to immigrate to America for centuries and have remained constant throughout history — economic opportunity, religious freedom and artistic expression. As well, the series looks at the particular forces that drive women to come to America in search of opportunity and the basic human rights they had been denied in their homelands.

Contemporary stories are the centerpiece of each episode, along with historic portraits of immigrants who came before. The past and present day experiences of immigrants resonate with each other. To say goodbye to everything you have known and loved and set off for another country has always been a wrenching experience. The films focus on the world the immigrants left behind, the roots that defined them, and the frustrations, hardships, discontents and ambitions that made and continues to make America their destination.

Ferdows Naficy and her two daughters, Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. When Ferdows decided to emigrate to the U.S., she opened the door for her daughters to later join her in California. Both would later return to Iran as adults, where they would be torn apart by Iranian politics during the reign of the shah. Mahnaz became a minister in the shah’s government and advocated for women’s rights, while Farah and her husband joined the cause of the revolution. Ultimately, Mahnaz and Farah had to flee Iran in fear for their lives.

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Quotables – Exile

"We have learned first hand that nothing is worth the suffering, death, and destruction brought about by ideologies that in their fervor uproot so much and destroy so many and then fade away, blow up, or self-destruct. We learned in looking back over our lives that nothing is worth the breach of the sanctity of an individual’s body and spirit. The sharing of our narratives of exile made us conclude simply that we wish to seek a mildness of manner, a kindness of heart, and a softness of demeanor. We have paid with the days of our lives for the knowledge that nothing good or beautiful can come from harshness and ugliness." - Women in Exile