Gozaar: A Forum on Human Rights and Democracy in Iran
Gozaar (which means "transition" in Persian) is a web-based Persian-English forum devoted to democracy and human rights in Iran. Gozaar was launched by Freedom House as a monthly journal and a collection of resources in September 2006. Seventeen issues were published, each dedicated to a new and important theme such as women’s rights, ethnic and religious minorities, children, workers, students, and the rule of law. In January 2008, Gozaar developed a new format to facilitate a more dynamic discussion of human rights and democracy issues and showcase civic education and activism resources.
With the launch of a more interactive platform in May 2010, Gozaar seeks to further engage its readership. The new Gozaar features a discussion board, where readers are invited to voice their opinions on important issues taking place in Iran today. We have also introduced a section dedicated exclusively to human rights, featuring a monthly report on the latest human rights developments inside the country.
Recognizing that open access to ideas and information is the cornerstone of the quest for freedom, Gozaar seeks to help Iranian democrats fulfill the universal aspiration for justice and self-determination by creating an accessible, inclusive, and provocative space for the discussion of liberty. Gozaar seeks to build bridges between democrats inside and outside Iran by fostering dialogue on Iran’s transition to a free society.
Gozaar invites everyone interested in a free Iran, especially those who live in Iran, to write for the journal. The views expressed in Gozaar are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Freedom House. Gozaar reserves the right to edit submitted pieces while preserving the authors’ views. Gozaar accepts original submissions from writers, artists, cartoonists, translators, journalists, social reporters, and activists.
Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world. Freedom House supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Gozaar Advisory Council
As part of its commitment to diversity of opinions, Gozaar has assembled an Advisory Council composed of prominent Iranians. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to assist Gozaar in its mission to foster a debate on human rights and democracy in Iran. Members of the Advisory Council serve a one year term. The Advisory Council is not responsible for Gozaar’s content and is not engaged in day-to-day management of the publication. The views expressed in Gozaar articles and commentaries are those of the individual authors. Below you can find the biographical information for each Advisory Council member.
Dr. Ladan Boroumand is a former Visiting Fellow at the International Forum for Democratic Studies; she is currently Research Director at the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation. She has a Masters Degree in political sociology and a Ph.D. in history. She is the author of La Guerre des Principes (1999), an extensive study of the tensions throughout the French Revolution between human rights and the sovereignty of the nation. She is the author and co-author of several articles on the French Revolution, the Islamic revolution of Iran, and the nature of Islamist terrorism.
Sasan Ghahreman is an Iranian-Canadian novelist, poet, director, and journalist. He has studied performing arts at the University of Tehran and English literature and sociology at York University in Toronto, Canada. While in Iran, Ghahreman worked as an actor and director with cultural organizations such as Khaneh’ye Farhang, Kargah’e Namayesh, and Iran Radio and Television. Because of his political affiliations and activities, he was forced to flee Iran in 1983, immigrating to Canada a year later. Ghahreman has published seven books, including three novels, three poetry anthologies, and a collection of analytical articles. His first novel, Gosal, was published while Ghahreman was in exile and received critical acclaim as the first Persian novel to examine the social and cultural obstacles faced by Iranian immigrants living abroad. Ghahreman is the founder and director of Afra Publishing, the first and only Persian-language publishing house in Canada. He has also helped found the Iranian Writers’ Association in Canada and has served as an alternate board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association in Exile. Ghahreman has also published three issues of Sepidar, a Persian-English cultural magazine. His work is published in Shahrvand, Culture & Literature, Ghalamrow and various other Iranian online publications.
Dr. Hormoz Hekmat is the Editor of Iran Nameh, the Foundation for Iranian Studies’ quarterly journal of Iranian studies. Dr. Hekmat was a Fulbright Scholar (1958-9); taught political science and international law at Utica College of Syracuse University (1967-70) and Tehran University (1974-81); a Senior Fellow at the Tehran Research Center for Social Sciences (1975-7); a Member of the Iranian Academy of Languages (1976-8); and a Member of the board of legal advisors to Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (1977-8).
Dr. Azar Nafisi is currently at SAIS as an FPI Visiting Fellow and Professorial Lecturer. She previously served on the faculty at Tehran University and later Allemeh Tabatabai University; as Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, taught on the interactions between Western and Iranian culture, and has earned international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran's intellectuals, youth and especially young women. She has written Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories; Reading Lolita in Tehran; Anti-Terra: A study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels; and numerous chapters and articles on issues related to promotion of democracy and human rights in Muslim societies, on women's rights and literature and culture.
Dr. Saeed Paivandi is a Professor of sociology at the Paris-8 University. He has an extensive background in education and specific expertise in Iran’s post-revolutionary education system. Dr. Paivandi has written more than 34 articles, numerous research papers and comparative studies on topics related to education, including a book entitled, Religion and Education in Iran: the Failure of Islamicizing Schools. He is the author of a path breaking Freedom House study, Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran’s Textbooks, that researched the deeply ingrained prejudices in the textbooks given to children in the Islamic Republic of Iran.