Masih Alinejad

Events

Mass Rally in New York: NO to Ahmadinjad! YES to Human ... Past Sept 22-24, 2009
Shirin Ebadi, Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Hamid Dabashi, ... Past Saturday, Aug 29, 2009

Biography

Masoumeh Alinejad-Ghomi (born 11 September 1976 in Ghomikola, Babol) is an Iranian journalist and writer. Alinejad currently works as a reporter on popular satirical TV show OnTen on the VOA Persian Service and as a correspondent for Radio Farda.

Alinejad is well known for her criticism of Iranian authorities. She now lives in exile in the United Kingdom, and has won awards including the Omid Journalism Award from the Mehdi Semsar Foundation and a "Highly Commended" AIB Media Excellence Award.

Alinejad was born as Masoumeh Alinejad but uses the first name "Masih" (anointed or Messiah) which is the title of Jesus of Nazareth in Islam and Christianity. Alinejad was politically active from a young age and was arrested as an activist for producing leaflets critical of the Government in 1994. Alinejad began her career in journalism in 2001 with Hambastegi daily and then worked for Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA). Papers including Shargh, Bahar, Vaghaye.Ettefaghiye, Ham-Mihan and Etemad Melli have also published her articles. During the sixth and seventh parliament, Alinejad was the parliamentary reporter. In 2005 she wrote an article that showed a considerable sum of money was given to MPs as a New Year bonus. The article generated lots of controversy and led to her dismissal from the parliament.

Masih Alinejad on Vogue cover

In 2008 she wrote a highly controversial article in Etemad Melli daily, called ‘Song of the Dolphins’ where she compared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s behavior to the behavior of dolphin trainers to dolphins. She wrote that the impoverished people who gathered around Ahmadinejad in his provincial visits to give him letters are similar to hungry dolphins that make sounds and perform entertaining acts to grab a morsel of food from their trainer. Some people regarded the article as very offensive towards the president and the people and eventually Mehdi Karroubi the director of the paper had to apologies for the article. Time Magazine published an article in this regard in 7 May 2008 titled ‘Jesus’ vs. Ahmadinejad.

In the summer of 2009, during her stay in the United States, Alinejad tried very hard to have an interview with Barack Obama; however, she was refused the interview although she was granted the visa based on having an interview with Obama. Her visa expired and she had to return to England. While in the United States, she participated in some of Iranian protests and delivered a speech in one on 25 July 2009 in San Francisco where she said, addressing the government authorities of Iran, “We have trembled for thirty years, now it is your turn to tremble.” She was interviewed by VOA, which was shown together with parts of the videos she had made, called ‘A Storm of Fresh Air.’ In 2010 she and a group of Iranian writers and intellectuals established ‘IranNeda’ foundation. After the presidential election in Iran in 2009, she published a novel called ‘A Green Date’.

Alinejad graduated in 2011 with a degree in Communication, Media and Culture from Oxford Brookes University. In 2014, Alinejad launched My Stealthy Freedom (also known as Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women), a Facebook page that invites Iranian women to post pictures of themselves without a hijab. The page quickly attracted international attention and has garnered hundreds of thousands of likes.

In 2015 the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy gave her its women's rights award for "giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom and equality."

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