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Maryam Nayeb Yazdi

Maryam Nayeb-Yazdi is an Iranian-Canadian human rights activist and the editor-in-chief of ;Persian2English, a website that exposes human rights violations in Iran to an international audience. Born in Mashad, Iran, Yazdi immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1989, to pursue her education. After receiving a degree in English, Yazdi spent the next few years working with a start-up media company.After the suppression of civic movements surrounding the Iranian elections in June 2009, Yazdi dedicated her work to promoting Iranian freedom and democracy.In addition to creating Persia 2 English in 2009, Yazdi is also the North American spokesperson for ;Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based NGO that focuses on ending the death penalty in Iran. After immigrating to Canada, Yazdi worked to raise international awareness of repression and human rights violations in Iran. Upon graduating from York University, she worked at a start-up media company. In 2008, Yazdi was selected to serve as the editor-in-chief of a magazine that covered Tirgan, the world’s largest festival celebrating Iranian culture. Yazdi also created an online magazine,Faryad,which sought to connect citizens in Iran with the Iranian diaspora. After the Green Revolution in Iran was brutally suppressed, Persian 2 English became an important resource for current news on Iran. The project gained attention and support from academics, journalists, and politicians around the world. In 2011,the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, a part of Columbia University Libraries, included Persia 2 English in its Human Rights Web Archive.In the last few years, Maryam has led and collaborated on projects with various human rights groups and organizations, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Senate. In 2013, the governor general of Canada awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Yazdi in recognition of her achievements in the field of human rights.

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