Nazanin Afshin-Jam (Human Rights Activist/Singer/Songwriter/Model
Nazanin Afshin-Jam (Persian: born 1979 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian-Canadian Human Rights Activist, President and Co-Founder of Stop Child Executions.
In addition to being an outspoken activist on behalf of the people of Iran, she is also a talented singer, songwriter, model, actress, pilot, former Miss World Canada and Miss World 1st runner up. She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1981.
She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, and undertook scholarship studies at the prestigious Science Po in Paris and the International Study Center Herstmonceux Castle in England.
After graduation she worked with the Red Cross as a Global Youth Educator, teaching on subjects ranging from the Landmine Crisis, Children affected by War, the Poverty-Disease Cycle to Natural Disasters.
She is an international model and actress and in 2003 she became Miss World Canada and joined in the Miss World contest in Sanya, China. She ranked second there, behind Rosanna Davison, Miss Ireland 2003.
Nazanin entered the Miss World competition whose motto is “beauty with a purpose” to have a stronger platform to speak on human rights issues. Nazanin traveled worldwide representing many causes including helping victims of the tsunami in India and Sri Lanka, raising funds for the earthquake victims of Bam, supporting fistula patients in Ethiopia, fundraising for Variety the Children's Charity,bridging the digital divide through youth advocacy and raising awareness on the practice of Bear Bile Farming in China.
Nazanin continues to address human rights abuses worldwide particularly in relation to women and children in Iran and the Middle East including speeches at UN, EU, Canadian and UK Parliament. She has had media features on CNN, BBC, CBC, FOX, Al Jazeera and numerous radio shows, talk shows and print including Glamour, Seventeen, Chatelaine, Flare and Vanity Fair magazine.
Nazanin is also a pilot and is licensed to fly both powered aircraft and gliders and has achieved the highest rank in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets -- Warrant Officer First Class. She is fluent in three languages: Persian, English and French, and also knows conversational Spanish.
She was opposed to the death penalty being applied to 18-year-old namesake Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, who was sentenced to hang for stabbing one of three men who tried to rape her and her niece in Karaj in March 2005.She started a campaign to help save the life of this minor including a petition which attracted more than 350,000 signatures worldwide. She has also dedicated her song "Someday the Revolution song" -one of the 12 songs on her album -Someday to Nazanin Fatehi and some other youth in Iran.
Eventually,with pressure from the international community, Nazanin Fatehi was granted a new trial by the head of Judiciary in June 2006. In January 2007 Nazanin Fatehi was exhonerated of murder charges and was released on January 31, 2007 after Nazanin raised $43,000 on-line for bail while her lawyers worked on her case.
For her efforts in helping save Nazanin Fatehi, Nazanin Afshin-Jam was awarded the “hero for human rights award” from Youth For Human Rights International and Artists for Human Rights at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam initiated Stop Child Executions Campaign and petition to help other children on death row. The campaign was registered as a non-profit organization with 501-C 3 status in 2008. She is co-founder and President of Stop Child Executions Organization whose aim is to try and put a permanent end to executions of minors in Iran and abroad. To date, SCE has managed to help save many lives.
As of February 2008, Nazanin was appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada's office to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation .
On the 9th anniversary of the student uprising in Iran, Nazanin Afshin-Jam made a speech in the UK parliament, commemorating the uprising and mentioned some of the victims of the uprising.
On September 23, 2008 Nazanin organized "Ahmadinejad's Wall of Shame" rally at Dag Hammarskjöld park across the United Nations in New York as Ahmadinejad was addressing the General Assembly.
In November 2008 Nazanin received the "Global Citizenship Award" by the University of British Columbia's Alumni Association .
In April 2009 Nazanin received the "Human Rights Hero Award" from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2009 Nazanin will be playing the role of Táhirih in Jack Lenz's upcoming movie Mona's Dream about the life of Mona Mahmudnizhad. In 2009 she signed an open letter of apology posted to Iranian.com along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the Persecution of Bahá'ís.
Through her speeches and music Nazanin hopes to continue being a “voice for the voiceless” and deliver her messages of freedom, peace and love worldwide.
Her debut album album was released in April 2007 via Bodog Music. Bringing fresh phonic fusion to the forefront she combines a variety of rhythms, beats and melodies from all corners of the globe. Nazanin’s international upbringing and rich history fuel her music, as is evident in her multilingual release. She sings in English, French, Persian and Spanish. This genre-spanning song selection could be classified in many categories with prevalence in: Pop, Dance and World Beat.
Nazanin has charted a new entry (No. 20) in the Music Week - Commercial Pop Top 30 Club Chart with her debut single, "I Dance 4 U". The music video for the song has also been released.
Nazanin has been climbing the ac FMQB Top 40 chart in the US and is currently at #7 for her single "Someday". The music video for this song has also been released.
Nazanin's new single "I Do" has been climbing the Billboard chart (adult contemporary music) and is currently #39.
Nazanin's Christmas single "On Christmas Day" has also charted. In its first week of release it was ranked #59 on the ACQB chart. All proceeds of the song go to the Stop Child Executions Campaign.
Nazanin wants to compose songs on Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalits in India.