Nazanin Afshin-Jam

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Nazanin Afshin-Jam

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Afshin-Jam graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, and studied at Sciences Po in Paris and the Queen's University International Study Centre 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 returned to school and earned a Master of International Diplomacy from Norwich University. In February 2008, Afshin-Jam was appointed by the Prime Minister's Office to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. In May 2012 "The Tale of Two Nazanins" was published by Harper Collins, a book authored by Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Susan McClelland. She is fluent in three languages: Persian, English and French.

Miss World[edit]

Afshin-Jam is international model and actress and in 2003 she became Miss World Canada[1] and joined in the Miss World contest in Sanya, China. She ranked second there, behind Rosanna Davison, Miss Ireland 2003. She entered the Miss World competition whose motto is “beauty with a purpose” to have a stronger platform to speak on human rights issues. Afshin-Jam 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.

Activism and Awards[edit]

Afshin-Jam 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, Elle and Vanity Fair magazine.

Afshin-Jam was opposed to the death penalty being applied to 18-year-old Iranian woman 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.[6] 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 Afshin-Jam raised $43,000 on-line for bail while her lawyers worked on her case. For her efforts in helping save Nazanin Fatehi, 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.

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 to put a permanent end to executions of minors in Iran and abroad. To date, SCE has managed to help save many lives.

On the 9th anniversary of the student uprising in Iran, Afshin-Jam made a speech in the UK parliament, commemorating the uprising. In her remarks, she mentioned some of the victims of the uprising. On September 23, 2008 Afshin-Jam 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 Afshin-Jam received the "Global Citizenship Award" by the University of British Columbia's Alumni Association[7] In April 2009 Nazanin received the "Human Rights Hero Award" from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2009 Afshin-Jam 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 along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the Persecution of Bahá'ís.[8] In 2009, Afshin-Jam won the YMCA Power of Peace Award as “Young Emerging Leader”.

Through her speeches and music Afshin-Jam hopes to continue being a “voice for the voiceless” and deliver her messages of freedom, peace and love worldwide.


Afshin-Jam's debut album, Someday was released in April 2007 by Bodog Music.[9] Her music is influenced by her multilingual and international background; she sings in English, French, Persian and Spanish. This genre-spanning song selection could be classified in many categories but, in particular, in: Pop, Dance and World Beat.

Several of Afshin-Jam's songs have made the Top 30 and Top 40 charts. Her debut single, "I Dance 4 U" charted at #20 in the Music Week - Commercial Pop Top 30 Club Chart (a music video for the song has been released). Afshim-Jam's single "Someday" has been climbing the FMQB Top 40 chart in the U.S. and is currently at #7. Her new single "I Do" reached #39 on the Billboard Chart in adult contemporary music. A Christmas single "On Christmas Day" has also made the charts, ranking #59 on the ACQB chart. The proceeds from the song are contributed to the Stop Child Executions Campaign. Afshin-Jam has dedicated "Someday the Revolution Song" from her album Someday, to Nazanin Fatehi and other youth in Iran. She has said that she wants to compose songs about Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalits in India.

Personal Life[edit]

A licensed pilot, Afshin-Jam flies both powered aircraft and gliders and achieved the highest rank in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets—Warrant Officer First Class. On January 4, 2012, Afshin-Jam married Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay at a private ceremony in Mexico.