Born in Tehran, Iran, Nina Ansary left her country of birth at the onset of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Growing up in New York City, she received her B.A. in Sociology from Barnard College, and her M.A in Middle Eastern Studies and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. After moving to Los Angeles, Ansary followed her family’s long distinguished record for supporting humanitarian causes. As an avid philanthropist, she serves on the Middle East Institute Advisory Board at Columbia University, on Columbia University’s Global Leadership Council, the Board of Trustees of the IAWF (Iranian American Women’s Foundation), and the Advisory Board of the Pacific Youth Foundation. Nina Ansary is an elected member of the Everychild Foundation and the Pacific Council on International policy, and a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women (USNC) – organizations dedicated to public policy and supporting education, charitable and gender-related causes. She is one of the “Top Influencers” of Iran on Twitter/Facebook, and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast, BBC, Huffington Post, and Women’s eNews, an award-winning news website which recently honored her as one of the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century.
September 2015 Book of the Month. A fascinating, behind the scenes view, looking simply and astutely at the history and story of women in Iran. The author is a historian born in Iran and now living in the USA. This is a book you can dip and delve into, the chapters are short and Nina Ansary covers her points in a practical and straight forward way. She studies the misconceptions held about women in Iran, looks at exclusionary policies based on interpretations of religious teachings, recounts a history of Iranian religion and rulers and pays tribute to the strength and courage of Iranian women. Using quotes and pictures Ansary is quite matter of fact, yet it is very clear when the author's personal feelings come forth. With some surprising deductions, ‘Jewels of Allah’ is a book that makes you think about the importance of women in society and consequently is a most worthwhile and interesting read. ~ Liz Robinson
International Book Award in Women's IssuesEric Hoffer Award for Best Culture BookEric Hoffer Award for Best Book CoverEric Hoffer Award for Best Debut AuthorIndie Book Award for Historical NonfictionIndie Book Award for Women's IssuesForeWord INDIEFAB Award for Womens StudiesBest Book Award for Womens IssuesThe popular narrative about womens lives in Iran over the last forty years goes something like this:During the Pahlavi Monarchy, women were on an upward trajectory. In a nation on the cusp of modernity, women actively participated. They were given the right to vote and free to be in public without veils. They wore miniskirts on university campuses. Then came the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with Ayatollah Khomeini at the helm. The burgeoning freedoms for women were extinguished. The veil was required and institutions were segregated by gender. The Islamic Republic had thus achieved its goal of resurrecting the image of the traditional Muslim woman.The problem with popular narratives is that, despite their convenient half-truths, the real story is more complicated, unexpected, and less tidy.Inspired by author Nina Ansarys scholarly journey, Jewels of Allah is a provocative roller coaster ride that shatters the stereotypical assumptions and the often misunderstood story of women in Iran today. Highlighting many courageous female leaders and advocates throughout Irans history, the book illuminates the unanticipated consequences of the Islamic Revolution and the unexpected twists and turns leading to a full-blown feminist movement within a post-revolutionary patriarchal society.Jewels of Allah is dedicated to every individual oppressed by discriminatory ideology. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of the book will go to charitable organizations and institutions, with the primary recipient being the OMID Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered organization that has been empowering disadvantaged young women in Iran for over 10 years. For more information on the OMID Foundation, please visit the omidfoundation.com.