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Jason Rezaian in conversation with Yeganeh Rezaian
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
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Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015.
His book Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison, published in January 2019, details his experience in captivity in Iran.
“If you have goals in life and want to avoid regret, time with loved ones is best measured in quality, not quantity”
– Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison
Jason was born March 15, 1976, and raised in Marin County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Wheaton Central High School in Wheaton, Illinois, in his freshman and sophomore years from 1990 to 1992, before transferring to Marin Academy in San Rafael, California, where he got his high school diploma. He holds both American and Iranian citizenship. His late father, Taghi, emigrated to the U.S. from Iran in 1959; and belonged to a Shia family who were caretakers of the Shia shrine in Mashhad, Iran. His mother, Mary (née Breme), originally from Chicago, moved from the U.S. to Turkey following her husband’s death. His mother was an Evangelical Christian and he has one brother.
Jason had been based in Iran as a journalist since 2009. Before becoming the Post’s Tehran correspondent in 2012, he wrote for other publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle and Monocle. His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, is an Iranian citizen who is a correspondent for The National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. After Salehi was arrested, her press credentials were revoked.
He was the 2016 recipient of the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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Thank you so much for an enlightening talk on Iran and the experiences Jason and his wife have had. Glad they survived so well! I would love to know how Jason was able to get such wonderful books while he was in prison and what the conditions were for his being able to communicate with others and even receive visitors. Elaine, if you could answer this, since the session is over and I just now figured out how to ask a question, that would be wonderful and I would be very grateful. Thanks so much.
I lived in Iran before you were born, and love the country, but not the government. I went back to visit in April, 2015 and coincidentally left the day after you were indicted. If Iran’s government were to change to something more democratic, would you go back again?
How is Public Health helping all of us to survive this pandemic?
What is your advice for a high school freshman who is interested in journalism?
Growing up here in Marin County with the same background as you (Iranian American) and passionate about social justice.
In Transatlantic and Let the Great World Spin, we bore witness to the complex lives of brave women as they navigated the limitations of their sex and class, and as viewers we witnessed history in the making through their life stories. They were complicated, deeply flawed, yet so whole. Where in Apeirogon may we find this thread continue?
Who is your favorite persian writer?
Not many Iranian journalists are aload to enter USA while many USA journalists are permited to travel inside Iran freely. Even few Iranian journalists who entered USA cannot travel beyond a mile far from UN in NY. How do you justify it by freedom of speech?
How has written a memoir impacted you psychologically? Also, what would you say to someone who told you not write an “angry” book?
What do you think about the Iranians like scientists who prisoned in U.S.A. because of so called sanctions against Iran?