All Hail Amastris, the War Captive Who Rose to Power and Became a Queen

The Persian princess was captured in battle by Alexander the Great, but she didn't let that stop her from founding a city and coining her own money.
Jenna Mahale
personal essay

Growing Up As a Girl in Iran, Fashion Was Always a Form of Protest

As more and more Iranian women pull off their headscarves in protest of the compulsory hijab law, one writer recalls how, for her and other Iranian women, clothing and rebellion have long been intertwined.
Ari Honarvar

Talking with a Child Soldier and the Young Man He Refused to Kill

He was 13 and meant to kill him. Instead, they escaped and later reunited in Canada.
Mitchell Sunderland

Living as a Lesbian in Iran, Where Being Gay Is Illegal

In Iran, being gay can carry a death sentence for men. Though lesbians are discussed less frequently, they too face severe government-sanctioned punishment, including lashes and flogging.
Bahar Noorozi

Female Academic Freed After Being Arrested and Jailed for 'Dabbling in Feminism'

Iran says that Homa Hoodfar was a threat to national security, but the Canadian-Iranian professor's family says that she was arrested for her feminism and politics.
Sirin Kale

The Secret World of Female Jiu-Jitsu Fighters in Iran

While MMA fighters like Ronda Rousey have popularized disciplines like Brazilian jiu-jitsu for women, there's one place where they can't get on the mat: Iran. But there are still some who practice the martial art in secret.
Andrew Nguyen

Riding the Wave of Feminism: Meet the Female Surfers of Iran

When she traveled to Iran in 2010, Irish competitive surfer Dr Easkey Britton was one of the first to bring surfing to the country. Five years on, Persian women are getting onto their boards and leaving men in their dust.
Natasha Wynarczyk

The Artist Making Dolls of the Women Executed in Iran

Women living in Iran have been executed for "crimes" like not wearing their hijab correctly or defending themselves from rape. While the country's government uses the death penalty as a silencing tactic, Iranian-American artist Sheida Soleimani is...
Gabby Bess

The Illegal, Underground Ballerinas of Iran

Dancing is illegal in the Middle Eastern state, but that hasn't stopped renegade ballet teachers and students from staging classes in secret.
Beulah Devaney
plastic surgery

These Persian Girls Are Inciting a National Debate Around Nose Jobs

Like many other women of Iranian descent, I grew up hating my nose. Now some girls in "the nose job capital of the world" are now standing up to challenge the social norm of plastic surgery.
Natasha Wynarczyk