Alumna Pariya Taherzadeh (Graduate Diploma in Radio, 2018) is a finalist at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards for her audio documentary Escape From Iran. This piece will be vying for the top prize in two categories: History and Social Issues. New York Festivals Radio Awards honours radio content in all lengths and formats and across all platforms from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.
Pariya wrote, recorded and produced the piece while attached to ABC Radio National as part of the ABC Selwyn Speight Diversity Scholarship, which supported her study at AFTRS.
“The ABC producers were so amazing to work with, they really guided and mentored me through the entire process. The faith, trust and freedom of creativity I was given has been heart-warming. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for the rest of my life… if it wasn’t for AFTRS I wouldn’t have been able to do it! So thank you!”
Pariya arrived in Australia as an Iranian refugee with her parents in 1989. Forty years on from the Iranian Revolution, Pariya’s mother Jaleh tells her story of leaving Iran and making a home in Australia.
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The 1979 Iranian Revolution, saw the end of the country’s monarchy and the Shah’s 38-year rule. It set Iran on the path to an Islamic government headed by the newly returned Shi’ite leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Iranians of the Bahai faith who had prospered during the Shah’s modern reign suddenly found themselves disenfranchised, and many faced harsh discrimination. Strict laws for women also began to be enforced.
A few years later, Bahai woman, Jaleh Misaghi gave birth to her daughter, Pariya. She was 22 years old and newly married. Her husband was Muslim. Determined to start fresh, Jaleh paid people smugglers to help her escape Iran, and with 15 fellow asylum seekers and her baby on her back, she took her chances. 40 years later, Jaleh tells her story to her daughter; a story of faith and the risks she took to find her family a new home.
You can listen to the episode here.
Find out more about the AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio.