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Sattareh Farman Farmaian, 90, ‘mother of social work’

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Roshan Center for Persian Studies director, Karimi-Hakkak, on the death of Iranian social welfare pioneer, Sattareh Farman Farmaian.

By Emily Langer, The Washington Post,

Sattareh Farman Farmaian, the daughter of a Persian prince who used her family’s power to found a trailblazing social welfare movement on behalf of women, children, prisoners and other disadvantaged Iranians in the years before the Islamic revolution, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles.

She was 90 and had lymphoma, said her daughter Mitra Jordan.

Ms. Farman Farmaian had lived in Los Angeles since supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Western-backed shah, in 1979. In a widely read memoir, “Daughter of Persia” (1992), Ms. Farman Farmaian wrote that she narrowly escaped execution after being denounced for her progressive social work, which included the establishment of family planning clinics across Iran and a pioneering school of social work in the capital.

By the time of her exile, Ms. Farman Farmaian was widely regarded as the “mother of social work” in Iran, said Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, director of the Roshan Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland.



Date of Publication: 
Friday, October 19, 2012