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Sahar Jahani


Sahar Jahani is currently a Senior at the University of California, Irvine, pursuing a B.A. in Literary Journalism and Film & Media Studies. She first became interested in media and public relations as an intern for the Muslim Public Affairs Council's Hollywood Bureau, consulting on projects such as Disney's Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Inspired by the need for more alternative, socially conscious media, Sahar began participating in various media outlets on her campus and in Southern California. She has written for the New University, OC Weekly magazine and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Muslim student publication, Alkalima Magazine. Sahar is also interested in film and television production. She has interned at several production companies including ROYCE Entertainment Group, Paramount Pictures and most recently, CBS Studios. Sahar hopes that her experience as a journalist and passion for film will manifest in a career as a writer and producer for broadcast television.

The story behind the story:
In the summer of 1997, my parents packed our belongings and moved my family to their native country of Iran. I was seven years old and mostly unaware of the ramifications of this change. Looking back, I’ve come to recognize this as a pinnacle event that has shaped not only who I am but also the dynamics of my family. I had to dig deep into the crevices of my own memory, trying to recover and assemble the bits and pieces of my life’s puzzle. But I could not have written this essay without the thoughts and reflections of the two most important characters, my parents. At times, I had to ask difficult questions that stirred the suppressed sadness, anger and often times resentment associated with our three-year stay in Iran. I made a conscious decision to understand both of their narratives, realizing that in this story, there is no clear antagonist. We each, in some way, were victims to the experience, an experience that changed us forever.