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Masih Alinejad

Iranian journalist and activist

Middle East and North Africa

Masih Alinejad is an Iranian journalist and activist. In 2014, she spearheaded a Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom” to protest Iran’s compulsory public hijab law for women and girls, a product of the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Alinejad argues that wearing a hijab should be a personal choice. The page urged Iranian women to share photos of themselves without hijabs and to wear white on Wednesdays to peacefully protest the compulsory hijab. The campaign escalated in December 2017, when activists began removing their headscarves in public as a form of protest. Iranian authorities responded violently, arresting protesters and violating their rights while in custody. Alinejad continues to oppose the compulsory hijab and to speak out in defense of her follow activists. Her commitment to human rights has won her UN Watch’s International Women’s Rights Award, the AIB Media Excellence Award, and the Swiss Freethinker Association’s Freethinker Prize, among other honors. Her memoir, “The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran,” was released in 2018. Alinejad currently lives in exile in New York City.