Simin Behbahani was born in 1927. A prominent Iranian contemporary poet, lyricist and activist, she was an icon of modern Persian poetry, Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and essays. Her work has attracted the attention and admiration of an ever-growing readership inside and outside Iran. She was President of The Iranian Writers’ Association and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999 and 2002. In early March 2010 she could not leave the country due to official prohibitions. As she was about to board a plane to Paris, police detained her and interrogated her “all night long”. She was released but without her passport. Her English translator (Farzaneh Milani) expressed surprise at the arrest as detention as Behbahani was then 82 and nearly blind. “We all thought that she was untouchable.” Behbahani died in Tehran in 2014, at the age of 87.
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