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Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi Will Speak at U of M Feb. 19 University News
For release: February 10, 2010

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Nobel laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi will bring her message of peace and justice to the University of Memphis on Friday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. The lecture, sponsored by the Student Activities Council, is free and open to the public.

Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist, and founder of Centre for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran. In 2003 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and
pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugees’ rights. She was the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian to receive the prize.

Born in northwestern Iran in 1947, Ebadi did well in school, and her parents encouraged her to become a lawyer. When she was only 22, she became the first woman judge in Iran. While serving as a judge, she continued her education and earned a doctorate in law.

After the overthrow of the shah in 1979, all female judges were dismissed from their posts and given clerical jobs. Outraged by the situation, Ebadi requested early retirement. For several years she stayed at home taking care of her two daughters, writing books, and working to get her job back.

In 1992, after years of trying to regain her job as a judge, Ebadi succeeded in getting a lawyer’s license and set up her own practice. She made it a point to take cases that involved the unfair treatment of women and children. She has represented the families of serial murder victims as well as victims of child abuse. Today, she is one of the best-known lawyers in Iran.

Ebadi continues to work for human rights and to challenge the unjust treatment of people in Iran. “Human rights is a universal standard,” she says. “It is a component of every religion and every civilization.”

While in Memphis, Ebadi will be participating in the PeaceJam conference for high school students sponsored by BRIDGES.

For more information, call 901-678-2035.

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