Talkin’ in the Free World is a conversation series on the future of democracy and countering the threat from resurgent authoritarianism across the globe.
The series is hosted by MLI Senior Fellow Mariam Memarsadeghi and features prominent thinkers, practitioners and political leaders committed to safeguarding freedom.
This series of dialogues hosted by Memarsadeghi aim to shine light on how countries like Canada can support democratic movements and counter the actions of repressive authoritarian leaders in order to facilitate a freer world.
Mariam Memarsadeghi is a Senior Fellow at MLI. Having emigrated to the US as a child during the Iranian revolution, she is a leading proponent for a democratic Iran and one of 43 American immigrants profiled in President George W. Bush’s book, Out of Many, One. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The National Interest, The Hill, The Jerusalem Post, Tablet, Bulwark, Quillette and other publications. She is a frequent speaker at universities and think tanks worldwide and provides commentary on English, Persian and Arabic language TV news programs.
Mariam is co-founder of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society. Launched in 2010, the virtual institute is now a household brand throughout Iran, offering secure democracy and human rights educational opportunities.
Azar Nafisi, who is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a New York Times bestseller that is published in thirty-two languages. Nafisi reflects on the effect of education, ideology, and the corporate mentality on the preservation of democracy, focusing particularly on political divides in the US. Mariam and Azar dive into the philosophical underpinnings of freedom, democracy preservation in the US, and the fight for democracy in Iran.
Nafisi is also known for her other works including, Things I’ve Been Silent About, Republic of Imagination, That Other World: Nabokov and the Puzzle of Exile, and most recently The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times. She has held various teaching posts across the world including at Johns Hopkins University, Oxford University, and Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai.