Iranian/American speaker and activist Neda Sarmast will be the speaker for the Opening Convocation of the Fall, 2011 semester at Mars Hill College, at 11 am on August 30.
Sarmast was born in Iran, moved to the US at the age of nine, and has traveled back and forth ever since. She was an eye-witness to the Iran-Iraq war and her memories still haunt her as she lost her best friend to an Iraqi aerial raid.
Feeling that Iranians and Muslims have been depicted unfairly in US media, Sarmast left a career in music management, marketing and PR, to work toward greater understanding. She now uses her knowledge of music and film to promote tolerance and unity among Eastern and Western cultures.
In 2008, she co-produced a documentary on the youth culture of Iran, called “Nobody’s Enemy.” This ground-breaking documentary lifts the veil of secrecy that has shrouded the faces of Iran's young people for the past 30 years. It examines their lives, voices and hopes in a time of great change and international instability.