17 Jun Buy This Book!
There is nothing more rewarding for an academic — at least for this academic — than seeing a student go on to do great things. I’ve been fortunate to have many wonderful students over the years, but there is no one I am more proud of than Golriz Ghahraman, whom I taught at the University of Auckland long ago and have been close friends with ever since. After a brilliant legal career both internationally and in New Zealand, including a stint as a prosecutor at the ECCC, Golriz was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 2017 as a member of the Green Party. Golriz is the first refugee MP in New Zealand’s history, having fled Iran, the country of her birth, after the Iran-Iraq War.
Hers is indeed quite a story. And now she’s told it in a book aptly entitled Know Your Place, published today by HarperCollins New Zealand. Here is the publisher’s description:
The story of a child refugee who faced her fears, found her home and accidentally made history.
When she was just nine, Golriz Ghahraman and her parents were forced to flee their home in Iran. After a terrifying and uncertain journey, they landed in Auckland where they were able to seek asylum and – ultimately – create a new life.
In this open and intimate account, Ghahraman talks about making a home in Aotearoa New Zealand, her work as a human rights lawyer, her United Nations missions, and how she became the first refugee to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament.
Passionate and unflinching, Know Your Place is a story about breaking barriers, and the daily challenges of prejudice that shape the lives of women and minorities. At its heart, it’s about overcoming fear, about family, and about finding a place to belong.
I’m sure it’s an amazing book. Alas, I cannot read it, having been informed by Golriz that I make an appearance. But you should read the book and tell me how amazing and inspiring it is, because I have no doubt it’s as amazing and inspiring as Golriz herself. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of her story — one she continues to write.