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Keynote Speaker Natalie Amiri

Natalie Amiri - “I want to give a voice to the people of Iran.”

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Natalie Amiri is an Expert on Iran & Middle East, Journalist, Bestseller-Author and Moderator of the German Television ARD Weltspiegel

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Biography

“I want to give a voice to the people of Iran.” Natalie Amiri

Natalie Amiri – What do you do when you can’t fill up your tank on a research trip in the Iranian mountains because gasoline is scarce due to Western sanctions? What happens when you wear pants that are supposedly too short and thus accept having to climb into a barrel of black paint as punishment? And why did people keep traveling to Iran despite insistent warnings?

Natalie Amiri grew up in Munich in a German-Iranian family and lived and worked for over six years in the 11-million city of Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She is one of the few German journalists who knows Iran in detail and succeeds in classifying the international political events surrounding the Islamic Republic intelligently and precisely. She describes her life between two worlds and different cultures very authentically, and brings us close to how the political situation in Iran has developed since the revolution of 1979.

Speaking topics Natalie Amiri

– Between the Worlds. Of power and powerlessness in Iran
– Iran: Between forbidden parties and US sanctions
– Between Persian carpets & Bavarian sandwiches – A life in different cultures
– War & Peace in the Middle East: And the World Looks on
– Natalie Amiri: LIVE FROM IRAN – My life as a foreign journalist
– Fear of the Middle East? How the Arab world is using our crisis.

In her book, Natalie Amiri tells why she sometimes “stalks” Persian-speaking tourists in her hometown of Munich and listens as chadors are aired. It is the book of a modern young woman and a courageous journalist who takes the highest personal risks to give the people of Iran a voice and report on everyday life in a country caught between forbidden parties and U.S. sanctions.

With great urgency, Natalie Amiri draws attention to how imprisoned the Iranian people are and how ignorant and naïve the European approach to this country is. Exciting and rich in detail, she tells the stories of people from Iran – and in doing so, places political events in a holistic context through her observations. From teachers to drug addicts, from the head of state Khomeini to Iran’s first female soccer star – Amiri lets everyone have their say and thus also shows the unexpected facets of the Muslim Republic of Iran.

Born in 1978, Natalie Amiri grew up among Persian carpets and organic vegetables in middle-class Munich. The daughter of a German and an Iranian, she studied Oriental Studies and Islamic Studies at the Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg. A scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) took her to the universities of Tehran and Damascus. In 2007, Natalie Amiri began working for the ARD bureau in Tehran. Since 2011, she has represented the correspondents in the ARD studios of BR, including in Istanbul, Athens and Rome.

Natalie Amiri became known for her courageous investigative research, astute commentaries in Tagesthemen, and engaging interviews and reports.

Her award-winning work includes her ARD documentary “Death off Lampedusa – Europe’s Fall from Grace”, as well as the Grimme Award-nominated documentary: “Disappeared in Germany”, a depressingly impressive film that searches for underage refugees missing in Germany. In 2019, Natalie Amiri was nominated for the German Television Award as best foreign correspondent.

Since March 30, 2014, she has hosted the “ARD-Weltspiegel” from Munich, as well as the BR-Europa-Magazin “Euroblick.” Natalie Amiri has also headed the ARD bureau in Tehran since 2015. In May 2020, she was warned by the German Foreign Office not to enter Iran anymore and therefore had to give up the management of the Tehran TV studio.

With her book “Between the Worlds. Of Power and Powerlessness in Iran” (2021), she wants to give a voice to the people of Iran.

Natalie Amiri is a single mother of a full-grown son. Plus: on Instagram @natalie_amiri and Twitter @NatalieAmiri, the presenter shares her political assessment, favorite Persian recipes, and photos and videos of her journalistic and private travels.

More about Natalie Amiri.

Born in 1978, Natalie Amiri grew up in middle-class Munich among Persian carpets, liver cheese sandwiches and organic vegetables. Her father founded one of the most renowned and successful carpet stores in the city center, and her mother shaped her daughters with a love of organic food, Waldorf education and a holistic lifestyle that was unheard of at the time.

When Natalie Amiri reports from “her Iran,” it’s as much about the toadstool costume her Persian, 90-year-old grandmother wore to Mardi Gras as it is about the global political significance of Iranian Revolutionary Leader Khamenei’s recent speech. Natalie Amiri, who among other things hosts the ARD Weltspiegel, manages in her stories to convey to the viewer her view of Iran, her love for the people and their culture, as well as the importance of the autocratic religious leadership elite for the people.

Natalie Amiri studied Oriental Studies and Islamic Studies at the Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg. A scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) took her to the universities of Tehran and Damascus. Immediately after graduating with honors, she moved from the Franconian province to Tehran, a city of 11 million people, where she initially worked for the German Embassy before being recruited by her predecessor, Iran correspondent Peter Mezger for ARD in 2007.

“There are wonderful stories to tell from this country,” the half-Iranian thinks. “I see my job as a journalist as not only serving the stereotypes that people in the West have collected in their heads about Iran over the years, but also showing the many great people. I want to give a voice to those who risk their lives in the Islamic Republic when they talk about their – often very difficult – everyday lives. In Iran, my emotions sweep me away. It’s as if life there is more intense. And often so much harder. I am very touched by the fate of the people there. That’s precisely why I also see it as my job to keep reminding people that freedom and peace have become normal for us in Germany, but that we must never forget to appreciate them!”

Natalie Amiri, who is admired as well as opposed in Iran, was warned by the German Foreign Office in May 2020 that she would rather not enter Iran again. She had to give up the management of the ARD correspondent’s office in Tehran after the religious leadership had repeatedly made it difficult for her to report from Iran over the years.

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