I am a Professor at the University of Washington's Department of Law, Societies, and Justice, and Director of its Title VI Middle East Center. I hold adjunct appointments in the School of Law and Departments of Anthropology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Women's Studies, and the Comparative Religion Program.

Forgiveness Work


Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims' Rights in Iran

A remarkable look at an understudied feature of the Iranian justice system, where forgiveness is as much a right of victims as retribution

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I received my PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Stanford University in 2002. Prior to that, I was a practicing attorney, having received a JD at The American University, Washington College of Law in 1993.

As a former immigration and asylum/refugee attorney, I became concerned with the fraught but often neglected relationship between 'culture' and 'rights.' I turned to the discipline of Cultural and Social Anthropology in order to better promote and advocate for the humanity and dignity of people in other societies - societies which are simultaneously entrenched in domestic and international politics and law, historical relations, and are constantly changing.

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Shrine of Sufi poet and mystic, Sheikh Safi al-Din.
Gardens outside the 16th Century Shrine of Sufi poet and mystic, Sheikh Safi al-Din.
Ardebil, Iran (UNESCO World Heritage site).
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