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An illustrated book of never-before-told personal stories of ordinary Iranians struggling for their basic human rights.
An illustrated book of never-before-told personal stories of ordinary Iranians struggling for their basic human rights.
244 backers pledged $20,910 to help bring this project to life.

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Sketches of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights brings together the personal stories of forty remarkable Iranians from all walks of life, whose common thread is their passion and struggle for basic human rights in the country they grew up in.

Their inspiring stories are accompanied by forty beautiful full-page illustrations, editorial cartoons about human rights by seven prominent Iranian cartoonists.

*From the simple wish of imprisoned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s four-year-old son to the mounting concerns of imprisoned student activist Bahareh Hedayat, these stories together draw a picture of the human face of this ongoing struggle.*

Sketches of Iran features 40 personal essays, including pieces from:
* The daughter of Christian pastor Hossein Soodmand, who was executed for his conversion to Christianity
* A Baha’i student who achieved her dream of education even though Baha’is are forbidden from studying in Iran
* The daughter of political opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest for nearly two years without charges
* A journalist who interviewed the Ayatollah before the Revolution and who now continues her reformist writing from outside Iran
* The father of Kurdish student Sane Jaleh, who was killed during a public protest when security forces fired on protestors
* and 40 full-page editorial cartoons, including 12 portraits of political prisoners

Please contribute to this participatory project and help get these voices heard!

*The voices in this book highlight aspects of Iranians’ resilience and their willingness to work to change their society for the better, voices that often go unheard.*

Such a diverse group of Iranians—from Iran’s Nobel laureate to a former cross-border courier—collected together in one book is unprecedented. The forty contributors are young and old, men and women, activists, students, lawyers, actors, researchers, comedians, and wives and daughters and husbands and sons of prisoners of conscience living in Iran.

Many have left Iran because of political persecution and censorship. In this book, they are offering their most personal stories.

All of these stories and cartoons present a vibrant and determined society of individuals that need to be heard. Sketches of Iran tells these stories in Persian and English, with visually striking cartoons illustrating the salient issues of Iran's human rights crisis.

We have spent a year working on this book, gathering the stories and the cartoons, meticulously translating, vigorously editing, and artfully designing these books. But we need your help to get them printed. We are trying to print this book in a beautiful coffee-table bilingual Persian-English edition, and also a smaller softcover English-language edition, so these stories can reach as many people as possible.

Your contribution will help us:
1) Print a first run of 1000 copies, half as bilingual coffee-table books, and half as English-only softcover books
2) Publicize the book and get it into the hands of policymakers, human rights advocates, UN officials, and others who can make a difference in the human rights situation in Iran and in the lives of these contributors and others like them

Thank you for your support and for joining this community of voices. Please help us spread the word.

"A gem of a book revealing the agony of contemporary Iran and also proving once again that humor, especially cartoons, can prove to be deadly serious."
Ervand Abrahamian  distinguished scholar of Middle Eastern history and author of Iran Between Two Revolutions

"This book, as a collection of cartoons by Iranian artists with human rights themes, is the first of its kind. It is an unprecedented endeavor and I hope that it will pave the way for future infusions of arts and human rights concerns."
Shirin Ebadi  2003 Nobel Peace laureate

"I find . . . Sketches of Iran to be quite distinctive and important. . . . These contributions represent diverse voices, inspirational to everyone regardless of geographical and cultural differences. With such breadth and depth, I believe this publication to be a singular and crucial collection."
Shirin Neshat  internationally acclaimed Iranian artist, photographer, and filmmaker

Sketches of Iran is being published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization with a focus on improving the human rights situation in Iran. Headquartered in New York, its activities are carried out in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. The organization’s staff is comprised of professionals with backgrounds in human rights documentation, advocacy, and journalism.
The Campaign’s activities encompass research and documentation, published in the form of press releases, reports, and books; advocacy in international forums, media, and civil society; and capacity building for the Iranian human rights community. The Campaign’s various products are published in English and Persian.

For more information about the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, please visit www.iranhumanrights.org.

Risks and challenges

As with any book, there are inherent risks and challenges. We've gotten through the writing, editing, and designing stages, and we've even found a printer we like. But nothing is without risks. At this stage, there are two steps left that might incur challenges.

Printing: We have shopped around with different printers to find one that has both the quality we need and the pricing we can afford. We have just received the proofs, and the quality is excellent. The main challenge now has to do with printing costs, which is where your help comes in. As the quantity we order goes up, the price per unit goes down, making the book easier to distribute and expanding its reach. If we fail to raise the needed funds, we will only be able to print a very limited run, and the reach of this book will be crippled.

Packaging and shipping: We are a small and dedicated team of human rights professionals with experience in publishing. While we plan to do all of the packaging and shipping ourselves, if there is a sudden catastrophe in Iran (like a military strike, or a large-scale protest), our first priority will be to the human rights community, and we may be forced to delay our packaging and shipping of the rewards. Such an event, however, is not highly likely.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is very grateful for your support, and we will keep you updated on our work and progress!

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    A public thank-you shoutout on the Campaign's Twitter!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A postcard print of 1 of the 40 cartoons featured in the book.

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    A personalized invitation to our book launch event in New York City.

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    A personalized invitation to our book launch event in Los Angeles.

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    A personalized invitation to our book launch event in San Francisco.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A numbered copy of the first limited run of the book, English edition, and an invitation to any of our book launch events.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A numbered copy of the first limited run of the book, bilingual edition, and an invitation to any of our book launch events.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A numbered copy of the first limited run of BOTH books, and an invitation to any of our book launch events.

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Funding period

- (30 days)