Nazanin Afshin-Jam

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نازنین افشین‌جم
Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Beauty pageant titleholder
Nazanin Afshin-Jam - TEDx Vancouver 2010 - West Vancouver, BC4.jpg
Born Nazanin Afshin-Jam
(1979-04-11) April 11, 1979 (age 35)
Tehran, Iran
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss World Canada 2003
Miss World Americas 2003
Miss World Canada 2003 (winner)
Miss World 2003
(1st runner-up)
Spouse Peter MacKay (m. 2012)
Children Kian (b. 2013)

Nazanin Afshin-Jam (Persian: نازنین افشین‌جم, born April 11, 1979 in Tehran, Iran)[1] is an Iranian-Canadian model, singer, songwriter, author, public speaker and human rights activist. She is a former Miss World Canada and Miss World Americas winner and Miss World first runner-up, and has been an advocate for human rights in her role as president and co-founder of Stop Child Executions.[1] She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1981. She is the wife of Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Justice.[2][3]


Afshin-Jam graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, and studied at Sciences Po in Paris and the Queen's University International Study Centre Herstmonceux Castle in England. After graduation she worked with the Red Cross as a Global Youth Educator, teaching on subjects ranging from the Landmine Crisis, Children affected by War, the Poverty-Disease Cycle to Natural Disasters.[1] She returned to school and earned a Master of International Diplomacy from Norwich University.[4] In February 2008, Afshin-Jam was appointed by the Prime Minister's Office to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.[1] In May 2012, "The Tale of Two Nazanins", was published by Harper Collins, a book authored by Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Susan McClelland. She is fluent in three languages: Persian, English and French.

Miss World[edit]

Afshin-Jam is international model and actress and in 2003 she became Miss World Canada[1] and joined in the Miss World contest in Sanya, China. She ranked second there, behind Rosanna Davison, Miss Ireland 2003.[5] She entered the Miss World competition whose motto is “beauty with a purpose” to have a stronger platform to speak on human rights issues. Afshin-Jam traveled worldwide representing many causes including helping victims of the tsunami in India and Sri Lanka, raising funds for the earthquake victims of Bam, supporting fistula patients in Ethiopia, fundraising for Variety the Children's Charity, bridging the digital divide through youth advocacy and raising awareness on the practice of Bear Bile Farming in China.

Activism and Awards[edit]

Afshin-Jam continues to address human rights abuses worldwide particularly in relation to women and children in Iran and the Middle East including speeches at UN, EU, Canadian and UK Parliament. She has had media features on CNN, BBC, CBC, FOX, Al Jazeera and numerous radio shows, talk shows and print including Glamour, Seventeen, Chatelaine, Flare, Elle and Vanity Fair magazine.

Afshin-Jam was opposed to the death penalty being applied to 18-year-old Iranian woman Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, who was sentenced to hang for stabbing one of three men who tried to rape her and her niece in Karaj in March 2005.[6] She started a campaign to help save the life of this minor including a petition which attracted more than 350,000 signatures worldwide. She has also dedicated her song "Someday the Revolution song" -one of the 12 songs on her album -Someday to Nazanin Fatehi and some other youth in Iran. Eventually, with pressure from the international community, Nazanin Fatehi was granted a new trial by the head of Judiciary in June 2006. In January 2007 Nazanin Fatehi was exonerated of murder charges and was released on January 31, 2007, after Afshin-Jam raised $43,000 on-line for bail while her lawyers worked on her case. For her efforts in helping save Nazanin Fatehi, Afshin-Jam was awarded the “hero for human rights award” from Youth For Human Rights International and Artists for Human Rights at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Afshin-Jam initiated Stop Child Executions Campaign and petition to help other children on death row. The campaign was registered as a non-profit organization with 501-C 3 status in 2008. She is co-founder and President of Stop Child Executions Organization, whose aim is to try to put a permanent end to executions of minors in Iran and abroad.[2]

On the 9th anniversary of the student uprising in Iran, Afshin-Jam made a speech in the UK parliament, commemorating the uprising. In her remarks, she mentioned some of the victims of the uprising. On September 23, 2008 Afshin-Jam organized "Ahmadinejad's Wall of Shame" rally at Dag Hammarskjöld park across the United Nations in New York as Ahmadinejad was addressing the General Assembly. In November 2008 Afshin-Jam received the "Global Citizenship Award" by the University of British Columbia's Alumni Association[7] In April 2009 Nazanin received the "Human Rights Hero Award" from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2009, Afshin-Jam will be playing the role of Táhirih in Jack Lenz's upcoming movie Mona's Dream about the life of Mona Mahmudnizhad. In 2009, she signed an open letter of apology posted to along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the Persecution of Bahá'ís.[8] In 2009, Afshin-Jam won the YMCA Power of Peace Award as “Young Emerging Leader”.

Documentary Film[edit]

Afshin-Jam participated, together with 8 other women's rights activists, in the documentary film Honor Diaries[9] which explores the issues of gender-based violence and inequality in Muslim-majority societies. Her personal story was featured alongside those of the other activists, all of whom are working to combat gender prejudice that is embedded in honor-based societies.[10]


Afshin-Jam's debut album, Someday was released in April 2007 by Bodog Music.[11] Her music is influenced by her multilingual and international background; she sings in English, French, Persian and Spanish. This genre-spanning song selection could be classified in many categories but, in particular, in: Pop, Dance and World Beat.[12]

Several of Afshin-Jam's songs have made the Top 30 and Top 40 charts. Her debut single, "I Dance 4 U" charted at #20 in the Music Week - Commercial Pop Top 30 Club Chart (a music video for the song has been released).[12] Afshim-Jam's single "Someday" has been climbing the FMQB Top 40 chart in the U.S. and is currently at #7.[13] Her new single "I Do" reached #39 on the Billboard Chart in adult contemporary music. A Christmas single "On Christmas Day" has also made the charts, ranking #59 on the ACQB chart. The proceeds from the song are contributed to the Stop Child Executions Campaign. Afshin-Jam has dedicated "Someday the Revolution Song" from her album Someday, to Nazanin Fatehi and other youth in Iran. She has said that she wants to compose songs about Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalits in India.[12]

Personal life[edit]

A licensed pilot, Afshin-Jam flies both powered aircraft and gliders and achieved the highest rank in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets—Warrant Officer First Class. On January 4, 2012, Afshin-Jam married Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay at a private ceremony in Mexico.[14] The couple has one son, Kian Alexander MacKay, born April 1, 2013.[15]

2003 Miss World Results[edit]

Miss World 1st runner up 2003: Nazanin Afshin-Jam[edit]

Special Awards

  • Miss Sport 2003
  • Queen of the Americas, 2003
  • 50 most beautiful people in the World
  • 100 most talented girls in 2010s.

Miss World Canada 2003: Nazanin Afshin-Jam[edit]

  • 1st Runner-up: Marie-Andrée Poulin, Miss Montreal
  • 2nd Runner-up: Yolaine Grant, Miss Ottawa

Special Awards

  • Swimwear/Beach Beauty: Nazanin Afshin-Jam
  • 1st Runner-up Miss Vancouver 1999

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e National Speakers Bureau. Nazanin Afshin-Jam - Summary Profile. Retrieved on: 2012-01-04.
  2. ^ CBC News (July 15, 2013). [1]. Retrieved on: 2013-07-15.
  3. ^ CBC News (January 4, 2012). Peter MacKay weds former beauty queen. Retrieved on: 2012-01-04.
  4. ^ Halifax International Security Forum (2012). Speakers - Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and Co-Founder, Stop Child Executions. Retrieved on: 2012-01-04.
  5. ^ Irish Connections Magazine. Ireland's Miss World Rosanna Davidson. Retrieved on: 2012-01-04.
  6. ^ Halifax Chronicle-Herald: UN to save teen who killed would-be rapist
  7. ^ "Alumni Achievement Awards « UBC Alumni Affairs". 2011-11-29. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  8. ^ "We are ashamed!". 2009-02-04 
  9. ^ "Honor Diaries". 
  10. ^ "Chicago Film Festival". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Fulghum, Sherrill. Nazanin - Someday Review. Iconoclast Entertainment Group. Music: Someday.
  12. ^ a b c Black Rabbit. Nazin Afshin-Jam.
  13. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  14. ^ Galloway, Gloria (January 4, 2012). Peter MacKay weds rights activist, former beauty queen. Globe and Mail. Retrieved on: 2012-01-04.
  15. ^ CTV News (April 1, 2013). "Defence Minister Peter MacKay announces birth of son Kian Alexander"

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lynsey Bennett
Miss World Canada
Succeeded by
Tijana Arnautović
Preceded by
Natalia Peralta
Miss World Americas
Succeeded by
María Julia Mantilla
Preceded by
Natalia Peralta
Miss World First Runner-up
Succeeded by
Claudia Cruz