Akram Monfared Arya
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|Akram Monfared Arya|
One of the earliest women to have a pilot's license in Iran
1946 (age 71–72)|
Akram Monfared Arya is an Iranian-Swedish aircraft pilot, the second woman to earn a pilot's license to fly aircraft in Iran, after Princess Fatemeh Pahlavi. She is a writer, artist and politician based in Stockholm, Sweden. However, the first female pilots in Iran were flying in the 1940s.
She was born in Tehran in 1946. In 1974 while married and with five children, Akram Monfared Arya began taking lessons in gliders at the Royal Aviation Club in Doshan-Tapeh. Located next to the Air Force Base, Doshan-Tapeh was filled with students who were interested in learning to fly. After receiving her glider license, she went to the Ghaleh-Morghi School of Flight in October of the same year in order to take lessons in single and twin-engine aircraft. She started her training with the Cessna 172 and after only 14 hours of flight she successfully completed her first solo flight.
Her next phases of training consisted of night and long distance flights to a number of cities such as Tabriz, Kermanshah, Ahwaz, Isfahan and Rasht. In her four years of flying, she flew 150 hours with an instructor and 50 hours solo in both day and night time.
In addition to following the practical phase of training, she attended ground school where she took subjects like aerodynamics, engines, precision instruments, meteorology, navigation, and English. Upon obtaining her license, she received two job offers: one as a flight-instructor at the Royal Aviation Club, and the other as a co-pilot for twin-engine planes with the Air-Asseman Airline. However, she was unable to pursue a career or further her training in this field due to the revolution in Iran. Later on in 1989 and while living in Sweden, she took flying lessons along with theory lessons at Bromma Flight-School, (Bromma Flygskola), in Stockholm and received her Swedish pilots license.
In 1998, a new chapter in her life began as she started putting together a collection of her romantic poems and short stories, which she had started writing since 1975 for publishing purposes. Her first book called Pejvak-e eshq (English: Love's Echo) was published in April 1999 in Sweden. Pejvak-e eshq is a book about separation, homeland, expatriation, women's political rights, and also about love.
Her second book, Sargozashteh Pari (Pari's memoir) is based on women's subjugation in patriarchies and was published in Sweden in 2000. Another one of her books that deals with issues surrounding women’s oppression is a novel called Anahita that was published in Sweden in 2007. The book, which is inspired by true events in the tragic life of a young woman in an abusive relationship, was translated from Swedish to English in 2008 and, eventually, published as an eBook in 2016.
In 2013, one of her books was chosen by Legimus (government entity for accessible media—MTM—under the ministry of culture) in Sweden and published as an audio-book.
To date, she has published 15 books in three languages: Persian, Swedish, and English. Her most recent book called En lyckad landning på säker mark: Den farliga flykten från Khomeinis klor till frihetens land Sverige (A successful landing on safe ground: The dangerous escape from Khomeini’s claws to the land of freedom Sweden) is her autobiography which was published in Sweden in early summer of 2012 and translated from Swedish to English in 2013. In her autobiography, she provides an account of her personal life both in Iran and Sweden, and she takes a glance at Iran’s history from past to present.
She has been frequently invited by libraries to present her books and recently she was invited by a library in Stockholm to make a presentation on her autobiography. She has been interviewed by Swedish newspapers as well as Swedish and Persian radio and television stations. And recently, she was contacted by different radio and television stations to give interviews and discuss her latest book.
She has been involved in numerous cultural and literary events held at libraries such as the International Library and museums such as the Medelhavsmuseet in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, she was the storyteller for children at various local libraries and on public-access television for a year and half. She also assisted the Municipal Cultural Committee in Kista municipality as a counselor for cultural affairs for three and half years. Furthermore, she was the Master of Ceremony for poetry contests called Poetry Slam which were held in Skärholmen Library. She was also a guest poet at various events held at cultural associations and women organizations.
She has participated in many Swedish literary events and poetical contests. She received the second prize in Swedish poetry in February 2000 at Kista Library in Stockholm as well in December 2000 in Fisksätra, Stockholm. She is a member of the Association of Swedish Authors.
- 2012 - A Successful Landing on Safe Land: Dangerous Escape From Khomeini's Chlorine to the Land of Liberty Sweden (Swedish: En lyckad landning på säker mark: Den farliga flykten från Khomeinis klor till frihetens land Sverige), Publisher: Arya, Location: Stockholm, Sweden, ISBN 978-91-637-0780-3
- 2007 - Anahita: Based on a True History, Publisher: Recito, Location: Borås, Sweden, ISBN 978-91-85879-10-6
- 2004 - Brinnande Hjärta: Dikter i Urval (English: Burning heart: Selected Poems), Publisher: Invandrarförlaget, Location: Borås, Sweden, ISBN 91-7906-024-2
- 1999 - Pejvak-e eshq or Pizhvāk-i ishq (English: Love's Echo, or Love of Love), Publisher: Akram Āryā, Location: Kista, Sweden, ISBN 91-630-8040-0
Akram Monfared Arya began her painting career in 2007, when she attended a painting course at Birkagården College in Stockholm. Later attending art courses at People's University of Amsterdam (Folkuniversitetet), Midsommargården, Folkuniversitetet. Her primary theme with her paintings are based on the situation of women in the world.
In July 2007, she was invited to Jokkmokk and Kvikkjokk, along with seven other artists for the celebration of Linnaeus' 300-year anniversary. The paintings which were made as tributes to Linnaeus were donated to Jokkmokk Municipality. Her first joint exhibition was held in Kvikkjokk in July 2007 with seven other artists. In January 2008, she held a second joint exhibition at Husby Arts Hall in Husby, Stockholm. In July 2008, she had her first solo exhibition at Gallery Kocks in Stockholm exhibiting a total of 52 paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and charcoal on canvas and paper.
In November 2008, she had a second exhibition at Lyxigt & Mysigt gallery in Hammarby Sjöstad. In 2009, she held 3 exhibitions in March, August, and October at Gallery RICA in Östermalm, Gallery Darling in Södermalm, and Gallery Törnfågeln in Västertorp respectively. In spring 2010, she held two more exhibitions one at Luma Library in Hammarby Sjöstad and one, which was held in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Association (BRO), at Gallery Ängel in Gamla Stan.
As one of the ambassadors for the National association against honor related violence (GAPF) and in collaboration with GAPF, Akram Monfared Arya held an art gallery at Gallery Ängel in October 2015.
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