Sohrab Ahmari

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Sohrab Ahmari
Sohrab Ahmari.jpg
Born (1985-02-01) February 1, 1985 (age 34)
Alma materNortheastern University (J.D.)
OccupationJournalist, editor
EmployerNew York Post
Notable work
Arab Spring Dreams (2012)
The New Philistines (2016)
From Fire, by Water (2019)

Sohrab Ahmari (Persian: سهراب احمری‎, romanizedSohrāb Aḥmarī; born February 1, 1985)[1] is an Iranian-American journalist, editor, and author of nonfiction books. He is currently the op-ed editor of the New York Post and a contributing editor of The Catholic Herald. Previously, he served as a columnist and editor with The Wall Street Journal opinion pages in New York and London, and as a senior writer at Commentary magazine.[2][3] Ahmari co-edited the 2012 book Arab Spring Dreams, an anthology of essays by young Mideast dissidents. Ahmari's book, The New Philistines, a polemic on how identity politics are corrupting the arts, was released on October 20, 2016 from Biteback Publishing.[4] In January 2019, Ignatius Press published his spiritual memoir, From Fire, by Water, about his conversion to Roman Catholicism.[5]


Ahmari was born in Tehran, Iran. In his 2012 book, Arab Spring Dreams, he writes that he was interrogated by security officials about his parents and faced disciplinary action as a child for accidentally bringing a videocassette of Star Wars into school at a time when Western films were officially banned in the country.[6] In 1998,[7] at the age of 13, Ahmari moved with his family to the United States.[8]

Ahmari earned a law degree from Northeastern University in Boston.[9] Between college and law school, Ahmari had completed a two-year commitment to Teach for America in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas.[10]

While in law school, inspired in part by the protests following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential election, he began working as a freelance journalist, contributing pieces to publications such as The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Commentary among others.[11][12][13]

Ahmari converted to Roman Catholicism in 2016.[14] In late September 2016, he wrote a three-page article about his conversion in The Catholic Herald, which was the cover story of the September 30, 2016 issue.[15]

The Wall Street Journal[edit]

After serving as a Robert L. Bartley fellow at The Wall Street Journal in 2012, Ahmari joined the publication as assistant books editor. He then served as an editorial page writer based in London, where he wrote editorials and commissions and edited op-eds for the Journal's European edition.[9]

In this position, Ahmari reviewed Trita Parsi's A Single Roll of the Dice;[16] Christopher de Bellaigue's biography of Mohammad Mosaddegh;[17] a collection of short stories by Portuguese Nobelist José Saramago;[18] Tariq Ramadan's Islam and the Arab Awakening;[19] and Richard Haass's Foreign Policy Begins at Home,[20] among other books.

Ahmari also conducted a number of interviews with prominent politicians, activists, and intellectuals for The Journal's "Weekend Interview" feature, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls;[21] NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen;[22] General Frederick "Ben" Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe;[23] Senator Jon Kyl;[24] Mojtaba Vahedi, a former chief of staff to dissident Iranian cleric Mehdi Karroubi;[25] bioethicist Leon Kass;[26] physicist Kip Thorne;[27] Catholic theologian and humanitarian Jean Vanier;[28] Saudi women's rights activist Manal al-Sharif;[29] conservative philosopher Harvey Mansfield;[30] campus free-speech advocate Greg Lukianoff;[31] and former New Republic publisher and editor-in-chief Martin Peretz.[32]

During his tenure at The Journal, Ahmari also wrote numerous op-eds. Following the June 2013 election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran, Ahmari highlighted Rouhani's role in the violent crackdown on a 1999 pro-democracy student uprising as well as his anti-American rhetoric.[33] For an op-ed on the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, Ahmari secured an interview with Payam Fazlinejad, a senior writer and researcher at Kayhan, the state-run Iranian newspaper which is believed to reflect the views of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.[34]

Arab Spring Dreams[edit]

Also while in law school, Ahmari co-edited with Nasser Weddady the 2012 book Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice from North Africa to Iran, an anthology of the top essays submitted by young Mideast dissidents to the Dream Deferred Essay Contest. The Times Literary Supplement writes that Weddady and Ahmari "perceptively edited this collection of winning entries" from the Dream Deferred contest, and that "some of these young writers [featured in the anthology] possess more clarity than all the pundits combined."[35] The book received endorsements from Polish Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa and feminist icon Gloria Steinem, who wrote the anthology's foreword.[11]


  1. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (1 February 2019). "My Family's Iranian Revolution". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Sohrab Ahmari". Amazon.
  3. ^ "Sohrab Ahmari". Commentary.
  4. ^ "The New Philistines". Biteback Publishing.
  5. ^ "From Fire, by Water". Ignatius Press. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab; Weddady, Nasser (8 May 2012). Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice from North Africa to Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 226.
  7. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (17 October 2012). "Ben Affleck's War on the Ayatollahs". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (1 October 2012). "How Iran Plays the U.S." Commentary.
  9. ^ a b "Sohrab Ahmari: Editorial Page Writer". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "Voice of the Arab Spring" (PDF). One Day: Teach For America Alumni Magazine. Summer 2012.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b "New Arab Spring anthology gives 'raw access to authentic voices'". Northeastern University. 9 March 2012.
  12. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (13 May 2012). "The Epic, Secret Struggle to Educate Iran's Bahais". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  13. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (1 February 2011). "Let's Get Westoxicated!". Commentary.
  14. ^ "Atheist Journalist Sohrab Ahmari Announces Conversion to Catholicism After Jihadis Kill French Priest". The Christian Post. 1 August 2016.
  15. ^ Ahmari, Sohrab (September 30, 2016). "My Journey from Tehran to Rome". The Catholic Herald. pp. 20–22.
  16. ^ "It Takes Two to Engage". The Wall Street Journal. 23 January 2012.
  17. ^ "The Iranian Turning Point". The Wall Street Journal. 11 May 2012.
  18. ^ "A Resentful Imagination". The Wall Street Journal. 17 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Brother Tariq's Last Stand". The Wall Street Journal. 4 October 2012.
  20. ^ "A Noble Responsibility". The Wall Street Journal. 6 May 2013.
  21. ^ "France's Anti-Terror, Free-Market Socialist". The Wall Street Journal. 27 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Waking Up to the Russian Threat". The Wall Street Journal. 11 April 2014.
  23. ^ "The View From NATO's Russian Front". The Wall Street Journal. 6 February 2015.
  24. ^ "American Sovereignty and Its Enemies". The Wall Street Journal. 19 July 2013.
  25. ^ "Mojtaba Vahedi: Iran's Revolution From the Inside Out". The Wall Street Journal. 3 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Leon Kass: The Meaning of the Gosnell Trial". The Wall Street Journal. 19 April 2013.
  27. ^ "Finding Our Place in the Stars". The Wall Street Journal. 14 November 2014.
  28. ^ "The Gift of Living With the Not Gifted". The Wall Street Journal. 3 April 2015.
  29. ^ "Manal al-Sharif: The Woman Who Dared to Drive". The Wall Street Journal. 22 March 2013.
  30. ^ "The Crisis of American Self-Government". The Wall Street Journal. 30 November 2012.
  31. ^ "How Free Speech Died on Campus". The Wall Street Journal. 16 November 2012.
  32. ^ "Martin Peretz: From Truman to McGovern to Obama". The Wall Street Journal. 3 August 2012.
  33. ^ "Behind Iran's 'Moderate' New Leader". The Wall Street Journal. 16 June 2013.
  34. ^ "An Iranian Insider's View of the Geneva Deal". The Wall Street Journal. 26 November 2013.
  35. ^ "Taking in the Arab Spring". The Times Literary Supplement. 22 August 2012.

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