Sonia Nassery Cole

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Sonia Nassery Cole
Born Kabul, Afghanistan
Other names Sonia Nassery
Occupation Activist
Years active 1994 – present
Spouse(s) Christoper H. Cole (divorced)

Sonia Nassery Cole is an Afghan American activist, director, writer, and producer.

Early life[edit]

Cole was born in Afghanistan, daughter of an Afghan diplomat, in the town of Kabul.[citation needed] She landed a job with the United Nations.[1] From the Soviet Union she wrote to Ronald Reagan to help her country; he agreed to meet her and accept her into the anti-Soviet elite,[1] and at age 19 she organized a fund-raiser with Reagan.[1] She was married for 21 years to real-estate mogul Christopher H. Cole.[2]

Humanitarian work in Afghanistan[edit]

In 2001, Cole returned to Afghanistan and established the Afghanistan World Foundation in 2002[3] which raised funds used for various necessities such as the construction of a hospital for women and children in Kabul, medical care for land-mine victims, and other causes.[1] Cole primarily deals with improving the conditions for women and children in Afghanistan. Sonia also befriended singer Natalie Cole while she was working with the Afghan World Foundation.[4]

Film career[edit]

Cole has made several appearances in film since 1994. In 2007, she directed the short film The Bread Winner.[5] In 2010, her film The Black Tulip was selected as Afghanistan's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards.[6] The film won "best picture" awards in Boston Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival, and Salento Film Festival.[7]

The film, which premiered at the Ariana Cinema Theater on September 23, 2010 and screened at the NATO base as well as an American Embassy, and distributed by SnagFilms,[8] is about a family in Kabul opening a restaurant business after the fall of the Taliban regime.[9] The film received press in New York Times, New York Observer, NBC, and ABC.[10]

Personal life[edit]

She currently resides in New York City and Beverly Hills, California and is now divorced from Christopher H. Cole, but retains his surname.[1][11] She has one son, Christopher A. Cole.

She is the recipient of a "Congressional Recognition" award on December 4, 2006, "Afghan American Sisterhood Award," and the "UN Women Together Award" on June 7, 2012. In 2013, she received the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA. She is also a member of the Jodi Solomon Speakers Bureau.[12]

She has a book, "Will I Live Tomorrow?," released in October 2013.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Afghan Rebel. For more than 20 years, Sonia Nassery Cole has worked the society-gala circuit and the halls of Washington in aid of her native land". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ American Realty to Buy Cole Real Estate for About $7 Billion, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved December 20, 2013 
  3. ^ Los Angeles Magazine, January 2004, p.138
  4. ^ "Interview with Sonia Nassery Cole". CNN. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ IMDb
  6. ^ "2010-2011 Foreign Language Film Award Screening Schedule". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  7. ^ "Breadwinner Productions - Black Tulip - Press". Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Black Tulip - SnagFilms". June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Afghan Oscar contender aims to show more than war". Reuters. September 23, 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Breadwinner Productions - Press". Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Preview Party at Westime Rodeo Drive". People. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Sonia Nassery Cole - Jodi Solomon Speakers Bureau". Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Will I Live Tomorrow? - BenBella". Retrieved November 5, 2013.