2020 marks the tenth anniversary of Tavaana, one of the leading online education institutions with a mission to support active citizenship and civic leadership in Iran. In ten years, Tavaana has created a much-needed safe space for the exchange of knowledge on how Iranians can amplify their civic voice and peacefully build toward a democratic life, and gained a significant and loyal audience inside Iran among ordinary Iranians.
Tavaana has become a household name among Iranian viewers by curating a vast library of books, documents, lectures, case studies, research studies, webinars, panel discussions, and academic debates on the subjects of human rights and civil liberties. Thanks to Tavaana’s efforts, speeches and essays by dozens of leading political thinkers and activists, such as Vaclav Havel, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan, Abraham Lincoln, and many more are now available in Persian. Tavaana’s virtual library provides a valuable free and open resource to Iranian activists who can’t travel or don’t speak a foreign language.
Since its inception, Tavaana has created hundreds of courses on a wide range of issues from democratic values, human rights, tolerance, and religious liberty, to building and organizing movements to promote human rights for groups including workers, teachers, women, children, and the disabled, as well as fighting corruption. The political and intellectual diversity of Tavaana’s lecturers and instructors testify to its commitment to ensure that its educational work reflects the pluralism and diversity that characterizes the society.
The widespread popularity of Tavaana and TavaanaTech (which provides free digital safety service to Iranians) on social media has raised the number of Tavaana’s followers to more than two million. This is a significant figure for a non-news organization. On Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, and Twitter, Tavaana has shared the opinions and concerns of its audience within Iran, always taking great care to ensure their safety.
The dire human rights situation in Iran has also prompted Tavaana to join other Iranian human rights organization in their advocacy on behalf of the victims of human rights violations.
A sustainable democracy requires citizens’ awareness and a democratic cultural shift, which is taking place in Iran and to which Tavaana has greatly contributed. We commend Tavaana for its achievements during the last decade and wish it well in its future endeavors aimed at promoting a democratic culture in Iran.
Mahnaz Afkhami, former Minister of Women Affairs & Women Rights Activist
Ramin Ahmadi , MD. MPH & Human Rights Advocate
Kazem Alamdari, Sociologist & Retired faculty of Sociology
Nazenin Ansari, Journalist
Nazanin Boniadi, Actress & Human Rights Activist
Ladan Boroumand, Historian & Human Rights Activist
Roya Boroumand, Historian & Human Rights Activist
Chahla Chafiq, Author, Sociologist & Rights Activist
Parviz Dastmalchi, Writer, Translator, and Public Lecturer
Shirin Ebadi, Lawyer & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Mehrangiz Kar, Lawyer & Human and Women Rights Advocate
Majid Mohammadi, Sociologist & Political Analyst
Azar Nafisi, Author & Retired Professor of Literature
Reza Nassehi, Translator & Human Rights Activist
Shahin Sadeghzadeh Milani, Lawyer & Human Rights Advocate
Homa Sarshar, Author, Women Rights Advocate & Journalist
Shahran Tabari, Journalist & Political Analyst