UBC grad Parvaz also has US, Iranian citizenship
It was reported on May 5, 2011 that Al-jazeera journalist Dorothy Parvaz is being held by the Syrian government, which Syria has confirmed. Her family and friends are calling for her release.
Facebook and Twitter campaigns are also underway.
Parvaz arrived in Syria on Friday, April 29, 2011, via Qatar Airlines to cover recent protests there for Al Jazeera. She has not been heard from since landing at the airport, and it is suspected that she has been detained at the airport. Her family fears for her safety. Syria's efforts to limit foreign media coverage of recent events has led to the detention of numerous journalists.
On May 2, 2011, Parvaz's family released the following statement:
"Dorothy Parvaz is a dearly loved daughter, sister and fiancée. We haven't heard from her in four days and believe that she is being held by the Syrian government. Dorothy is a global citizen – she grew up in Iran, UAE, Canada and the United States, where she became a determined journalist.
"She is dedicated to the profession as a force for peace and justice in the world. She has worked at newspapers across the globe, from Japan to Arizona, from Seattle, Washington, to Doha, Qatar, where she now works for Al Jazeera English online.
"She has always known who she was, whether buying groceries for her grandmother in Tehran or covering the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan. She is tough and she is a fighter – no doubt, she is stronger than us. We need to know where she is. We need to know who is holding her, and that she is comfortable. She is very loved. We need to know that she is safe."
Voices calling for her release include her immediate family, her fiancé (Luxembourg-based attorney Todd Barker), Cambridge University, Al Jazeera, and the Iranian government. With friends around the world, Parvaz's story has been widely reported, with press freedom advocacy groups also taking up her cause.
According to wikipedia, Homa Dorothy Parvaz was born in October 1971 in Iran to an Iranian father and an American mother. She spent part of her childhood in Iran, then moved to Canada with her family, ultimately graduating from a Canadian high school.
Parvaz obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia. She subsequently obtained a master's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. She has been the recipient of journalism fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge.
After obtaining her degree from UBC, Parvaz worked for the English language edition of the Asahi Shimbun in Japan. She then obtained her master's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. She then moved to Seattle, where she worked first for The Seattle Times, then as a columnist and feature writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. After the latter ceased to exist as a print newspaper, and following her journalism fellowships, she accepted employment with Al Jazeera, for whom she reported on the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
An American citizen born in Iran, she holds multiple passports: Iranian, Canadian, and United States.
Dorothy Parvaz began working for Al Jazeera English channel in 2010, and she is now based in Doha, Qatar.