Sattareh Farmanfarmaian among students and colleagues.
Tehran School of Social Work (1960s)
Sattareh Farmanfarmaian, who introduced the Social Work profession to Iran, died today in Los Angeles at the age of 91. After finishing high school in Tehran, Farmanfarmaian left for Los Angeles in July 1944. At the urging of Dr. Samuel Jordan, the founder of American School in Tehran (later renamed Alborz High School), Farmanfarmaian enrolled at the University of Southern California, becoming USC’s first Iranian student and received her B.A. in sociology in 1946. In 1948 she received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Chicago.
Prior to her return to Tehran in 1958, she worked for UNESCO as the social welfare consultant to the government of Iraq, working to improve the conditions of the Arab nomad tribes in the country. In Tehran, she founded the School of Social Work, the first of its kind in Iran, and served as its director until 1979. She also founded the Family Planning Association of Iran.
Farmanfarmaian left Iran after the Islamic revolution and returned to Los Angeles. From 1980 to 1992 she worked for Los Angeles County’s Department of Social Services.
Her autobiography, Daughter of Persia: A Woman’s Journey from Her Father’s Harem through the Islamic Revolution, was published in 1992 and was nominated for Pulitzer Prize. She also had many academic publications in her field.
File Photo: VOA