Originally intending to study literature at the Sorbonne, 23-year-old Homa Nategh arrived in Paris in 1957. She switched disciplines and ten years later received her PhD in history, with a dissertation on seminal pan-Islamic intellectual Seyyed Jamal al-Din al-Afghani. During her years in Paris, she was one of the leading activists in the Confederation of Iranian Students–National Union, a nexus for opposition to the Shah. She also worked with famed Iranologist and linguist Gilbert Lazard on the translation of Iranian poetry into French. Returning to Iran in 1968, she became an influential historian and educator. Initially supportive of the Revolution, she was one of the founders of the National Union of Iranian Women in March 1979. The cultural crackdown that shuttered Iran’s universities beginning in 1980 led her to return to Paris, where she lived in exile until her death in 2016.

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