Sara Jamshidi is an award-winning international journalist and publisher of Goltune News, an online news site covering Muslim women’s fashion, lifestyles and leadership. Through Goltune News, she dispels Islamophobiadriven themes in the news media with a peace journalism perspective, focusing on encouraging stories of influential females in communities worldwide, and in Muslim-majority countries, who promote positive change.
Jamshidi has lived and worked in both Middle Eastern and Western cultures. Her world experiences have allotted her an acute awareness of the differences in beliefs and ideas that separate the two cultures, while also seeing the many similarities in love of family and life in general that can bring them together. She is passionate about the latter and is using the Goltune News platform to build a “Muslim Vogue” that shares the lives of women who embody elegance, independence, professionalism and beauty.
Jamshidi was a child during the Tehran revolution of 1979. While the United States was dealing with the Iranian hostage crisis, the Iranian people had their own crisis to deal with. Iranian women were targets of Islamization, being forced to cover their heads with scarves called hijabs. Jamshidi remembered being forced to wear the hijab every day. She also remembered strong Iranian women standing up and speaking out against the government’s oppression. She found her place in this counterrevolution early in life as a journalist and began to write about women’s issues in Iran. She worked with Iran’s reform party and fellow journalists to expose the injustice, eventually leading to changes that overturned child custody and property laws that stifled women’s basic rights. Jamshidi’s success in helping to change legislation drew the attention of Iran’s political conservatives, leading her to be entered on the government’s blacklist – a hit list of people the government considered “outspoken,” making her a target for kidnapping and death.
Jamshidi moved to the U.S. right after the threat messages, and started working as a reporter in Seattle. Her expertise as a skilled journalist and depth of Middle East knowledge placed her in high demand. She covered Middle East issues for Free Speech Radio News national radio program, Pacifica, Al Monitor, Iran National TV, European Journalism Center (EJC) and Chicago is the World, among many others.
While working and living in the U.S., she noticed that the West had its own form of bias in how it viewed the Middle East. She saw this bias particularly in how Muslim women were seen in their dress and cultural traditions as being un-Westernized and therefore somehow inferior. Goltune News was designed as a platform to combat that bias view of Muslim women by focusing on appearance and fashion to change the conversation from “oppression” to “empowerment.”
When Jamshidi launched Goltune News in Madison, Wisconsin in 2015, her mission was to show that Muslim communities are beautiful, proud, engaging and open societies. That mission has proven successful as her diverse worldwide network of writers, reporters and foreign correspondents now reach nearly 30,000 readers daily with fashion, lifestyle and leadership stories of Muslim women.
Jamshidi is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Doyenne Group, Association for Women journalists, Chicago and the International Women Media Foundation. Her work has been covered regionally through Wisconsin Public Radio’s Here and Earth: Radio Without Borders, Madison Magazine and NBC News 15.