Who we are

Sanam Vaghefi

Sanem Vaghefi is a sociologist, born in Iran and raised in Turkey. She lived in Canada for more than three years as a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria. She is currently writing her dissertation in Istanbul, surrounded by very much loved cats. Her areas of interest range from migration and displacement to media discourse analysis.

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Sanam Vaghefi


Tweeting in Solidarity: Turks Backlash Against Online Sexist Commentary Targeting Ukrainian Refugee Women

Behind the headlines of the Russian invasion and the heroic attempts to defend Ukraine, there are other far less supportive images, notably the sexualization of those who have sought sanctuary in other countries.

23 March 2022

Regions, Stories

The Greener Grass or ‘The Stranger’s Crow’: Why Do Diasporas Romanticize Their Homelands?

Sociologist Sanam Vaghefi notices a lot of tension between expatriates from the Caspian area and people who choose to stay in the "old country." Why do diaspora communities romanticize their homeland, while locals idealize life abroad?

23 December 2021

Caucasus, Opinion

Zoroastrianism: The Legacy of Ancient Wisdom Through the Centuries

Zoroastrianism pioneered monotheism, inspired Iran’s great empires and - over two millennia later - remains a living religion, notably amongst the #Parsi communities of India and beyond. However, it has also left a remarkable cultural imprint on the whole of the Caspian region. And today, its ecologically aligned principles look ever more relevant in answering the needs of contemporary society.

11 October 2021

Iran, Stories

Who is “Caucasian?” I Thought I Was Before Moving to Canada

For Sanam Vaghefi, a PhD canidate at the University of Victoria in Canada, it was a shock to realize that she was considered a person of colour, and that the term “Caucasian” no longer applied to her. This sent her on a journey of self-discovery, where she found that “naming oneself, and telling one’s own story is... an act of power.”

23 August 2021

Caucasus, Stories