Born in 1947, Shirin Ebadi lives in Tehran where she trained in law, obtained a doctorate from Tehran University and served as a judge from March 1969 - the first woman to ever do so in Iran. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979 she, and other female judges, were dismissed from their posts and given clerical duties (in Ebadi's case, in the very court she had presided over). She resigned in protest and was, in effect, housebound for many years until finally, in 1992, she succeeded in obtaining a lawyer's license and setting up her own practice. Since then she has represented various high-profile cases including the families of political victims, journalists in relation to freedom of expression, child custody cases and others. The recipient of many prizes and accolades, she has also written many books and articles and lectured on human rights all over the world.
Azadeh Moaveni grew up in San Jose and studied politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She won a Fulbright fellowship to Egypt, and studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo. For three years she worked across the Middle East as a reporter for "Time Magazine," before joining the "Los Angeles Times" to cover the war in Iraq. She lives in Beirut.