Monirah Hashemi was born in Iran to Afghan parents in migration in 1985, where she lived for 19 years. To live in migration deprived her of many things, but it taught her a lot. She experienced social injustices from childhood to adulthood in Mashhad, Iran until she moved to Herat, Afghanistan in 2004. That was when she began to see a different face and aspect of prejudice, injustice, discrimination and inequality.
Monirah Hashemi is a founder of Simorgh Film Association of Culture and Art (SFACA). She has led the theater department for some years, and she is also the director of women department in Simorgh. She started working as an actress in 2004 and one year later established SFACA, first working on acting, then screen-writing and later directing short movies. To explore new fields she participated in the first educational theater festival in Herat in 2006. Monirah wrote “Cry of History” and directed it, and together with her her students she rehearsed it for performance. The festival was the first theater festival which invited boys and girls from high schools to compete each other. 21 high schools, 10 boys’ and 11 girls’ high schools participated in the festival. “Cry of History” was performed to open the festival, the only event which welcomed a mixed audience. The rest of the festival ran single sex performances, with the male audience not being allowed to see the girls’ productions. The play won first prize at the festival, and went on to national and international festivals in Kabul and India as the first play produced solely by girls and women in Afghanistan.
Since then Monirah has been working professionally as actor, playwright and director in Sweden, and abroad. Her writing and directing includes:
Letter of Suffering, Salsaal and Shamaama, Stones and Mirrors, Flute Sonance, Masks under Burka and Sitaraha – The Stars, which has been performed in Kabul, India, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, USA and Canada
Monirah worked with Helena Waldmann as Afghan Coach on her play Burka Bondage in Berlin (2009) and she was a panelist member of South Asia Theater Festival in New Jersey, USA (2010). Simorgh and Monirah has worked with Bond Street Theater on Theater for Social Development Projects, and has co–directed and written in Herat, Kabul and Jalalabad since 2011.
Monirah moved to Sweden at the end of 2013 and she wrote her new play Sitaraha – The Stars while she was giving speeches about Exchange Instead Of Charity – Culture And Art As A Tool For Citizenship And Democracy alongside this play directed by Leif Persson, actor/director from Sweden.
The Scarecrow, a children play written by Monirah, talks about migration of lonely coming children.