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Meet the Woodford Green writer bringing an Iranian freedom fighter's inspirational story to life

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:22 02 June 2017

Woodford Green journalist Karen Attwood. Picture by Andrew Parsons / i-Images

Woodford Green journalist Karen Attwood. Picture by Andrew Parsons / i-Images

©2017 Andrew Parsons / i-Images

A mother penning a biography of an inspirational Iranian women –who has spent almost all her life fighting for gender equality – needs your help to tell the story.

Diana Nammi receives the Barclays Women of the Year Award from Valerie Soranno Keating during the Women of the Year Awards 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, London. Photo: PADiana Nammi receives the Barclays Women of the Year Award from Valerie Soranno Keating during the Women of the Year Awards 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, London. Photo: PA

Karen Attwood, of Danbury Way, Woodford Green, is currently writing Girl With a Gun: A Teenage Freedom Fighter in Iran - the true story of Diana Nammi’s fight against Islamic extremism in 1970s Iran.

Karen met Diana in October 2014 when she interviewed the former Peshmerga fighter after she was named Barclay’s Woman of the Year.

Diana told her all about her experiences spending 12 years on the frontline in Iran after joining the freedom fighter Peshmerga groups at the age of 17.

An award-winning writer with almost two decades’ experience, Karen knew immediately that Diana’s story needed more than a single article in a newspaper to do it justice.

And so, after getting to know Diana for several years, the Woodford Green mother asked the Iranian freedom fighter if she could write a book about her life.

And so work on Girl With a Gun was begun.

The journalist told the Recorder: “It’s a really important story, it’s certainly the most important project I’ve ever worked on.

“Diana is the most inspirational person I have ever met and her story will resonate with everyone who reads it. That’s because it’s still relevant today, not only in terms of the fight against Islamic fundamentalism but also the ongoing global battle for women’s rights.”

And for that reason, Karen expects there to be something for everyone within the book’s 80,000 words – although she is only a quarter of the way through .

“Even if you work in a school in Woodford, as a teacher you should be aware of the issue of honour-based violence and what to be looking out for. It should be an issue that’s relevant for everyone.

“I was determined to tell this story, because it’s really important that people read these tales of strong women from the Middle East and understand there are women taking up the fight.”

Karen has signed a deal with crowdfunded publishers Unbound, who are still accepting pledges to help fund the book’s publication.

Visit the book’s fundraising page unbound.com/books/girl-with-a-gun to donate and for more information.

For Recorder readers wishing to pre-order a copy of the book, use our exclusive discount code ‘recorder17’ to receive money off.

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