Nikan is an Iranian Kurdish writer of children’s stories, many of them published in the only magazine for modern children’s literature in Iran, the children's monthly cultural and artistic magazine “Aroosak Sokhangoo”. She is educated in Psychology of Exceptional Children at the Islamic Azad University, Hamedan.
Since President Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005, there has been a widespread crackdown on peaceful political dissent across many aspects of civil society in Iran. Those to have been targeted include writers and journalists, academics, women’s rights activists and human rights defenders. Separatist struggle has placed writers and journalists particularly at risk in Iran’s ethnic regions.
Mahsa Nikan was persecuted and detained for her political views and for participating in peaceful demonstration in her native Iran. Because of the closed cultural and political space, she left her home in 2010 and moved to Iraq Kurdistan with an unsecure future ahead. In April, she was welcomed as a new guest writer in Oslo, where she will stay and work in peace for the next two years.
Oslo City of Refuge
Oslo joined the city of refuge programme in 2001 and has since hosted five ICORN Guest Writers. The Municipality of Oslo is the official ICORN host, partnered with Deichmanske bibliotek/Oslo Public Library, who manages the programme.