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Hessom Razavi

Hessom Razavi

Hessom Razavia writer and doctor based in Perth – is the ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellow. He was born in Iran in 1976. When he was seven, his family fled that country to escape political persecution. He grew up in Pakistan and the United Kingdom before migrating to Australia when he was thirteen. He completed his studies as an ophthalmologist in 2015 and has visited Manus Island and Nauru in a medical capacity. He also writes poetry and essays, and he is currently working on his first collection.

Hessom Razavi reviews 'Freedom, Only Freedom: The prison writings of Behrouz Boochani', translated and edited by Omid Tofighian and Moones Mansoubi

January-February 2023, no. 450 26 December 2022
In 2018, No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison became a literary sensation. It was written by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian journalist and refugee who was incarcerated by the Australian government on Manus Island. Like thousands of others, Boochani had travelled by boat to seek asylum in Australia. From Manus, he texted passages to collaborators in Sydney. There, Omid Tofigh ... (read more)

'Freya', a poem by Hessom Razavi

September 2022, no. 446 25 August 2022
Scene like a Banksy mural:tiny Flower Thrower lobbingblood and vernix onto our chests, squirming pink-purple skin gliding on Māmān,alien as amniotic fluid, charging the nightwith witchery and colostrum, red-cheeked grace that remakes the ride home,each minor pock, each distantcar a quandary to skirt until home: white muslin driftsinto the hallway, raider cloakedat the threshold, no retu ... (read more)

Hessom Razavi reviews 'The Uncaged Sky: My 804 days in an Iranian prison' by Kylie Moore-Gilbert

June 2022, no. 443 25 May 2022
Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert was arrested at Tehran International Airport on 12 September 2018 as she prepared to return home to Australia. A lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, she had visited Iran for a seminar on Shia Islam. Her captors were the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or the Sepâh, a powerful militia that protects Iran’s Islamic system. She was bundled into a ca ... (read more)

'The split state: Australia’s binary myth about people seeking asylum' by Hessom Razavi

June 2021, no. 432 26 May 2021
People seeking asylum are off trend. As the black and brown people on boats have stopped arriving on Australia’s shores, so has our interest in them waned. In commemoration, a boat-shaped trophy sits in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office, inscribed with the words ‘I Stopped These’. Today, Australians seem preoccupied by the vaccine roll-out and allegations of rape in parliament. With a ... (read more)

'Failures of imagination: A journey from Tehran’s prisons to Australia’s immigration detention centres' by Hessom Razavi

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
On 14 November 2019, Behrouz Boochani arrived in New Zealand, to feature in the WORD Christchurch literary festival. In so doing, Boochani, the Kurdish-Iranian writer, detained – or, in his words, exiled – by the Australian government for six years, finally escaped his ‘Manus Prison’. The details of his resettlement remained unclear, but it didn’t matter; he simply wanted to be ‘free f ... (read more)

'Notes on a Pandemic: How society has responded to Covid-19' by Hessom Razavi

May 2020, no. 421 27 April 2020
Listen to this essay read by the author. I was operating when it arrived. Between patients I read the email hastily. It concerned an article from surgeons at Stanford University. Along with colleagues in the United States, Italy, China, and Iran, they were reporting an increased risk of death from Covid-19 among otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons – and ophthalmologists, like me. Surgery around ... (read more)