Image - Neda Toloui-Semnani

Past Event

Neda Toloui-Semnani—They Said They Wanted Revolution: The Memoir of My Iranian Parents

Neda Toloui-Semnani is the daughter of Iranian revolutionaries, activists, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Her parents left the United States in 1979 to join the revolution in Iran—a decision that changed the course of Neda’s life. She experienced profound personal loss due to her parents’ choices and conflict over whether these decisions that impacted her life were worthy costs of the revolution that took place.

In her new book, They Said They Wanted Revolution, Toloui-Semnani, an Emmy-award-winning writer and producer, looks back at her family’s tragic experience with the Iranian Revolution. She pieces together the past in search of familial identity as the child of two risk-taking political activists. She untangles decades of history to discover her family’s legacy during her journey of self-discovery.

Join us for a moving program that explores the costs of righteous activism across generations, and how the Iranian Revolution continues to impact the United States and Iran even decades later.


This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

In partnership with the Club's Middle East Member-Led Forum.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Toloui-Semnani photo by Nilo Tabrizy.

March 23, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Neda Toloui-Semnani

Neda Toloui-Semnani

Senior Writer, Vice News Tonight; Author, They Said They Wanted Revolution: A Memoir of My Parents

Image - Sasha Khokha

Sasha Khokha

Host, "The California Report," KQED—Moderator


3–4 p.m. program
(all times PDT)