Meet the Interviewees

Desomond Tutu Dalai Lama Unni Wikan Werner Schiffauer Taina



Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Dave Gould Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a world-renowned human rights activist from South Africa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work as a unifying force in a country divided by apartheid.  He has received numerous prizes and honorary degrees for his humanitarianism including the Albert Schweitzer Award, the Family of Man Award, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Non Violent Peace Prize.



14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

image of Dalai LamaHis Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet.  At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.  The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet.  Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace.  In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet.  He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression.  Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion.  He has also authored more than 72 books. 

His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.


Unni Wikan

Unni Wikan Unni Wikan is a Norwegian professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo. She is the author of nine books, including In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame, Behind the Veil in Arabia; Managing Turbulent Hearts, and Tomorrow, God Willing: Self-Made Destinies in Cairo.  Ms. Wikan was awarded the 2004 Freedom of Expression Foundation Prize "for her insightful, outspoken and challenging contribution to the debate on value conflicts in the multi-cultural society."  She is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.



Werner Schiffauer

image of Werner SchiffauerWerner Schiffauer is Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the Europa Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. He has written and edited books on rural and urban Turkey, on Turkish migrants in Germany, on Islamism in Germany, and on foreigners in the urban context. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Ethos - Journal of Anthropology and of the Council of Migration Research.




Seyran Ates

image of Seyran AtesSeyran Ates is a prominent honor crimes attorney. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey and lives in Germany. She studied law at the Free University of Berlin. Ms. Ates has devoted her life to defending the victims of honor crimes, often at the cost of her own safety. As a result of her commitment, Ms. Ates was named Germany's "Woman of the Year" in 2005. She has written many well regarded articles including "Tolerance for the Tolerant" as well as an autobiography. Currently, Ms. Ates is fighting for legislation to make forced marriage a criminal offense.



Taina Bien-Aimé

Taina Bien_Aime Taina Bien-Aimé is the Executive Director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization that works for the protection of the rights of women and girls.  Issues of concern to Equality Now include rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, reproductive rights, trafficking in women and other forms of violence and discrimination that affect women and girls every day.  Taina holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Licence in Political Science from the University of Geneva and the Graduate School of International Studies, Switzerland.  Prior to Equality Now, she was Director of Business Affairs/Film Acquisition at Home Box Office and practiced international corporate law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Taina has contributing essays in “Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female,” edited by Willa Shalit (Hyperion, 2006) and “When You Need a Lift…Two Cups of Comfort and Support from Joy Behar and Friends” (Crown, 2007).