Rosie Malek-Yonan was born on the fourth of July, 1955 in Tehran, Iran. She is an actress, artist, director, producer, published author, documentary filmmaker, a classically trained pianist, composer and a human rights activist. She is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian Christian families from the Middle-East, tracing her Assyrian roots back nearly eleven centuries. The Malek Family was a famous tribe that came from the Assyrian village of Geogtapah in the Urmia region of Northwestern Iran.In the late 18th century, Geogtapah became the setting for the famous tragic love story of Aslee and Karam. Aslee, a young woman from the House of Malek fell in love with a commoner named Karam. After the two lovers met their untimely death, a stone well was built in the Geogtapah as a memorial to Aslee where travelers often stopped to hear the tragic story from the locals. The Aslee and Karam Opera was composed in 1912 by the Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov. This tragic love story has been compared to that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.The Malek Family has produced many famous sons and daughters. Rosie's father, George Malek-Yonan, was Iran's Champion of Champions with numerous gold medals in track and field and the pentathlon. He became an international attorney and is credited with securing a seat for the Assyrian Christians as a recognized minority in the Iranian Parliament (Majlis). This was a huge milestone for a nation without a country since the fall of the Assyrian Empire.Rosie's mother, Lida Malek-Yonan (1928-2002), was a well known humanitarian and activist who tirelessly worked a lifetime demanding rights for minority Assyrian Christian women in Iran and secured their recognition by establishing the Assyrian Women's Organization, the only Assyrian organization officially recognized as a charter member of the Iranian Women's Association.
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