|Intro||Assyrian actress, author, director, public figure and human rights activist|
|Is||Actor Writer Novelist Film director Stage actor Television actor Radio personality|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature|
|Birth||4 July 1965, Tehran|
Rosie Malek-Yonan is an American actress, author, director, public figure and activist of Assyrian ethnicity.
Early life and education
Born in Tehran, Malek-Yonan is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian families, tracing her Assyrian roots back nearly 11 centuries. The Malek family originated from Jilu and eventually settled in the Assyrian Christian village of Geogtapa, in the Urmia region of northwestern Iran. Geogtapa was the largest Assyrian Christian village in the region and much of it belonged to the Malek-Yonan family with the oldest plot in the family graveyard dating back to 1100.
Malek-Yonan's father, George Malek-Yonan (1924-2014), an international attorney in Iran, was personally responsible for negotiating and procuring a seat for the Assyrians as a recognized Christian minority in the Iranian Parliament, a huge accomplishment for a people who had been without a formal country since the fall of the Assyria.
Malek-Yonan's mother, Lida Malek-Yonan (1928–2002) regarded as an activist and humanitarian, was equally influential in demanding recognition for Assyrian women in Iran by launching and presiding over the Assyrian Women's Organization which was the only officially recognized charter member of the Iranian Women's Association until the end of the Pahlavi dynasty.
During the Assyrian genocide of 1914–1918, Malek-Yonan's grandparents left their ancestral homeland in Urmia, as part of the "Great Exodus" from Urmia in March 1918. The Malek-Yonan family fled to Mesopotamia where her father was born in Baghdad, while Malek-Yonan's maternal grandmother fled to Russia where her mother was born in Rostov. Years later, both families returned to Tehran where her parents met and were married.
Malek-Yonan is a classically trained pianist, composer, actress, director, writer, documentary filmmaker and activist. She began studying piano at the age of four and while still in her teens, competed in and won many national piano competitions in Iran and attended the Tehran Conservatory of Music. In 1972 after winning a national piano competition in Iran, she was invited by Queen Farah Pahlavi to play at a Command Performance.
Upon receiving her L.C. degree in English from the University of Cambridge, she studied classical piano with Saul Joseph at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and acting with Ray Reinhardt at the American Conservatory Theatre. A graduate of San Francisco State University with two degrees in Music, she won an invitation to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the historic Pasadena Playhouse. Her plays have been produced and performed on stage. In 2008 Malek-Yonan’s one woman play, An Assyrian Exodus previewed in Hartford, Connecticut. The work is based on true family diaries written during the 1918 Great Exodus from Urmia, Iran. About the production, Janey Golani, of The Assyrian Star writes, "…presentations included those of Ms. Rosie Malek-Yonan which was filled with many emotional attendees who were struck by her performance of "An Assyrian Exodus" a dramatic staged reading based on Rosie's Family Diaries."
Reviewing Malek-Yonan's work as an actor and director, Martin Hernandez of LA Weekly writes, "Superbly acted and directed...Director Rosie Malek-Yonan honed the works to perfection, even down to the fitting choice of songs for transitions and intermission." About her stage directing, Bruce Feld writes, "Rosie Malek-Yonan has done an excellent job directing...top-of-the-line and what might have become a sketch in other hands becomes a poignant episode of universal import...exceptional direction.". In another review, Feld wrote, "Very well directed by Rosie Malek-Yonan...The material is very tricky, but Malek-Yonan handles it with requisite sensitivity, without in any way watering down the heavy conflict...Sparks ignite..."
Malek-Yonan made her television debut in 1983 on Aaron Spelling's television series, Dynasty, followed by a national commercial for AT&T where she spoke in Assyrian. She has since appeared in numerous notable television shows, films and plays, acting in a wide range of roles opposite many of Hollywood's leading actors. She has had recurring roles on Days of Our Lives, Chicago Hope, Beverly Hills, 90210, The Young and the Restless and in 2008 she joined the cast of ABC's General Hospital as Farah Mir. On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine she was Tekoa. She has guest starred on such shows as Generations, Seinfeld, Life and JAG. She played the role of Nuru Il-Ebrahimi, opposite Reese Witherspoon in New Line Cinema's Rendition, directed by Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2015 Malek-Yonan joined the executive board of the Beverly Hills Film Festival as a consultant.
Human rights activism
Malek-Yonan is an outspoken advocate of issues concerning her nation, in particular bringing attention to the Assyrian Genocide as well as the plight of today's Assyrians in the Middle-East since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its Coalition Forces. She has candidly criticized the U.S. for failure to protect the Christians in Iraq since the beginning of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In an interview with The New York Times Malek-Yonan said, "Anytime the Western countries go to war in the Middle East, it becomes a religious war…" In the interview she also held Kurdish commanders in Iraq responsible for "depriving the Christians of security in an effort to tilt the demographics in favor of Kurds. The expected result, she said, was an exodus of hundreds of thousands of Christians from Iraq. At least hundreds have been killed. One priest was quartered and beheaded."
On June 30, 2006, Rosie Malek-Yonan, was invited to testify on Capitol Hill before a Congressional Committee of the 109th Congress on religious freedom regarding the genocide, massacres and persecution of Assyrians in Iraq since the beginning of the 2003 Iraq War. Reading from her book, she compared the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918, as depicted in The Crimson Field, to the current plight of the indigenous Assyrian Christians in Iraq. Her 30-minute testimony and plea to the U.S. government, ultimately prompted Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) to travel to war-torn Iraq to witness matters for himself. While in Iraq, after meeting with local Assyrians, he turned in Malek-Yonan's in depth report to U.S. Officials in Iraq. One year later, a Congressional appropriations subcommittee voted to send $10 million to aid the Assyrians in Iraq. The complete archived transcript and webcast of the actual Congressional Testimony is available at the website of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Monica Malek-Yonan's documentary film, My Assyrian Nation on the Edge, based on Rosie Malek-Yonan's Congressional Testimony was released September 2006 (ISBN 0-9771873-0-6) in English. The film is released in Europe with French, German, Swedish and Dutch subtitles (ISBN 978-0-9771873-31). The Australian Premiere was on 7 August 2008, at the Australian Parliament of New South Wales in Sydney.
In 2008, Malek-Yonan addressed the topics of genocide, world peace and in particular the Assyrian Genocide in statements presented at the British House of Lords on 12 March and on 24 April at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
On October 5, 2008, Malek-Yonan spoke on behalf of the Assyrian nation in Iraq at a Los Angeles rally held in front of the Federal Building to oppose the Iraq Election Law. She addressed the crowd of demonstrators and the media voicing her opposition at the removal of article 50 and its consequences for the minorities in Iraq in particular the Assyrians. "Democracy in Iraq will fail if it does not treat all members of its society equally under the law." She went on to say, "Assyrians have already paid a heavy price since the beginning of the Iraq War. The liberation of Iraqis must encompass all its citizens, including the Assyrians, and not just the Sunni, the Shi'ites and the Kurds.
Malek-Yonan is frequently interviewed on television and radio programs worldwide giving her assessment of the current situation of the Assyrians in the Middle-East as well as discussing the topic of the hotly debated Assyrian Genocide.
Malek-Yonan’s articles are published globally and translated into many languages. She is a public speaker and is often invited to lecture about the Assyrian Genocide. On 24 February 2007, Malek-Yonan was a keynote speaker at an open forum in Anaheim, California, discussing the persecution of the Copts and the plight of Christians in the Middle East. She has lectured at University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Merced, and Woodbury University among others.
On December 20, 2010, Malek-Yonan, was invited by the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance to speak at a press conference to address the escalating crisis and the deadly attacks on the Assyrians in Iraq. Later in an interview with Fox News, Malek-Yonan described how going to church is a game of Russian Roulette for the Assyrian Christians in Iraq. "They never know when they go to church, if that's going to be the last mass, the last moment of their lives." The press conference was prompted by the 31 October 2010 massacre at "The Lady of Salvation Church" in Baghdad.
In 2006, at the 73rd Annual Assyrian Convention in Chicago, Illinois, the Board of Advisors of the Assyrian American National Federation, Inc., Malek-Yonan was awarded Woman of the Year.
For her numerous contributions as an actress, artist, director, author and activist, in March 2008, Malek-Yonan was awarded for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment by the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC).
At the Assyrian Universal Alliance 26th World Conference in Sydney, Australia, Malek-Yonan was awarded "2009 Assyrian Woman of the Year" in recognition of her substantial contribution to advance the Assyrian national cause by promoting international recognition of the Assyrian Genocide, her extensive efforts in conveying the needs of the Assyrians to the United States government, and achievements in providing individual service to the Assyrian community worldwide.
In 2014, at the 14th annual Beverly Hills Film Festival, Malek-Yonan's screenplay, The Crimson Field, cowritten with her sister, Monica Malek-Yonan, based on her book by the same title, won the Palme d'Or for best screenplay
Malek-Yonan is a founding member of the Assyrian Cultural and Arts Society that has provided scholarships since 2005 to students at Woodbury University's Design School through an annual Assyrian Design Competition.
In 2009 Malek-Yonan became an ambassador for the Swedish-based organization, Assyrians Without Borders.
|1980||Olives for Breakfast||Rosie||Nilgun Tölken|
|1980||Walking Among Angels||Angel||Alexandria Dante|
|1990||Separate Rooms||Sophie||G. Tempert|
|1996||Up Close & Personal||Agent||Jon Avnet|
|1996||For Goodness Sake II||4 Characters||Trey Parker (Produced by David Zucker)|
|2002||Anniversary||Maria||Shami Samano (Awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association)|
|2005||Animal Stories||Maria||Shami Samano|
|2007||Rendition||Nuru El-Ibrahimi||Gavin Hood|
|Filming||The Assyrians||Director, writer and producer|
|2010||Defying Deletion: The Fight Over Iraq’s Nineveh Plains||Herself||Winner 2011 Detroit Film Festival, 2011 Uptown Film Festival|
|2006||My Assyrian Nation on the Edge (ISBN 0-9771873-0-6)||Herself||Writer, Director, Composer, Co-executive Producer|
|1986||Capitol||Recurring||Kenn Herman, Corey Allen, Patrick Corbett|
|1986||Santa Barbara||Guest Starring||Rick Bennewitz|
|1989||Murder, She Wrote||Air Levant Clerk||Vincent McEveety|
|1989||Divorce Court||Terri Ahmadi|
|1990||Cop Rock||Production Assistant||Fred Gerber|
|1991||Lethal Charm aka Her Wicked Ways||Iberian Airline Clerk||Richard Michaels|
|1995||NYPD Blue||Ackama||Jim Charleston|
|1995||Babylon 5 ("Confessions and Lamentations")||Doctor||Jim Kremin|
|1996||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Tekoa||Allan Kroeker|
|1996/1987||Days of Our Lives||Recurring||Joseph Behar, Phil Sogard, Randy Robbins, Susan Orlikoff Simon, Herb Stein|
|1997||The Visitor||Maria||Frederick King Keller|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Claudia Mores||Vincent McEveety|
|1998||Beverly Hills, 90210||Recurring/Barbara||Chip Chalmers, Harvey Frost, Michael Lange, Joel J. Feigenbaum|
|1998||Seinfeld||Mrs. Phil||Andy Ackerman|
|1999/1997/1996||Chicago Hope||Recurring/Cindy Grey||Bill D'Elia, Stephen Cragg, Michael Schultz, Jesus Salvador Trevino|
|1999||St. Michael's Crossing ("CBS Pilot")||Wife||Robert Butler|
|1999||Melrose Place||Doctor||Charles Pratt, Jr.|
|2000||The Practice||Lambert||Andy Wolk|
|2001||Three Sisters ("NBC Pilot")||Arab Woman||Pam Fryman|
|2002||CSI: Miami||Receptionist||Joe Chappelle, Deran Sarafian|
|2002||JAG||Guest Starring (multiple episodes)||Bradford May, Hugo Cortina|
|2003/1999||The Young and the Restless||Recurring/Fadel||Mike Denney, Sally McDonald|
|2007||Life||Guest Starring/Roya Darvashi||Dan Sackheim|
|2008||Eli Stone||Nurse||Perry Lang|
|2008/1991||General Hospital||Recurring/Farah Mir||Craig McManus, Phideaux Xavier, Phil Sogart, Alan Pultz|
|An Assyrian Exodus||Assyria||Hartford Marriott||Rosie Malek-Yonan|
|William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life||Elsie||Pasadena Playhouse||Jill Mana Capps|
|Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke||Alma||Pasadena Playhouse||Stan Zales|
|Detective Story||Susan||Pasadena Playhouse||Darleen Duralia|
|Bedfellows||Miranda Morales||Skylight Theatre||Chris Fields||World Premiere, Drama-Logue Award recipient, Critic's Pick|
|A Gentleman of Quality||Nicole||Ivar Theatre||Rosie Malek-Yonan|
|Molière's Le Malade imaginaire The Imaginary Invalid||Toinette||Gallery Theatre||Rosie Malek-Yonan|
|Speak!||Brandy||Theatre Geo||Dana Coen||World Premiere|
|Soft Dude||Doll||Theatre Geo||Rosie Malek-Yonan||Critic's Pick|
|Garrison Keillor's My Stepmother, Myself||Snow||Theatre Geo||Rosie Malek-Yonan|
|Double Bound||Mori||Mise en Scène Theater||Herb Rogers||World Premiere|
|Once a Catholic||Mother Thomas Aquinas||Celtic Arts Center||Joe Premell|
|The Light in the Mill||Nancy||Theatre Americana||Edgar Weinstock||World Premiere|
|Lies Like Truth||Denise||Theatre Americana||John Otrin||World Premiere|
|Stage Door||Olga||Charles Jehlinger Theatre||Lisle Wilson|
|All Over Town||Millie||Charles Jehlinger Theatre||Ken McGee|
- The Assyrian - a documentary film
- My Assyrian Nation on the Edge - a documentary film
- Her Master's Voice - co-wrote with Monica Malek-Yonan - Radio Show
- The Imaginary Invalid - Gallery Theatre, Hollywood
- A Gentleman of Quality - co-wrote with Monica Malek-Yonan - Ivar Theatre, Hollywood
- A Matter of the Mind - En Scene Theatre, N. Hollywood
- Service Please Hold! (from 8x10) - Theatre Geo, HollywoodHernandez, Martin (21–27 October 1994). "Calendar". LA Weekly.
- Soft Dude - Theatre Geo, Hollywood
- Correct Address - Theatre Geo, Hollywood
- The Ties That Bind - Theatre Geo, Hollywood
- My Stepmother, Myself - Theatre Geo, Hollywood
- ^ Daily News, 26 February 1995
- Daily News of Los Angeles Simpson Jurors Get Private Performance 26 February 1995
- The Los Angeles Times 16 April 1995
- Daily Breeze (Torrance, Ca) Mr. Blackwell has Kind Words for Jury 16 April 1995
- "Mr. Blackwell has Kind Words for Jury". Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA). 16 April 1995.
- ^ Drama-Logue 4–10 August 1994 by Bruce Feld
- Drama-Logue June 1994
The Crimson Field is an historical and literary epic novel, set in Urmia, Iran, Russia and San Francisco, California. It is based on real events and true family chronicles set to the backdrop of the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918 in the shadows of World War I where 750,000 Assyrians were massacred by the Ottoman Turks and Kurdish tribes in Ottoman Turkey and in the Assyrian inhabited region of Urmi (Urmia) in northwestern Iran. The book was selected as The Assyrian Event of the Year 2005 by Zinda magazine (22 April 2006). It was features in the Winter 2007's fourth issue of MAKE, a Chicago Literary Magazine and chosen as required reading by Professor Ellene Phufas for a World Literature class for the SUNY system (State University of New York) to represent a work about the Christian Genocides in Asia Minor.
Seyfo: Genocide, Denial and the Right of Recognition is a compilation of articles and speeches presented at conferences held in the European Parliament. Contributors include Rosie Malek-Yonan (author of The Crimson Field), MP Stephen Pound (House of Commons of the United Kingdom), Prof. Ove Bring (Swedish Parliament), Sabri Atman (Director of Seyfo Center, Europe), Mechtild Rothe (Vice President of the European Parliament), Prof. David Guant (Södertörns University College, Sweden), Markus Ferber (EVP-ED, Member of the European Parliament) and Willy Foeutre (Human Rights Without Frontiers).