After her native country became a strictly conservative Islamic republic after the Revolution of 1979, she says she experienced feelings of oppression and injustice from an early age. According to her, this spawned the seeds of her women’s rights activism. She grew up in Iran after the revolution of 1979.At the age of 22, Safai married her husband Saeed Bashirtash. She studied dentistry at the University of Tehran. During her final year of college, she took part in student protests in her university in 1999 in response to the revocation of the license of the reformist persian newspaper Salam, which quickly grew into a widespread protest against the persian regime.