Street parking and in the Nextel lot just east of and behind the McDonalds. More about the book: Says Publishers Weekly, "This timely little book offers a thoughtful, wide-ranging and captivating introduction to a dynamic country most Americans still regrettably associate with romantic-exotic or religious-fanatical stereotypes. Arranged and framed with care by editor Zanganeh and featuring original art by Satrapi , the book's contents resist an overarching, dogmatic point of view, presenting instead an open-ended invitation to dialogue.
Price may vary. I Add to my wishlist. Overview Readers reviews 5 Product Details. Your rating Click on the stars for rating. Your review Headline characters remaining Review characters remaining. Une aventure Fortnite dont tu es le Add to shopping bag. Copyright - Antoine Online - All rights reserved. Login Register. It was only when we were inside the house, and I was completely shorn of my Iranian trappings, sporting Gap and J. We chatted over nonalcoholic beer and potato chips, and he looked at me with awareness and interest, lifting from me that mantle of invisibility.
That night, as I lay awake in my unfamiliar bed, my heart was heavy. I knew that in winning him over, I had betrayed myself. By way of flattery, we are told that we are Persians and that Persia was a great empire. Otherwise, we are Iranians. They were discovered after the revolution.
To begin with, let it be remembered that Persia is the Greek terminology for Iran. But Iran, for the last four thousand years and for all Iranians, has always been Iran. Since it was February and the temperature was pretty low, I cast a quick glance around everything there was to see before hurrying back inside. At least nothing unusual. She understood.
It snowed! The East. That word, I think, is the key to all myths. Where is it, this legendary East of our fantasies and dreams and hatreds? So the East is not really a geographical fact. In that case, is Bosnia an Eastern country? This notion would take us from Bosnia to Somalia, and from Morocco all the way to Indonesia—and such countries are to be found on three continents: Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Is that to say that Saudi Arabia and Malaysia share the same culture? That is one factor, indeed—but it is certainly not the only one. What is a Muslim? Unfortunately, the West equates him or her with Bin Laden, that is, with the most radical of all wretched ideas. The West turns the Muslim into an enemy. And Iran is a Muslim country.
But how? Iran has extremists, for sure. Iran has Scheherazade as well. But first and foremost, Iran has an actual identity, an actual history—and above all, actual people, like me. Few people ask him, as I have done, for a ride to Qom, the religious capital of Iran.
The very name of the city makes Afshin squirm. He suggests a trip to Mashhad instead. I remind him that his brother, Saleh, lives in Qom and that he would be happy to see us. Afshin grunts, starts the ignition, and pulls onto the dry desert highway, reluctantly heading south toward Qom. It is a scorching morning; the heat rising from the asphalt casts an eerie nimbus on the road before us. Now, people push roughly past clerics in stores, whispering obscenities; a cleric enters a restaurant in Tehran and one can practically hear the hiss rising from the tables.
There was 24 a time when a taxi would be emptied so a cleric could ride comfortably. These days, a taxi is almost as likely to run a cleric over than pick him up. But Qom is a city crawling with clerics, confident and in control of the country. In fact, nearly every Shiite cleric in the world has at one time or another passed through the hallowed gates of the Feyziyeh to be taught the traditional Shiite sciences: Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, rhetoric, and theology. A theocracy suggests rule by God, and as any Iranian will tell you, God is noticeably absent in Iran.
In a theocracy, particularly an Islamic theocracy like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan under the Taliban, the Quran is the only constitution. Yet the Islamic Republic is constructed upon a remarkably modern and surprisingly enlightened constitutional framework in which are enshrined fundamental freedoms of speech, religion, education, and peaceful assembly. It provides for a comprehensive amendment process as well as the opportunity to launch national referendums to decide the course of the country.
The clerics relied on their command of personal militias and extensive numbers of Orwellian subcommittees to wrest control of the provisional government from the hands of the capable, if rather dour, technocrats who had been appointed to lead Iran after the fall of the shah. By the time Saddam Hussein invaded in , the time for debate and dissent over the nature of the republic was over. What had begun as a vibrant experiment in Islamic democracy quickly deteriorated into an authoritarian quagmire—a state ruled by an inept clerical oligarchy with absolute religious and political power.
Qom is the heart of that power. Afshin and I arrive in Qom during the noon prayers. The shops encircling the mosque are shut and bolted. There is an expectant stillness in the air. Not even the gray- and white-flecked pigeons waddling across the plaza emit a sound. It is as though the mosque has inhaled the city into itself in a long, bated breath. A few moments later, a rumble echoes through the square, and all at once a mass of worshippers is exhaled onto the streets. The city bursts to life.
Except these students are clad in the elegant dark robes and regal turbans of clerical privilege. The school is usually closed to visitors, but Saleh, who is a cleric and teacher here, meets us at the gates and escorts us inside. Right away, I can tell Afshin is uncomfortable. He resents seeing Saleh in his clerical garb. These days, there is a tendency, both in the West and in Iran, to view the revolution of as an Islamic revolution instigated at the behest of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
This is a historical fiction that emerged out of two and a half decades of postrevolutionary propaganda. Feminists, communists, socialists, Marxists, secular democrats, Westernized intellectuals, traditional bazaari merchants, die-hard nationalists, religious fundamentalists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, men, women, and children: nearly every sector of Iranian society was represented in the revolution.
In the s, Saleh entered the Feyziyeh spurred by the dream of establishing a new kind of nation—one both democratic and Islamic, both quintessentially Muslim and uniquely Iranian—while Afshin fought on the front lines of the battle against Saddam Hussein to ensure that dream would survive. In the s, Afshin and REZA ASLAN 27 Saleh were brought together again, this time as leaders in the energizing reform movement that gripped Tehran in the wake of the stunning presidential election of Muhammad Khatami, whose goal was to unearth the democratic principles of the constitution that had been blithely ignored for more than a decade.
But Khatami proved unable some say unwilling to propel the reform movement to its fruition. He withdrew his support, allowing the movement to disintegrate under mass arrests, torture, and murder. The reform movement fractured, and Afshin and Saleh went their separate ways. Saleh returned to the Feyziyeh to fight for democracy from within the system; Afshin now claims that the system itself is the problem and must be abandoned. We sip tea through sugar cubes lodged between our teeth, and I ask Saleh to explain the theory behind clerical rule. But the cleric is the one who has spent a lifetime studying the map.
He has taken the trip many times. He knows with certainty which is the best way. However, the path will be longer and more arduous. But really, they are both right. It is up to you and me to decide which one to follow. Shiism is a religion founded upon open debate and rational discourse.
Nor has any cleric ever held sole interpretive powers over the meaning of the faith. The Shia have always been free to follow the cleric of their choice, which is in part why Shiism has blossomed into such a wonderfully eclectic faith. It is also why the majority of Shia both inside and outside Iran no longer view the Islamic Republic as the paradigm of the Shiite state, but rather as its corruption.
In truth, the Islamic Republic is neither Islamic nor a republic. It can be described neither as a theocracy nor as a democracy. Iran is something else entirely.
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Before rising to leave, I ask Saleh one final question. Is this what you fought for? With their guns, they pointed to the naked leg of a female mannequin and stared into the frightened face of the shop owner. And yet because of such attacks—which were taking place frequently in cities throughout the country—shop owners began to systematically direct all their anger and frustration at the helpless mannequins.
They threw the mannequins in storage rooms or locked them up in dark, foreboding attics. This treatment of the mannequins is how I first came to realize that the feminine identity of Iranian women was being violated. The excuse, of course, was the need to protect Islamic laws and revolutionary principles. It was Within a few weeks, the mannequins were lined up in the shops with their elongated skirts. Fear was wriggling in their lifeless eyes. Pedestrians, still wearing short skirts, would stop at the windows and laugh at this sudden transformation.
In reality, these female mannequins—these inanimate women 30 —were the reporters of the changes that were transpiring in our lives. The mannequins and the alterations in their appearance became my passion during the very hard and lonely years of the revolution. I felt united with these dolls. The mannequins somehow accurately reflected the systematic aggression against our individual identities. I would talk to these dolls, and I duly wrote down what was happening in their lives. These notes gradually turned into the tale of a series of events that would define the nature, helplessness, and resistance of women under the stormlike attacks that were carried out against them.
Meanwhile, these leaders barred female judges from exercising their profession and repealed the Family Protection Act, which guaranteed women the freedom to work, travel, and divorce at will. This provoked anger and rebelliousness among women, even though, in those early years, not all Iranian women were united in the quest for regaining their rights.
Enforcing the Islamic veil as compulsory attire was the most significant step in a succession of laws against women in the first years of the revolution. Before this happened women dressed freely and, in Tehran and other major Iranian cities, many women even followed Western fashion. Both veiled and unveiled women enjoyed a peaceful life; both were respected for their beliefs.
The unveiled women were not socially restricted, and they were required to wear the veil only when entering mosques or other holy places. Young girls and women could appear with or without the veil in educational centers and workplaces. Thus it was this unwritten agreement—which was compatible with every principle of international human rights—that was broken in a historic moment.
It was a few years before we accepted it—and then we did so essentially out of fear. The female mannequins were the first group of unveiled women in Iran who were forced to wear the Islamic veil. And these mannequins slowly made us realize that the social and political history of our country was being turned on its head. The shadow of fear had already stolen the glow of hope from countless young girls and women. Accordingly, they needed to destroy that identity so that their rule would last for centuries to come.
Rumors spread rapidly. Such policies, many whispered, were preparing the nation for further repression against the opponents and critics of the Islamists. The war between Iran and Iraq broke out in Young boys were drafted and required to write their testaments before they left for the front. After their martyrdom, the authorities would publish these testaments—in nearly all of them, the martyrs had ordered women to observe the Islamic veil.
Their orders turned to slogans and were inscribed on the walls of cities. Signature: the martyr. The revolution and the war washed away all the gleeful colors of our lives. Mannequins grew bald, leaving their luscious hair behind in storage rooms. Women, in turn, hid their hair under the imposed Islamic veil. Mannequins had resisted for months before losing their free-flowing hair; for a while, they had even tried to content the martyrs by wearing small triangular headscarves.
But those small scarves were not enough. And as a result, the fundamentalists have now begun to dread the feminist explosion that is well on its way. Tradesmen, alarmed by the drastic repression, took action in accordance with the new Islamic orders. The rouge of their lipstick and their blush evaporated. Their eyes started to appear dead and hollow. A sense of fright nested in their gaze that bore little resemblance to the air of modesty and chastity the Islamic Republic wished to summon. It did not take long for these mannequins to adopt the role of leaders of the repressed women.
Ironically, as we morphed into Islamic-looking women, we obeyed a bunch of lifeless dolls. New values were being measured on their bodies first. The shop owners were constantly reducing and severing femininity, in keeping with orders. The sparkle of cheerfulness had fled their style. The enthusiasm for interacting with the opposite sex was waning among the people. Any attempts to look attractive brought about a sense of sinful dread and guilt.
It was the messenger of the repressive orders and reminded women of the lack of charm and bliss in their lives. On the surface, it was as though modernity had given in to religious tradition. Foreign observers flocked to Iran with journalist visas, exploring the religious centers of political power and the depressed atmosphere of the cities.
They were the reporters of the darkness and sorrow that weighed on the transformation of Iranian society. They introduced Iranian women to the world as masses of Islamic-looking shadows represented by the color black. And for fear of the regime, people never let these reporters into their private gatherings.
Thus for many years, the world remained unaware of the conflicting public and private mores in Iran. They believed that Iranians had detached themselves from music, dance, singing, happiness, and their individual identities. They had no idea what was going on behind closed doors. A fictitious image of Iranian women was introduced to foreign eyes. The authorities were claiming that the lips of women were aphrodisiac and their eyes stimulating.
The shop owners were confused and did not know what to do to save their businesses from the attacks of the regime. A diagonal surface replaced the necks of these beheaded dolls, on which the owners had now thrown long and dark scarves. Their spongy breasts were slashed from their bodies. The coils displayed the mutilated gender of the mannequins. These beheaded mannequins were left with only a round face made out of cardboard.
They had no eyes, no eyebrows, no noses, no mouths. The ideal woman for fundamentalists was a woman who did not have eyes to see, a tongue to speak, and legs to run away. Thus they once and for all obliterated every aspect of feminine identity and appearance: lush hair, groomed nails, coal-black eyes, suggestive glances, and scarlet lips. For many years, foreign journalists never knew that liberty, the pursuit of happiness, modernity, entertainment, and even interactions with the opposite sex existed under the cold and repressed surface of the cities.
It took two decades for the world to learn about the schizophrenic existence of the people of Iran, and especially about the resistance of Iranian women. The schizophrenic lifestyle in Iran then became world news. People in Tehran and other cities began to voluntarily invite foreign journalists to their private gatherings.
It surreptitiously grew strong. Women learned the secrets of defending their individual identities. They confounded the enforced values and created their own fashion out of the Islamic veil. Garments were cut shorter and their colors shifted to brighter tones. In , dark pink was high fashion in Iran. And the material of Islamic clothing is now more delicate than it ever was.
These changes have taken as long as twenty-six years to occur. To this day, Iranian women have continued to be severely harmed by the regime through sexual discrimination and violent punishments such as detainment, flogging, mutilation of hands and feet, and stoning to death. No matter—although only tacitly, feminism has now begun to define itself in the individual and social behavior of Iranian women in their everyday lives. So much so that Islamic fundamentalists have become quite helpless in bridling feministic tendencies and seem unable to restrict the feminist demands of their own wives, daughters, and sisters.
More than 60 percent of applicants currently admitted to universities are women. Today, both religious and nonreligious women are bent on regaining their individual identity and freedom. Those who adhere to the principle of a religious government are striving to unearth feminist concepts in Islamic texts. And those who are advocates of the separation of religion and state parade their feminine identity using Western symbols and social attitudes.
They also tirelessly fight to keep their lives private and out of sight of governmental agents. Overall, these two groups of women have inched closer to their ultimate goals throughout the years. They criticize the current situation and claim their rights. They express their dissatisfaction through individual and collective reactions to the regime, without much heeding its threats. The demand, in and of itself, was significant, demonstrating that Iranian women are willing to publicly tear apart the layer of religious tradition that oppresses them.
That house was a monument to his success. The son of a traveling fabric salesman had made good: left the village, educated himself, and settled in the heart of the capital. Our house was where all the extended family gathered for Passover every year. Our enemies were not in the least alike: the slaves had fought against Pharaoh, whereas we fought against dirt. Yet a feeling of urgency descended upon 3 Alley of the Distinguished. We armed ourselves, as modestly as our ancestors, with an arsenal of brooms, rags, mops, scrubs, and sprays. He camped in the corner of the courtyard, stripped our quilts and mattresses, and removed all the cotton inside.
Then, squatting among the loose cotton, he brought out a harplike tool. Those notes and the white cloud that surrounded him were all that we heard or saw of him till dusk. We brought down the curtains, dusted every rod, rolled every rug, and swept underneath everything. We stretched the corner of a rag over our index fingers, tracing along the sides of each drawer to its four corners and twirling our fingertips around a few times.
The merriment would come later, only when seriousness had been paid its due. For those three weeks, we attached biblical meaning to any tiny deviation from the ordinary routine of our household. In the holiday microcosm that formed in our kitchen, we spotted signs of the divine. The Red Sea flowed at the foot of our thawing refrigerator. Golden shafts of light, emanating from its open door, parted the gloomy fluorescence of the kitchen. The gas burner, which we wheeled out of storage, became our occasional burning bush. In a vat over it, we boiled water and dipped perfectly clean dishes to scald away any trace of the nonkosher for Passover foods, while our savior, our seasonal Moses, our yearround Job, Mother, with an outstretched arm, lamenting her migraine, led us in our epic battle against dirt.
Despite the chores, we enjoyed Passover more than any other holiday. Perhaps because it came at the heels of the Persian New Year and somehow felt part of the same festivity. Or perhaps because the family drama made the holiday feel like a theatrical production. At the Seder, like actors, we recited words that conjured no immediate bitter memories to the minds of anyone, save the few elders. This was the s. The family dreamed of the land of milk and honey but wished to wake up in Tehran. Business was booming, and my uncles, the entrepreneurs, did not want to be fettered by a history that seemed distant now.
They were, at long last, living in any neighborhood they chose, and the one remaining ghetto was far in the south of the city, a place where the poor of every race and creed had settled. Iran was at its most welcoming to Jews in its entire history. The median income had doubled over the past decade.
Largesse was very much in vogue. My Uncle Ardi, the most debonair among the relatives, vied for the check at restaurants, and though he was not alone in trying to grab it, he was often the one to reach into his wallet and quietly pay. The hosts of the upper Pahlavi Avenue restaurants wasted no time in clearing their best tables for him.
When he did not feel like driving, Uncle Ardi walked to the shops across from the University of Tehran. By nightfall, long after the secretary had gone home, the tune of the two telephones on his desk switched from daytime duets to solo serenades on his private line. Late into the evening, Uncle Ardi never stopped selling insurance. But what he insured after hours was happiness: a commodity he peddled exclusively at one of several cabarets—on Thursday nights only at Moulin Rouge. Uncle Ardi was the assimilated Jew. He was so assimilated, so certain of his prospects in Iran, that he even insured Muslims.
Six-cylinders: tomans! Guaranteed by Asia Insurance Co. What Uncle Ardi had really shed was fear; the fear of claiming his share of the good life like any other middle-class citizen. But he did not call it fear. Everything about him was Iranian, to begin with his name: Ardi, short for Ardeshir, the king of an ancient Persian empire. He was so settled that he dared to invest in vanity and buy depreciating goods, like a BMW. No other car would have matched his optimism, the exuberant claim he laid to Tehran.
Tehran and no other city. And never more confidently than in Everyone burst into laughter long before he began. This year we are slaves. May this slavery never end! This year here and next year at home in Israel. Pardon me for not packing! He was the unruly child Father loved well enough to punish. One man pressed. The other resisted. Neither relented. What was it, then, that drove us out of Iran? It terrified us, to be sure. But no acts followed the portentous presence on that wall—no rise in hostility among our neighbors or friends.
If it was meant to galvanize some latent anti-Semitic feeling among our locals, it failed to do so. Similarly, in , that perfectly Orwellian year, an order came for the washroom facilities in schools to be separated by religion. One morning, as my class filed through the schoolyard, we saw men posting signs above the toilets: Muslims Only. Above the last two stalls, another sign read: Non-Muslims Only.
Like the swastika, the signs worried us at first. But they, too, failed to be anything more than a couple of ugly signs. Everyone ignored them. So why did we leave? Not for the reasons our ancestors left biblical Egypt. Nor did we leave for the reasons Jews left modernday Iraq or Syria—severe persecution subsequent to the establishment of the state of Israel. We left Iran primarily because life under the new circumstances—war and a fundamentalist regime —was becoming gradually intolerable. We left for all the reasons that compelled anyone, whether Gentile or Jew, to leave.
Academic and professional opportunities were dwindling for those who did not subscribe to the new ruling ideology, and all the more so for women and members of religious minorities. Though there were no pogroms or overt persecution of Jews in the postrevolutionary era, life for the average non-Muslim proved increasingly stifling and restrictive under the Islamic regime. This is why Iran is still home to the largest community of Jews outside Israel in all of the Middle East. Jews arrived in Iran long before Islam came to exist.
And at the dawn of the twentyfirst century, nearly twenty thousand Jews continue to live in the country. To this day, the community sends its own representative to the Majles whatever a representative may be worth in a land where one man, the supreme leader, has the power to overrule any law or institution.gorocbafiri.gq/4940-se-busca.php
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There are synagogues and kosher butcher shops, even several Jewish schools throughout Tehran. Like every year since we left Iran, my family will sit at all future Seders here in America. Someone will make a bitter allusion to the past: Thank God we left unscathed! Everyone around the table will hasten to agree. All these words will be spoken in Persian.
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The series drew international attention as well as widespread criticism that Neshat was romanticizing Islamic fundamentalism. Neshat moved on to video installations showcasing allegorical narratives about gender issues in Islam. Her work has been exhibited around the world, and she is the recipient of many awards, including the First International Prize at the Venice Biennale in You are arguably the most famous Iranian visual artist in the world today. When did you actually leave Iran?
I first left Iran in to attend high school and then the University of California at Berkeley. In the beginning, I went back frequently, until the revolution took place. Then there was a gap of eleven years, from to , and from that point on, I went every other year. Why is that? Doubts about security, about going in and out because of my work. Have you come under attack by officials in Iran because of your work? In what way is your work controversial? People kept wondering, Iranians especially: What is her position? Is she for or against the revolution?
But, purposefully, I was not giving my point of view, and that disturbed many viewers.
My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices
These photographs showed veiled women holding guns, with prorevolutionary text inscribed on their bodies. These works were about my perception and understanding of the concept of martyrdom. They were neither pro- nor counterrevolutionary propaganda. They were a visual exploration of what it means ideologically, philosophically, and even aesthetically to be a Muslim woman, a militant, and a martyr. Especially considering that many of these women were doing it voluntarily. What initially drew you to the subject? I was mainly interested in the way violence can intersect with religion and spirituality, in the way devotion and the love of God cross paths with cruelty and crime and death.
This obsession with death, for me, was an incredible cultural phenomenon. I had no plan to show it; I was doing it for myself. My return to Iran in changed my life. And I was really frightened by this new country I discovered. Yet for some reason, within this anguish, I found a great purpose.
I found that there were many things about it that really drew me and charged me, intellectually and emotionally, and this finally lent me the impulse to make art again. What exactly triggered this change? What was going on in Iran: the turmoil, the energy, the angst.
UNCENSORED Iranian Voices
Did you feel that something had gone amiss about the image of Iran abroad, and that your images—your films, your photographs—might offer a more subtle focus to the world outside? I realized how profound this gap was between Iran and its perception abroad. But at the time, I could never have imagined that I would one day have a voice to express the acuteness of this gap, or even address these misrepresentations. What are some of the most salient misrepresentations that have disturbed you over the years? Westerners have this sense that Iranian women are submissive victims.
Perhaps those who are more oppressed tend to be more creative about speaking out. The men have it easier. And because women are under so much pressure, they end up being more innovative about dealing with crises and devising ways out. They become more subversive, in my mind. For example, in my black-and-white film Turbulent, when the woman sings, she knows she is not allowed to sing like the man, so she finds her own way and sings without an audience, and as a result, she performs music that is completely original and unorthodox.
Yes, with Fervor, I wanted to do one last piece about the question of gender. So I made this film, which brought together two protagonists: a man and a woman. They first see each other in a desert landscape and there is this friction, but they control it, and they each go their own way. Yet oddly, they come across one other again, in a completely distinct situation, at a massive Friday prayer in which men and women are separated, often by a curtain, while a mullah is addressing the audience. And again, they feel a friction.
But as they are going through this very subtle and unspoken flirtation, they find themselves confronted by the preacher, who is telling the story of Joseph and Zalikha; and I picked this story from the Koran, because in it, Zalikha is the one who seduces Joseph, and ultimately, she is blamed for her seduction and his falling into sin. In the film, the preacher uses the story to warn the audience never to be tempted by Satan.
After Fervor, you moved away from gender issues to delve into more allegorical notions, as in Tooba, which was shown at the Asia Society in — What was the inspiration behind Tooba? Just prior to September 11, I had become rather obsessed with the subject of paradise. I had already been thinking a lot about making a film about a garden. My father had a beautiful farm in Iran—a small farm—and I grew up in a garden.
Eventually, when my father died, this garden was taken away from my family, and it started to die. It was reduced from an oasis to a half-living, unproductive farm. So I had always had a dream of traveling back to Iran to make a film in that very place. But September 11 happened, and I think I lost all of my romanticism about going back to Iran. Yet this idea of the garden, and the notion of paradise, had infiltrated my mind. And right around September 11, I was asked by an international program to create a work, and I think they really expected me to create a film that dealt directly with the whole complex subject of Islam versus the West coming to a climax.
On the contrary, I felt like making a very lyrical piece that somehow, in my mind, still addressed these topics but on a philosophical level. This is how I became interested in the contemporary female novelist Shahrnush Parsipur, who often uses the image of a Tooba in her books, notably in Tooba and the Meaning of Night. So I felt that this garden I was trying to construct should also have a Tooba tree in the middle of it, because that was the one tree that would truly make it a paradise.
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