By Nazila Fathi
In The Lonely War, Fathi interweaves her tale with that of the rustic she left at the back of, displaying how Iran is locked in a conflict among hardliners and reformers that dates again to the country’s 1979 revolution. Fathi used to be 9 years previous whilst that rebellion changed the Iranian shah with a thorough Islamic regime. Her father, an authentic at a central authority ministry, used to be fired for donning a necktie and figuring out English; to help his kinfolk he was once pressured to exertions in an orchard hundreds of thousands of miles from Tehran. while, the family’s destitute, uneducated housekeeper used to be capable of retire and buy a latest apartment—all simply because her family members supported the recent regime.
As Fathi indicates, adjustments like those triggered a long time of inequality—especially for the terrible and for women—to vanish in a single day. but a brand new breed of tyranny took its position, as she came across while she all started her journalistic profession. Fathi speedy faced the higher limits of chance for ladies within the new Iran and earned the enmity of the country’s ruthless intelligence carrier. yet whereas she and plenty of different Iranians have fled for the security of the West, thousands in their middleclass countrymen—many of them a similar humans whom the regime as soon as lifted out of poverty—continue pushing for extra own freedoms and a renewed courting with the skin world.
Drawing on over 20 years of reporting and large interviews with either usual Iranians and high-level officers prior to and because her departure, Fathi describes Iran’s awakening along her personal, revealing how moderates are progressively retaking the country.
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Extra resources for The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran
We ﬁnished our lunch, chelo kabab, rice with kabab, and stepped out to trap a taxi—but the traﬃc at the major Valiasr road had thoroughly stopped. humans had became oﬀ their engines and poured out from their autos, lots of that have been decked in Iranian ﬂags. We walked up the road, looking at the spectacle. Drivers have been honking their horns in party, and other people have been making a song and dancing within the street—some of them, even, at the roofs in their autos. Bus roofs had changed into Reform 161 makeshift phases teeming with women and men who ﬂung their hands over their heads and sang with pleasure. ladies took oﬀ their headscarves and waved them within the air, defying the long-standing ban on displaying their hair. different ideas fast glided by the wayside, besides, together with the ban on alcohol intake via Muslim voters. One guy emerged from his condo in his white sleeveless undershirt wearing a gallon of vodka and paper cups. For ﬁve hours, the experts misplaced keep an eye on of the capital. I observed a number of younger males throwing a police oﬃcer within the air, the fellow evidently inebriated with pleasure as he was once hoisted aloft over and over. within sight, a tender guy stood atop a police automobile, waving the Iranian ﬂag. Farther down, in Valiasr sq., a wide crowd surrounded numerous younger bearded males, clapping and chanting in a singsong tone, “Basij needs to dance! Basij needs to dance! ” Newspapers said that the revelry was once repeated all around the kingdom. The traﬃc by no means moved that afternoon, and that i couldn't move domestic. I stayed out on Valiasr road, staring at the outburst of power, after which walked to my father’s domestic, which was once locally, and waited till the traﬃc started to disperse within the night and Babak may well come and choose me up. however the celebrations—and the transgressions that ﬂowed out of them—weren’t over. every week later, hundreds of thousands of girls broke via a police barricade to go into Azadi stadium and welcome the football staff again to Iran—thereby defying one other ban that had barred ladies from going to stadiums because the revolution. I went within with the throngs of girls and watched whereas they cheered and screamed because the football avid gamers entered the ﬁeld. The gamers again domestic as heroes, and never simply because that they had made it into the realm Cup. Their victory—along with Khatami’s election—had made Iranians suppose that they have been once more part of the foreign group, and had imbued many Iranians with a feeling of nationwide delight that they by no means suggestion they might believe back. in a single day, football grew to become a powerful political automobile, not only since it uniﬁed Iranians but additionally since it justiﬁed many demonstrations of private freedom that might were swiftly quashed lower than common conditions. 162 The Lonely conflict The sheer measurement of the outpouring used to be most probably all that avoided the govt. from cracking down on those infractions and restoring order. The celebrations have been huge, regarding a few 60 percentage of the inhabitants below the age of thirty. abruptly, the entire nation’s football fans—many of whom had formerly had not anything else in universal— had changed into a strength for swap.