Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Coming to live here made me realize just how ignorant I was of Middle Eastern history and culture. So it was no real shock to me when I was blindsided by yet another similar realization. Iran. I’m not sure what others think of Iran. It has sort of come into the limelight recently as they develop their nuclear technology and it freaks the West out, but what do we really know about the country? I knew I had little information about the country, much of it derived from a single movie (Not Without My Daughter… if you haven’t seen it, do.).

Marcia sent me an autobiographical graphic novel called Persepolis. It was written by an Iranian woman about her childhood growing up during The Iranian Revolution (war) and what it was like to flee the country and battle with being a third-worlder in a European country. The author, Marjane Satrapi, took a fascinating look at her life and decided to tell it in a very interesting and easy-to-read way. From how her parents fought back as civil liberties were taken away (veils became required and a strict “moral” code was enforced… with severe consequences) to how at 14 she fled to Vienna alone to escape the war, and how trying it is to grow up alone.

Marjane Satrapi, self portrait

It is really neat to get an inside look into any type of life that usually only those inside understand (Muslims, for example) and that we, as Americans, otherwise wouldn’t know. Marjane talks about the fundamental differences between “Arabs” and “Persians”… they don’t even speak Arabic. I didn’t know that. I thought most of the Middle East primarily spoke Arabic. Anyway, it was just yet another good read. If you have the time, you might as well pick it up and learn something new.

Persepolis has also recently been made into an animated movie, so you could see that instead, heh. :)

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