By Afshin Molavi
The truths approximately Iran―quite diversified truths from models recommend through Washington, Tehran, and the media.
Afshin Molavi, a tender journalist and author born in Iran and proficient within the West, traveled his fatherland for greater than a yr, encountering each side of Iranian society―students of definitely the right and left, bazaar retailers, Islamic clerics, pro-democracy newshounds, Islamic hard-liners, reformist politicians, grumbling taxi drivers, city slum dwellers, partying youngsters, village farmers, handicapped conflict veterans, and children addicted to whatever western. All opened their hearts to him, talking candidly a few wide variety of matters: unemployment, politics, freedom, faith, poetry, background, the web, the legacy of the Islamic revolution, the present pro-democracy circulation, Iran's family with the West, and masses extra. all through his conferences and travels, Molavi wove the story of approximately 3,000 years of Iranian historical past via pilgrimages to historical and modern websites, shrines, and monuments, vividly explaining the relevance of Iran's prior to modern day Iranian situation. The pilgrimages levels from the tomb of Cyrus the nice at the windswept plains of Pasargad to the luxurious rose gardens on the Shiraz shrine for the fourteenth-century poet Hafez, the golden domes of Ayatollah Khomeini's sizeable mausoleum in Tehran, a haunting struggle veterans' shrine for survivors of the devastating Iran-Iraq conflict close to the border of Iraq, and the eu embassy "visa pilgrimages" of school graduates pissed off by way of bleak task customers and the social and political regulations at domestic. slicing in the course of the legitimate rhetoric of the Islamic Republic, Molavi provides much-needed context to its political strength fight and demonstrates that the realities of latest Iran are way more complicated than if frequently understood within the West. via interviews with brave newshounds, scholars, and pro-democracy advocates who conflict an entrenched conservative ruling classification unwilling to house well known opinion and diverse conversations with usual Iranians annoyed via their deteriorating economic climate and the conservative stranglehold on strength, Molavi chronicles a land and a humans hungry for swap. Few books have penetrated the soul of Iran―both earlier and present―as deeply as this unprecedented file on one of many world's most crucial international locations. Persian Pilgrimages is a trip to recollect. "A infrequent and significant paintings that examines Iranian society from a grassroots, human point whereas supplying a style of the grand sweep of Iranian historical past. i might hugely suggest this booklet to a person drawn to modern Iran." ―R. ok. Ramazani, professor emeritus of politics, college of Virginia. 12 pages of illustrations and map
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Extra resources for Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran
Still, few will doubt his importance as an epochal figure in Iranian history. Indeed, a pow erful argument can be made that Cyrus's policies of tolerance, whether moti vated by purity or not, proved to be critical to the foundation of the Persian Empire and set a standard that Iranian kings sought, often unsuccessfully, to emulate. Cyrus was, indubitably, a trailblazer who could arguably be seen as one of the ancient world's most important leaders. As we drove toward the Cyrus tomb on a two-lane highway flanked by dirt-colored emptiness, Davoud told me that he had once bought a replica of the Cyrus Cylinder.
Such words radically departed from the kingly norm of Cyrus's era, which celebrated the death and destruction of the conquered city in declarations intended to inspire fear. Even if Cyrus exaggerated the peaceful nature of his invasion, the feet that he promoted tolerance came as something new. Con sider the declaration of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal, the previous ruler of Babylonia, written just one hundred years earlier: "I conquered in a single attack the city of Ginabou. . 1 decapitated six hundred enemy soldiers on the spot and burned alive three thousand prisoners.
With such a tormented history of foreign meddling, it is not surprising that the names of British consuls, American journalists, Russian soldiers, and high Indian offi cials of the British Raj are etched in stone at Persepolis. Ancient History and Green Cards T he crumbling stones and towering columns of the palace turned yelloworange as the sun washed the plain. I walked amid the stone cuttings on the walls, of Persian soldiers doing battle with muscular lions, of pro- cessions of somber dignitaries waiting to see the king, of blank-eyed digni taries in flowing robes, and of men in long beards, the beards a series of stone-cut circles like bunches of grapes.