I have a couple of cousins who I’m not in touch with. I think I communicate really well in English, sometimes better than Farsi.
I cut my communication with them a very long time ago because I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble. If they were going after anyone, wouldn’t it make sense to go after me? But most of my Iranian writer friends don’t have that luxury.
Again, it is an exploration of my own issues, of my own desires, of my own wants.
I personally believe that is the most honest form of writing.
released its fourth installment of The Freedom Chat, which shares the voices and stories of journalists from around the world through video chats. When I started writing I was only 14 years old, and I was responding to this desperate need in Iran after the revolution. My generation was the generation of the revolution. Can you talk about coming of age during the Iranian Cultural Revolution?
Our video featured Iranian writer Marina Nemat who, in 1982, was imprisoned for criticizing the Iranian Revolution. We had this very passionate belief that you could make Iran a better place, and this couldn’t be done by accepting the status quo that was being forced down our throats. The crackdown on activists and students began to intensify in the spring of 1981, when the new political system was trying to establish itself.
For example, women show their protest by not wearing the proper hijab, by wearing some make-up.
There is some “cosmetic freedom,” but at the same time, when you get to the serious stuff, like criticizing the government, questioning the role of the chosen leader, or questioning the election process, people can be put away for a very long time and, in many cases, are never heard from again. She was a 19 year-old revolutionary guard who wasn’t qualified to teach. Then when I came to Canada, one of the first things that happened was I was invited to a book club.
They will surely be joining the next anti-Israeli demonstrations organised by their ruling regime. Make sure Fox News unleashes its stellar yellow journalism on the uprising, depicting Iran as the next Promised Land Donald Trump is going to give to Christian Zionists. Increase the State Department fund the US allocated for regime change in Iran and accelerate the generous distribution of these funds among expatriate Iranian journalists, unemployed academics, and silly comedians.You will see how Iranians protesting in their streets break into their favourite national dance to the tune of "Baba Karam" and forget about any revolutionary aspirations.4.Have Kasra Naji of the BBC's Persian service show up on the BBC World News and offer his juvenile delinquent prose and politics as analysis of what is happening in Iran.I read his latest book, , in English because there is no Persian version because it’s been banned in Iran. If you were to take away my arm I would probably be better and happier than if you told me I cannot write. If for some reason I couldn’t write, it’d be like somebody took away my soul. It takes some balancing to find the time to write, but when my time is my time, I write even when it’s difficult.George Simenon said, “Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.” Considering the circumstances in which you started writing, what do you think about that? Writing is not a profession; it doesn’t pay the bills. You can probably take both my arms because I can still type with a voice recognition software. If you took that out of my day, all that would be left would be a corpse.If someone in Iran has a problem with me, I don’t think they will go after my distant cousins. I mean they come here, their language is Farsi, so they write in Farsi, but because of this their publicity is very limited. I translated my first book into Farsi and put it online for Iranian readers to download. When it comes to writing I’m extremely self-centered. It wasn’t until later on in the editing process that I considered that most of my readers might be Westerners.I don’t charge money for it, but I want it to be out there. My need to write comes from having this trauma trapped in my chest that I needed to get out. I had to go into more detail to give some background, but that was a much later thing that came in after my writing.In 1991, she and her family immigrated to Canada, where she has published two nonfiction books about her life: intern Raina Bradford-Jennings. If you weren’t writing, you were protesting or having discussions. It was very strange, especially for students, and at the time I was in high school.During that time no form of dissidence would be tolerated.Women’s rights were being taken away, personal rights were being taken away. But after the revolution, our principal stood at the door every morning and if you had even a little lip gloss on, she would wash your face in a bucket of dirty water.There was a new school dress code: we had to completely cover our hair and body. They were intolerant toward everything, not just towards political outspokenness. We couldn’t dress how we wanted, say what we wanted, or even think what we wanted. I’ve talked to people in Iran now, and things are only slightly more relaxed.