Life in Iran, Where Freedom Is Deferred

From The New York Times:

Azadeh-Moaveni-190 In her compelling 2005 book, “Lipstick Jihad,” the journalist Azadeh Moaveni chronicled the underground youth culture in Tehran at the turn of the millennium, writing about teenagers who embraced an “as if lifestyle,” acting as if their country were not under the control of hard-line mullahs, as if they were allowed to hold hands on the street, blast rock ’n’ roll at parties, read censored books, speak their minds, challenge authority, wear too much lipstick. Ms. Moaveni argued that grass-roots changes in Iran — from the spread of illegal satellite dishes and illegal video dealers to the popularity of blogging — would eventually alter the trajectory of that country’s history, while the demographic ascendance of a younger generation would transform the nation from below.

Ms. Moaveni’s new book, “Honeymoon in Tehran,” which describes the fallout that the 2005 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have on Iran, paints a far less optimistic portrait of the country. It depicts the author’s own struggles to make a home for herself in Tehran — where she fell in love, married an Iranian and gave birth to a boy — and her realization that she could no longer pursue a career as a journalist and raise a family there. It is a book that uses the author’s own experiences as a prism by which to view political developments in Tehran, a book that leaves the reader with an indelible portrait of the author’s family and a highly personal picture of Iran’s social and political evolution.

More here.