The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

By Hooman Majd

A Los Angeles Times and Economist most sensible publication of the YearWith a brand new PrefaceThe grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, journalist Hooman Majd is uniquely certified to give an explanation for modern Iran's complicated and misunderstood tradition to Western readers.The Ayatollah Begs to Differ offers an intimate examine a paradoxical kingdom that's either deeply spiritual and hugely cosmopolitan, authoritarian but proficient through a historical past of democratic and reformist traditions. Majd deals an insightful travel of Iranian tradition, introducing interesting characters from all walks of existence, together with zealous executive officers, tricky woman cab drivers, and open-minded, reformist ayatollahs. it is an Iran that would shock readers and problem Western stereotypes.In his new preface, Majd discusses the Iranian temper in the course of and after the June 2009 presidential election which trigger the biggest road protests because the revolution that introduced the ayatollahs to energy.

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I walked out to work out my pal sitting on a chair within the ready room. "Did you already' provide blood? " I requested. "No;' he answered. "I was once rejected. and also you? " -- -; ' Me too, for having had intercourse below a yr in the past. i'm going to let you know, that was once embarrassingl" "Same right here. I must have lied, however the lady stuck me off guard:' We left the construction with our heads decreased, as though others gazing, fairly the ladies, might imagine us sexual deviants, and swiftly jumped right into a cab and headed domestic. the following used to be the Islamic Republic in all its excellent contradictions, i presumed, as we made our method via heavy site visitors in silence.

You swear on it; i do know you are mendacity: The Holo­ caust convention was once a tutorial affair, seeking to locate solutions to unanswered questions. The West insists-no, swears-it occurred, so we needed to work out what shall we discover:' " yet why could you invite somebody like David Duke;' I requested, "who has no credibility whatever and is a recognized racist and anti-Semite? " " Listen;' he s relief, smiling back, "we got a resume and request to wait from Kiev, Ukraine, from Mr. Duke, and after he arrived in Tehran, there has been al this fuss-I imagine it used to be CBS information that all started it-and he in my opinion got here right here and informed me that it was once al Zionist lies and propaganda:' 101 T H E AYAT O L L A H B E G S T O D I F F E R "With al due respect;' I stated, "David Duke is particularly famous within the usa, not less than to someone over a definite age.

Do you're keen on Imam Hossein? Why? " requested the reporter. the woman did not hesitate. "Because he died thirsty! " she exclaimed, as though chatting with an fool. (Legend has it that Yazid, Hossein's nemesis within the conflict for con­ trol of the caliphate, bring to a halt Hossein's males from water offers at Kar­ bala ahead of the ultimate conflict and the boys died scuffling with, yet by no means quenching their thirst. ) one other requested an older guy at the streets of Tehran what he considered Hossein. "For fourteen hundred years we have now been mourning Imam Hossein;' he spoke back.

The dock within the room used to be an hour be­ hind mine. it's, I realized there, an indication of piety in Qom to reject day­ mild discount rates time. If the Ayatollahs say it really is 1 1 :00 a. m. , it really is 1 1 :00 a. m. , for of their international in basic terms God has the facility to alter time, and through the grace of Allah, i used to be an hour early for my appointment. An hour later the room begun bustling with job, males scurrying approximately, my tea glass refilled after virtually each sip. The Ayatollah's nephew Javad Ab­ utorabian, whom i would been chatting with, unexpectedly rose and ushered me in for my viewers.

Should you pass in the following, you cannot come out:' "Hotel California," back. I walked back off the road and stepped into the nook construction. "Mr. Javanfekr;' I acknowledged to the safeguard. "I have an appointment, and he is left my identify on the door:' "What's his quantity? " he answered this time, forgetting that he'd despatched me on an extended detour from which i could now not have lower back had I now not requested the place i used to be going. I gave the shield the extension, and he dialed - ave a seat. " . "It's busy. H It. I sat down on one among 3 chairs and checked out my watch.

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