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The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of…
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The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran (original: 2008; edição: 2008)

de Hooman Majd (Autor)

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3841951,814 (3.8)17
The son of an Iranian diplomat and the grandson of an ayatollah grew up in exile, yet he also remained closely attached to his homeland. Majd's reports on his travels throughout Iran try to explain the economic, political, and social forces that lie at its heart, and to show the paradoxes of the Iranian character that have baffled Americans.… (mais)
Membro:CydMelcher
Título:The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran
Autores:Hooman Majd (Autor)
Informação:Anchor (2008), Edition: 1, 322 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

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The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran de Hooman Majd (2008)

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Iran, a land of contradictions and gross misunderstanding. Madj shares historical facts and personal reflections revealing a side of Iran and Iranians few westerners get to see. Does he want to clear up misconceptions? He understands there is a widespread lack of thoughtful acceptance of middle eastern culture. The United States especially is not on solid ground with their relationship is an understatement. The two sides are polarizing when there is so much more to understand. How can westerners reconcile dead camels on display, their throats slit for religious sacrifice? Other illogical points to consider: Birth records in Iran were instituted in 1930. Also, the chador was illegal for women to wear in the 1930s. Interestingly enough, the Shah was persuaded not to enforce this law until it was finally changed in 1941. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 promised to do away with class. Even the employees of the President dress the same as the man who poured their tea. In contrast, Madj says "When American...politicians may often come from ordinary backgrounds their lifestyles usually change dramatically when they have reached the pinnacle of power, they are long removed from their more humble roots" (p 17). This doesn't happen in Iran.
Madj sits comfortably in a dual cultural identity, western (educated in both England and the United States) and middle eastern as the son of an Iranian diplomat and the grandson of a professor of Islamic philosophy. It's as if he wants us to understand him as much as he wants to explain Iranian culture. Take the practice of ta'arouf, for example. He recognizes that it is an exhausting and sometime ridiculous practice similar to an over-polite chess match. Or customary gestures of hello: in the United States you thrust out your right hand to grasp someone else's right hand (and shake vigorously), but in Iran you instead place your right hand over your heart as a gesture of respect. It's the little things... ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 15, 2019 |
Provides a refreshing view of Iran, totally different from that portrayed in mainstream media and the Iran we think we know. As the title suggests, Hooman Majd seeks to portray an Iran divided by class and hence, support of its President but united in the unfailing belief in its right, which explains why it is standing up to the U.S. ( )
  siok | Jul 26, 2017 |
“The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran” (2008), by American-Iranian Hooman Majd is another of those books that provide an interesting view on Iran, albeit different from Mr. de Bellaigue’s. Mr Majd is very well connected, son of a diplomat and related to one of the ruling ayatollahs, and has had access to the highest levels of government and religious authority in Iran – something that he re-emphasises a tat too often, but alas. He sketches an Iran where people enjoy plenty of freedom, as long as it is in private (and describes a tat too often all the opium dens and the booze parties he has attended, but alas), and where most people are not at all interested in political issues, but only in better economic prospects and somewhat freer social contact. In his view (and, admittedly, in the view of many others) the Islamic Revolution was a good thing, it freed Iran from an ineffective monarchy, but more importantly, from being a puppet to Western interests. Now Iran holds its own place in the world, is a country to be reckoned with, and that is really what counts to the proud Iranians. And the west should really understand that, is his message. Which is probably right, although I cannot verify all of Mr Majd’s claims, cannot judge all of his monologues.

There are many items that are grossed over in this book, many all to obvious questions that are not being addressed, but I guess every book on such a complex item as the Iranian psyche and their place in the world will have its omissions, inevitably. Having said that, this is a very interesting book, definitely worth reading to gain the views of Iranians, if not all of them then at least quite a few, and probably those who matter for the foreseeable future. ( )
  theonearmedcrab | Nov 15, 2016 |
The short stories by Hooman Majd provided me a look inside the borders of Iran. Always interesting, with entertaining humor; his view from both Western and Middle Eastern sides led me to believe his words. Smoking opium, parties with foreigners, and meetings with government figures held my attention. I thought his explanation of ta’arouf to be the most valuable message . ( )
  Michael.Bradham | Sep 29, 2013 |
intrygujących i zagadkowych państw świata. Zapierająca dech w piersiach opowieść o nieznanych aspektach irańskiej tradycji i współczesności. Na czym polegał fenomen irańskiej rewolucji i dlaczego Irańczycy zbuntowali się przeciw zachodniemu stylowi życia? Skąd wziął się Ahmadineżad? Po co Iranowi broń jądrowa i jakie były kulisy konferencji negującej Holokaust? Czy kobiety w Iranie mogą prowadzić taksówki i jak radzą sobie z męską dominacją? O co chodzi z perskimi kotami? Jak palić opium z sąsiadami, nie tracąc przy tym poczucia rzeczywistości?

Te i inne tajniki irańskiej kultury i polityki ujawnia w swej książce Hooman Majd, syn irańskiego ambasadora w Stanach Zjednoczonych, wnuk jednego z ważnych irańskich ajatollahów. Jako Irańczyk może dotrzeć do miejsc niedostępnych dla turystów i zachodnich reporterów. Jako człowiek wykształcony na Zachodzie wie, jak opisać swój kraj, by stał się on bardziej zrozumiały dla ludzi z zewnątrz. Robi to z pasją, ale też z dystansem i szalonym poczuciem humoru, które sprawiają, że książkę czyta się jednym tchem. To jeden z najbardziej odkrywczych i przełamujących stereotypy reportaży, jakie powstały w ciągu ostatnich lat.
  pachut | Dec 15, 2011 |
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The son of an Iranian diplomat and the grandson of an ayatollah grew up in exile, yet he also remained closely attached to his homeland. Majd's reports on his travels throughout Iran try to explain the economic, political, and social forces that lie at its heart, and to show the paradoxes of the Iranian character that have baffled Americans.

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955.061 — History and Geography Asia Iran

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