Women in Iran - Vol. 1

Women in Iran - Vol. 1

Women in Iran - Vol. 1

Women in Iran - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This study focuses on Islamic and secular feminisms and gender relations in Iran in daily life, Islamic reformist politics, and secular opposition.

Excerpt

The joy of a raindrop
and the sorrow of it in a swamp.

This is how I read Esmail Khoi's “Sketch 1” to reflect upon the Iranian revolution of 1979. Or maybe it should be read as it appears in a translated anthology of his poems: “… and its sorrow in a swamp” (Khoi 1995: 42)? The translation is, of course, more loyal in its rendition of Khoi's poem, written in 1961, though I believe both versions accurately reflect the experience of many whose lives have been shaped by the historical events of the late seventies in Iran. The first version is from the perspective of an onlooker, joyously watching the life-giving raindrop, only to abruptly recognize its horrid fall into the abyss. The second narrates the same journey, but from the viewpoint of the raindrop itself. Watching the raindrop with exultation and sadly realizing its demise, or being the raindrop, happily dancing toward the earth, only to find oneself swallowed by the swamp: the difference—if in fact any—is minimal. Both are recurring metaphors in reflections upon the 1979 revolution in Iran.

I remember a celebration of the Iranian New Year (Nourouz, the first day of spring) in the early eighties, organized by Iranian student opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in the United States. Student organizations that supported various Iranian political groups had set up literature tables, displaying books, newspapers, pamphlets, and photos published overtly or covertly in Iran. Browsing through the literature, a reprint of a . . .

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