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By Afshin Molavi

The truths approximately Iran―quite assorted truths from models recommend through Washington, Tehran, and the media.

Afshin Molavi, a tender journalist and author born in Iran and informed within the West, traveled his native land for greater than a yr, encountering each side of Iranian society―students of the proper and left, bazaar retailers, Islamic clerics, pro-democracy reporters, Islamic hard-liners, reformist politicians, grumbling taxi drivers, city slum dwellers, partying little ones, village farmers, handicapped conflict veterans, and youngsters addicted to whatever western. All opened their hearts to him, talking candidly a couple of wide selection of concerns: unemployment, politics, freedom, faith, poetry, background, the net, the legacy of the Islamic revolution, the present pro-democracy circulation, Iran's family with the West, and masses extra. all through his conferences and travels, Molavi wove the story of approximately 3,000 years of Iranian background via pilgrimages to old and modern websites, shrines, and monuments, vividly explaining the relevance of Iran's previous to contemporary Iranian problem. The pilgrimages levels from the tomb of Cyrus the nice at the windswept plains of Pasargad to the luxurious rose gardens on the Shiraz shrine for the fourteenth-century poet Hafez, the golden domes of Ayatollah Khomeini's giant mausoleum in Tehran, a haunting warfare veterans' shrine for survivors of the devastating Iran-Iraq struggle close to the border of Iraq, and the eu embassy "visa pilgrimages" of school graduates annoyed by way of bleak activity customers and the social and political regulations at domestic. slicing during the legit rhetoric of the Islamic Republic, Molavi provides much-needed context to its political energy fight and demonstrates that the realities of modern Iran are way more complicated than if frequently understood within the West. via interviews with brave newshounds, scholars, and pro-democracy advocates who conflict an entrenched conservative ruling type unwilling to deal with renowned opinion and diverse conversations with regular Iranians annoyed via their deteriorating economic climate and the conservative stranglehold on energy, Molavi chronicles a land and a humans hungry for swap. Few books have penetrated the soul of Iran―both previous and present―as deeply as this unheard of document on one of many world's most crucial countries. Persian Pilgrimages is a trip to recollect. "A infrequent and significant paintings that examines Iranian society from a grassroots, human point whereas supplying a style of the grand sweep of Iranian background. i might hugely suggest this ebook to somebody drawn to modern Iran." ―R. okay. Ramazani, professor emeritus of politics, collage of Virginia. 12 pages of illustrations and map

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The renaming of the street to Mossadeq took place early in the revolution, when Khomeini supporters were engaged in a postrevolution power struggle with other revolutionaries—nationalists, Marxist guerrillas, Communists, and democrats. Mossadeq's defiance of the British in nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, his chest-thumping nationalism, his avowed pursuit of democracy, and his opposition to the Shah proved appealing, in varying degrees, to all of Iran's revolutionaries. Hence the street name.

After all, in one sense, Cyrus was an imperi­ alist and conquered peoples much like the British imperialists we grew up hating. But it was a tolerant imperialism/' Davoud continued. "By the stan38 PASAkfAD dards of his age, Cyrus was extremely progressive. That is what we should appreciate/' Cyrus's successor, his son Cambyses IT, contrasted sharply with his father An intolerant brute, he died shortly after gaining power, though not before losing some of the sympathy that Cyrus had built up among the conquered peoples- The next ruler, Darius, combined some of Cyrus's tolerant vision with an administrative and military genius unparalleled for his era.

The respect and freedom of belief accorded to the con­ quered peoples contributed immensely to the initial success of the enterprise. Shortly before his successful invasion of Babylon, Cyrus's troops won a decisive battle in the junction town of Sippor, on the Tigris River in modemday Iraq. In a 1963 biography of Cyrus the Great, the author Harold Lamb describes the scene that followed: Cyrus proclaimed to the villagers: "Come forth, collect your herds, draw water for the animals, and give your families to eat.

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