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Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to…
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Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country (edition 2007)

by Shirin Ebadi (Author), Azadeh Moaveni (Author)

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4851339,641 (4.04)30
During her career as a lawyer, writer, and dissident, Shirin Ebadi has spoken out for her native Iran. As a human rights advocate and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, she has given Iran reason to hope for a better future. Ebadi provides an account of a woman standing at the crossroads of history. A lawyer who defends women and children in politically charged cases, she serves as a rebellious voice in a land where such voices are brutally silenced. Ebadi, a committed Muslim, speaks eloquently about the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A devoted daughter, wife and mother, she has braved imprisonment, harassment, assassination attempts and her family's humiliation, for the dream of a better Iran.… (more)
Member:NatWalk
Title:Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country
Authors:Shirin Ebadi (Author)
Other authors:Azadeh Moaveni (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2007), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages
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Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi

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» See also 30 mentions

English (12)  Danish (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I have recently returned from a trip to Iran and saw very much that was good, so was interested to read this. I hoped it would give a very different side to the story and give a good idea of what the Iranians have to go through to get where they are today. I was not disappointed. The book is clear and easy to read, always a plus point with subjects like this. Shirin Ebadi is clearly a courageous woman, twho has given up a great deal for what she believes in, and I was totally absorbed by her story. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
This wonderful little book tells the story of an educated woman of Iran who participated in the Islamic Revolution and rose her voice to criticize it in terms of gender equality and other democratic issues, while remaining utterly faithful to her religion and to her country. She won the noble prize, as she see's it for her "one refrain: an interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy is an authentic expression of faith" (p. 204). ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
What a great personal insight into the internal life of a woman in Iran, from pre-revolution to 2004. Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize for a lifetime of fearless advocacy in jurisprudence and feminism. I have already bought Until We Are Free, her 'sequel' published in 2016 (and she has authored other books as well). ( )
  MikeLogan1971 | Jun 22, 2020 |
iran, politics, middle east ( )
  djudju | Nov 30, 2012 |
Every once in a while I read a book that not only personalizes a human rights issue, but does so in a way that inspires without candy-coating the situation. The first book I think of in this category is [I Shall Not Hate] by Izzeldin Abuelaish, who wrote about the Gaza Strip and some of the atrocities there, but also about the hope he sees for the future. Iran Awakening is another such book. Shirin Ebadi is a long-time human rights lawyer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. Her life has been a constant struggle as an Iranian woman to be educated, to become a female jurist, and to practice her profession with dignity despite the many obstacles in her way. When women are forbidden from being judges, she doesn't let that stop her, and becomes a renowned human right lawyer defending women and children from the vagaries and abuse of the government's system, often working pro bono. Learning there is a fatwa out for her assassination doesn't stop her. Imprisonment doesn't stop her. Disappointment doesn't stop her. She is single-minded in her demand for a better Iran, one which is ruled by law, not whims.

Although the story of her public life alone is enough to open eyes and inspire, I found the juxtaposition of her public and private lives to be the most complex and culturally interesting part of the book. For at home, Ms. Ebadi is a traditional wife and mother. Her faith is very strong and often helps her in her work, as she is able to quote religious passage back to imams who seek to create law based on very narrow interpretations of Islam. In addition, she sees herself as a woman devoted to her family, and in her context, that means cooking and freezing meals for her family so that they will eat well while she is in prison. She is devoted to her children and takes their upbringing seriously, while at the same time knowingly exposes them to danger through her work. She doesn't see a contradiction in these things. In her words:

In the last twenty-three years, from the day I was stripped of my judgeship to the years doing battle in the revolutionary courts of Tehran, I had repeated one refrain: an interpretation of Islam that is in harmony with equality and democracy is an authentic expression of faith. It is not religion that binds women, but the selective dictates of those who wish them cloistered. That belief, along with the conviction that change in Iran must come peacefully and from within, has underpinned my work.

I would highly recommend this book. It's a bit dated now, having been published in 2006, and I wish a new edition would be published, with updates. The message is important for those of us in the West to hear, and her life is an inspiring example of how to effect change in a complex political climate. The book is written with the assistance of Azadeh Moaveni, who went on to write her own very engrossing memoirs of her life as a young person in Iran: [Lipstick Jihad] and [Honeymoon in Tehran], two books which I would also recommend. My one fault with Iran Awakening is that the transitions between voices can occasionally be jarring. Some parts I assume Moaveni wrote (about politics and Iranian history, which are her forte) and other parts are clearly in Ms. Ebadi's voice (personal statements of belief and how she has chosen to live her life). Sometimes the transitions are seamless, sometimes not. But that is a minor quibble, and I would still encourage everyone to read this book. ( )
7 vote labfs39 | Sep 6, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shirin Ebadiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moaveni, Azadehmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Sadness to me is the happiest time,
When a shining city rises from the ruins of my drunken mind.
Those times when I'm silent and still as the earth,
The thunder of my roar is heard across the universe. (Mowlana Jalaleddin Rumi)

I swear by the declining day, that perdition shall be the lot of man. Except for those who have faith and do good works and exhort each other to justice and fortitude.
(The Holy Koran 103:3)
Dedication
In memory of my mother and my older sister, Mina, both of whom passed away during the writing of this book.
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In the fall of 2000, nearly a decade after I began my legal practice defending victims of violence in the courts of Iran, I faced the ten most harrowing days of my entire career.
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During her career as a lawyer, writer, and dissident, Shirin Ebadi has spoken out for her native Iran. As a human rights advocate and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, she has given Iran reason to hope for a better future. Ebadi provides an account of a woman standing at the crossroads of history. A lawyer who defends women and children in politically charged cases, she serves as a rebellious voice in a land where such voices are brutally silenced. Ebadi, a committed Muslim, speaks eloquently about the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A devoted daughter, wife and mother, she has braved imprisonment, harassment, assassination attempts and her family's humiliation, for the dream of a better Iran.

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