Iran Awakening


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Fascinating autobiography by the first Muslim woman, and the first Iranian, to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

About the Author

Born in 1947, Shirin Ebadi lives in Tehran where she trained in law, obtained a doctorate from Tehran University and served as a judge from March 1969 - the first woman to ever do so in Iran. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979 she, and other female judges, were dismissed from their posts and given clerical duties (in Ebadi's case, in the very court she had presided over). She resigned in protest and was, in effect, housebound for many years until finally, in 1992, she succeeded in obtaining a lawyer's license and setting up her own practice. Since then she has represented various high-profile cases including the families of political victims, journalists in relation to freedom of expression, child custody cases and others. The recipient of many prizes and accolades, she has also written many books and articles and lectured on human rights all over the world.


Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was part of the most liberated generation in Iran. She and a small cohort of other women students wore miniskirts and moved about freely. Ebadi became the first woman judge in Iran, only to be forced out after the 1979 revolution. In her simply narrated memoir, she describes how she loyally remained in Iran as many members of the elite fled and how her experiences motivated her to struggle harder for justice and civil rights, a struggle that even extended to a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which had issued regulations making it impossible for this memoir (the product of an embargoed country) to be published. Despite her distinguished career and admirable courage, Ebadi has written a sketchy, somehow colorless story. Few of the people in it come to life, and at times she skims too lightly over complex issues or resorts to clich?s. Nonetheless, for the significant role Ebadi has played in Iran's recent history, this book belongs in larger public libraries and most general academic collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/06.]-Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ. Lib., Ypsilanti Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Human rights activist and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, Ebadi courageously recounts her life in Iran in this memoir, publishable here only after she brought the U.S. government to court to challenge the Treasury Department's sanctions policy. Collaborating with Moaveni (Lipstick Jihad), Ebadi guides readers through the turbulent recent history of her country. A young judge and pro-revolution activist under the repressive government of the shah, Ebadi says of the Iranian revolution, "We felt as if we had reclaimed a dignity that, until recently, many of us had not even realized we had lost." Her hopes were quickly dashed as it became clear that the Islamic Republic was more concerned with her lack of a headscarf than with her legal reasoning abilities, and she uses the bulk of her book to explain her decision to remain in Iran and brave the challenges faced by independent-minded citizens of a theocracy. Ebadi provides a revealing glimpse into a deeply insular society. She is at her best when discussing the hapless reform movement led by former president Khatami: for instance, though over a dozen moderate women were elected to the national assembly in 2000, they lacked the power to have the women's conference room furnished with chairs. (May 2) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Ebadi's inspiring memoir offers a first-hand look at her remarkable life * The Times *
Riveting * Sunday Times *
One of the most remarkable resistance heroines of our dangerous times * Telegraph *
The riveting story of an amazing and very brave woman living through some quite turbulent times. And she emerges with head unbowed * Archbishop Desmond Tutu *
One of the staunchest advocates for human rights in her country and beyond, Ms Ebadi, herself a devout Muslim, represents hope for many in Muslim societies that Islam and democracy are indeed compatible * Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran *

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