The Revolution of Iran ’79, despite not having a clear political intent, was regarded with suspicion by the Iranian cultural police from its inception. It was not until 2014, the eleventh post-revolution administration, that Maryam Zandi’s book was allowed to be printed.
The Iranian revolution of 1979 – under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini – was a utopian attempt to change the nature of politics, ethics and human behaviour. Khomeini, seeking to uphold spiritualism in an age overwhelmed by secularism, strove to assert his independence from liberal and socialist inclinations. “Neither West, nor East” was one of the main mottos of the Revolution and emphasised the desire for autarky in response to the different ideological stances of the time.
The Revolution successfully mobilised marginal groups, such as impoverished migrants living on the outskirts of the city, as well as traditional guilds and bazaar traders. Women took to the streets alongside men and played an active role in change in a society that had hitherto restricted their participation.
Maryam Zandi does not claim to present an all-encompassing picture of this social upheaval, but she certainly succeeds in capturing its crucial moments.