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Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni

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Both a love story and a reporter’s first draft of history, Honeymoon in Tehran is a stirring, trenchant, and deeply personal chronicle of two years in the maelstrom of Iranian life. In 2005, Azadeh Moaveni, longtime Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, returns to Iran to cover the rise of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As she documents the firebrand leader’s troublesome entry onto the world stage, Moaveni richly portrays a society too often caricatured as the heartland of militant Islam. Living and working in Tehran, she finds a nation that openly yearns for freedom and contact with the West, but whose economic grievances and nationalist spirit find a temporary outlet in Ahmadinejad’s strident pronouncements. Mingling with underground musicians, race car drivers, young radicals, and scholars, she explores the cultural identity crisis and class frustration that pits Iran’s next generation against the Islamic system. And then the unexpected happens: Azadeh falls in love with a young Iranian man and decides to get married and start a family in Tehran. Suddenly, she finds herself navigating an altogether different side of Iranian life. Preparing to be wed by a mullah, she sits in on a government marriage prep class where young couples are instructed to enjoy sex. She visits Tehran’s bridal bazaar and finds that the Iranian wedding has become an outrageously lavish–though often still gender-segregated–production. When she becomes pregnant, she must prepare to give birth in an Iranian hospital, at the same time observing her friends’ struggles with their young children, who must learn to say one thing at home and another at school.Despite her busy schedule as a wife and mother, Azadeh continues to report for Time on Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West and Iranians’ dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad’s heavy-handed rule. But as women are arrested on the street for “immodest dress” and the authorities unleash a campaign of intimidation against journalists, the country’s dark side reemerges. This fundamentalist turn, along with the chilling presence of “Mr. X,” the government agent assigned to mind her every step, forces Azadeh to make the hard decision that her family’s future lies outside Iran. Powerful and poignant, fascinating and humorous Honeymoon in Tehran is the harrowing story of a young woman’s tenuous life in a country she thought she could change.

Reviews (7)
Its an ok book, i was required to read for my islamic history class. The book is very slow and really isnt interesting till near the end. Also you have to have previous knowledge of the info she talks about and the country to even understand what is going on. As someone with no prior knowledge on Iran, i was lost the whole 1st quarter of the book as I had to google the details she covers then eventually my class had covered modern iran and i was able to keep up from there.
You would probably need to read her other book first then this one if you lack the prior knowledge like me.
It was ok, i wouldn't recommend it but i wouldn't bash it either for personal reading. Required reading..... suck it up and force yourself to read. It will help to have knowledge on the subject matter and country before hand. That way it is interesting and you can actually get through it instead of being lost and confused for a while.
I read this while I was in Iran and initially really appreciated the perspectives offered. That being said, the author's negative tone and victim mentality really got old. She whines about EVERYTHING which became quite grating. I wondered how she could be so naive about seemingly having no idea what she was stepping into when she moved to Tehran. But, it's not just Tehran that got her down - the whinging continues when she moves to London.
So ... the book had potential but sadly didn't deliver. Definitely not recommended. Check out Hooman Majd's excellent books on Iran for a more enlightening and even keeled view of modern Iran.
Phallozs Dwarfs
I ended up purchasing the book through Kindle, not Amazon. I tried several times to buy the audio version. I received emails stating my card was not charged and my download was cancelled for various reasons. I tried to purchase again and received the message that I already owned the book. It was very frustrating. It was seamless through Kindle. I only needed the audio version for a class taking and also did not want to join a club.
I enjoyed the historical insight from Persia through Ahmedbinajan and how the Iranian nation perceives their government. Also, enlightening how the supposed rigid religious government turns a deaf ear to the more liberal activities of the Iranian citizens. Author's style is more like a reporter (which is her profession) than a novelist.
This book follows Azadeh Moaveni's life after she returned to Iran to chronical the government elections that produced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Azadeh also falls in love and marries an Iranian man, she continues to work for Time magazine and as the new government takes shape to be even more brutal than the last, this book chronicles her efforts to report and keep herself out of trouble with the government. Azadeh is an amazing writer and I admire her immensely. She is brave and had a job to do, but when life in Iran became too dangerous after the birth of her son, it broke her heart to leave her country for the safety of her family. Azadeh is fascinatingly detailed in her writing, her work should be read by everyone who wants to understand why people in the middle east are so different from us. I am grateful to her for helping me to see and understand a bit better.
The concept behind Honeymoon in Iran is the juxtaposition of the author's courtship and marriage to an Iranian man with the descent of Iran from the relative liberalism of Khatemi to the bleak conservatism of Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately it is all texture and little substance. There is little by way of new perspectives about the Iranian theocracy and the Iranian people, just a snapshot of a small slice of the upper middle class. If you are looking for careful analysis and deep thought about the future of Iran, this isn't your book. But it does provide an interesting glimpse of daily life in a small segment of Iranian society.
I do recommend Ms. Moaveni's book with a number of caveats. Just be aware that she is somewhat detached from the realities of the masses, she comes from privilege and lived a privileged life on dollar retainers. She is was abit catty in describing her female peers. She also uses stereotypes that can no longer be true. In describing the band at her wedding, she describes them as being Jews. While it is true that the Jews were the guardian angels of Persian classical music and until the social liberation brought about by the Pahlavis they had been forced to be musicians since most other fields ere closed to them, to say that Jews in post revolutionary Islamic are continuing that tradition does not ring true.
She captures very well the fears that come with having a handler from the secret police / intelligence office monitor your daily life.
Good for the author! I hope she spreads the word! She learned that she made the right decision in her life. .

ISBN: 140006645X

Rating: 4.7/5

Votes: 790

Other Formats: doc mobi lrf txt

ISBN13: 978-1400066452

Publisher: Random House (February 3, 2009)

Language: English

Subcategory: Specific Groups

Pages: 352

Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran
Biographies & Memoris
Author: Azadeh Moaveni
Title: Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran