Roya Hakakian

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

The Iran-Saudi Arabia Rivalry Has a Silver Lining

The escalating rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has alarmed foreign policy experts who believe that it could further destabilize the region. But feminists have reason to rejoice. In the competition between the two regimes to earn the mantle of the more moderate Islamic alternative, women have been the beneficiaries.

When Saudi women earned the right to vote, drive or run for office, Iranian women did not pay much attention. Women in Iran had always enjoyed those rights, and their Saudi counterparts were simply catching up. But when Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women’s presence in sports stadiums, Iranian women got angry at their own government.…  Seguir leyendo »

The targeting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot almost two weeks ago by a Pakistani Taliban assassin, brought back memories of my teenage years in Tehran, where theocratic zealots were similarly in control. The words of the Taliban’s chief spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had a chillingly familiar echo in my ears. A bullet had Malala’s name on it, he explained to the news media, because “she has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it.” He also called her “the symbol of the infidels and obscenity.”

The zealots of my era, circa 1982, prowled Tehran’s streets in khaki-colored Toyota SUVs and stopped girls and women of all stripes, ages and ethnicities, warning them if their scarves had slipped back.…  Seguir leyendo »

The targeting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot nearly two weeks ago by a Pakistani Taliban assassin, brought back memories of my teenage years in Tehran, where theocratic zealots were similarly in control. The words of the Taliban’s chief spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had a chillingly familiar echo in my ears. A bullet had Malala’s name on it, he explained to the news media, because “she has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it.” He also called her “the symbol of the infidels and obscenity.”

The zealots of my era, circa 1982, prowled Tehran’s streets in khaki-colored Toyota SUVs and stopped girls and women of all stripes, ages and ethnicities, warning them if their scarves had slipped back.…  Seguir leyendo »

“If a war were to break out between Iran and Israel, whose side would you be on?” someone asked me on Facebook a few weeks ago, when an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities was reportedly imminent.

From early adolescence, at the start of Iran’s 1979 revolution, my loyalties have so often been questioned that I’ve come to think of such suspicions as my Iranian-Jewish inheritance.

In the early 1980s in Tehran, a small group of socialist intellectuals who clandestinely gathered in an apartment every Thursday evening let me into their circle. Those were dangerous years. The government was new to power and violently insecure.…  Seguir leyendo »