Ebadi's Memoir Paints A Different Picture of Iran

May 8, 2006

Source: Muslim Wake Up!


On May 8, 2006 Muslim Wake Up! reported, "If Shirin Ebadi had handpicked the date for her memoir, Iran Awakening, to be released, she could not have chosen better. Into the boiling cauldron of tension between Iran and the US over Iranian nuclear ambitions, comes a cooling influence, a peek into the life and thoughts of everyday Iranian people and a plea for sanity and calm, for restraint and mutual understanding between Americans and Iranians. 'In the Islamic Republic,' Ebadi writes, 'We have a problem with representation. Our diplomats around the world are, naturally, loyal to the regime, and the regime's credibility is not such that it reflects the true opinions of the people. The responsibility falls, then, on unofficial ambassadors to relate Iranians' perceptions and hopes to the world.' Ebadi is one such unofficial ambassador, and a brilliant one at that. A devout Muslim and fiercely loyal to her country, she has become the face of human rights in Iran, focusing her legal practice on pro bono defense of women, children, and writers. For her work, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. On her return to Iran, she writes, she was greeted by crowds that rivaled those greeting Ayatollah Khomeini when he returned from exile in 1979. Crowds carrying placards that proclaimed, 'This is Iran. We are united for Peace and Humanity.' It is a picture of Iran that we in the West rarely see. Ebadi's memoir weaves the story of her life, starting with childhood and following her path through college, judgeship, being stripped of her title after the 1979 Revolution, and finally her practice of law under Islamic theocracy, with the story of Iran's politics. It is a story at once inspiring and chilling. "