Azar Nafisi

I've only just been introduced to her, from a mention of her in a Christopher Hitchens article, but this could really be fascinating. Azar Nafisi is an Iranian expatriate who teaches literature at Johns Hopkins University. She was teaching in Iran at the time of the revolution in 1979, and had high hopes for the revolution as she hated the Shah. Alas, the Ayatollahs were not to take too kindly to educated women working outside the home. She was fired for refusing to wear a veil. She ended up teaching clandestine classes in her home to young Iranian women, introducing them to literature and books outside of Islam, and came to America in 1997. She is the author of a book called Reading Lolita in Tehran.

She is the founder of the Dialogue Project, which seeks to promote democracy and human rights in the Muslim world. Sounds like someone worth consulting given our current troubles.

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