I Have the Freedom to Put Books on the Shelves

After reading Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian, I have a new perspective on the drastic differences between North America and the daily living experiences of Islamic countries. Hakakian's book is a life narrative about her experiences growing up as a Jew in Iran. It mainly takes place during the late 70's after the revolution against the shah.

I've realized to a greater extent that we take for granted the freedoms we have here. Hakakian spoke about how her Jewish school for girls was taken over by a female Muslim extremist, vying to convert the girls to Islam. The new principal told them they were dirty, took away their Passover holiday, and accused them of causing men to sin by letting stray strands of hair escape from under their scarves. She told the young girls that the "edge of their hairline" is the "edge of the apocalypse."

Later, Hakakian was taken into custody for having taken off her scarf. While being held for questionsing, she ate literature and her own poetry and writing that she had hidden in her clothes so as not to be put into prison. Any literature was considered a crime against the government.

Reading this woman's account opened my eyes to how different it is in other parts of the world and how much I take for granted. I wish I could really appreciate the freedom I have that allows me to fill my bookshelves with literature that I love.


bex said...


DarthImmortal said...

What you uncovered is just the tip of the iceberg. Women are property in the Middle East.