Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian and British parents. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in prerevolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community—primarily the disparate religions and cultures. In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, forced to wear the hijab, and hiding in the basement as Iraqi bombs fell over the city. She eventually fled to the United States in 1987 with her husband and children after, in part, witnessing her six-year-old daughter’s indoctrination into radical Islamic politics at school. At the heart of Saper’s story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist Islamic society.
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About the Author
Jacqueline Saper is a CPA, educator, translator, and public speaker. An expert on Iranian subject matter, her opinion columns and articles regularly appear in national and international publications. She can be reached at JacquelineSaper.com.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Historical Note Part 1. Hope, 1961–1978 1. The Best of Both Worlds 2. My Iranian Mothers 3. The Shah’s Spectacular Parties 4. Cracks along the Avenue 5. England Part 2. Fear, 1978–1979 6. Homecoming 7. When Jacqueline Met Ebi 8. Nightly Calls of “Allahu-akbar” 9. The Man in the Moon 10. The King Is Crying 11. Utopia? Part 3. Adapt, 1979–1980 12. My First Referendum 13. Executions 14. My Jewish Wedding in the Islamic Republic 15. “Death to America” 16. Invasion 17. The Sacred Defense Part 4. Veil, 1981–1985 18. “Sister, Guard Your Hijab” 19. The Downhill 20. The Second-Class Citizen 21. Public Life, Private Self 22. Half of the World’s Beauty 23. Front of the War, Front of the Plane 24. “The Martyr” Part 5. Resolve, 1986–1987 25. Welcome to First Grade 26. Why Is This Night Different? 27. The View from the Rooftop 28. Flight Epilogue Glossary of Persian, Arabic, and Hebrew Terms Notes Bibliography Reading Group Discussion Guide