Honeymoon in Tehran Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran

Azadeh Moaveni longtime Middle East correspondent for Time magazine returns to Iran to cover the rise of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Living and working in Tehran she finds a nation that openly yearns for freedom and contact with the West but whose economic grievances and nationalist spirit find an outlet in Ahmadinejad’s strident pronouncements And then the unexpected happens Azadeh falls in love with a young Iranian man and decides to get married and start a family in Tehran Suddenly she finds herself navigating an altogether different side of Iranian life As women are arrested for “immodest dress” and the authorities unleash a campaign of intimidation against journalists Azadeh is forced to make the hard decision that her family’s future lies outside Iran Powerful and poignant Honeymoon in Tehran is the harrowing story of a young woman’s tenuous life in a country she thought she could change


10 thoughts on “Honeymoon in Tehran Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran

  1. says:

    Honeymoon in Tehran is the kind of book I would encourage most Americans to read especially since it provides so much insight into a country that so many Americans view as a dangerous enemy Moaveni is an American journalist born to Iranian immigrant parents but who still feels a distinct connection to the land of her heritage She worked for many years as a foreign correspondent for Time magazine investigating everything from Iranian pop culture to politics to human rights issues Her latest memoir after Lipstick Jihad chronicles her move to Iran from Lebanon when she meets the man she will eventually marry Moaveni perhaps because of her AmericanIranian heritage is particularly effective at describing Iranian life from a perspective that resonates with American readers She reflects the disconnect between the Iranian people who often hold very modern views about everything from diplomacy to romance and the Iranian government of religious dictators Although her story is obviously unique and filtered through her own perspective Honeymoon in Tehran nevertheless offers us all an opportunity to better understand a country and a people who for better or worse will continue to factor greatly into the American political landscape for years to come A fascinating book about a very important region


  2. says:

    This book is a truly excellent memoir If you’re looking for a memoir that details the struggles and censorship that modern Iranians particularly women are facing it delivers It is chock full of complicated patriotism scathing social observations and balanced political commentary But if contemporary romance is your thing it has that too The novel spans two years as President Ahmadinejad rises to power and the author meets the love of her life I won’t spoil the ridiculous and creative ways in which she is oppressed and frankly harassed but to say it isn’t easy to start a family in TehranIt’s obviously well written as Moaveni is an accomplished journalist and author And for me the best parts of Azadeh Moaveni’s Honeymoon in Tehran are when her journalistic approach to her tale slips and we are treated to her voice as a woman and a mom delivering the story’s most powerful moments Highly recommended


  3. says:

    A first hand account of life among educated middle class in Tehran Iran I learned so much about Iranian points of view and many issues that I had misunderstood are made clear in this memoir Set just as Ahmadinejad come into power and increases the repression of the Iranian Islamic regime Politics culture family and profession collide with restrictions at every turn This is a compelling and fascinating account of modern professional life in Tehran


  4. says:

    Overall I think the book lacked coherence I also found the subtitle to be misleading There may have been love but there was no danger to her throughout the book Sure she had some minor scares and major hassles but living in a country with limited freedom what did she expect? Since she had worked frequently in Iran and had temporarily lived there before there should have been no surprises for her on the censorship and intrusion into the daily life of Iranians As a journalist she should have been fully aware of the difficulties in accessing the internet and watching satellite tv And really if those were the most challenging things she encountered while living there then she was lucky I can understand the frustration of living in a society where the rules change constantly without warning but again with her background and experience what did she expect?Besides finding her expectations unrealistic I also found the author self promoting Her self centered discussions on daily life censorship and other restrictions do not even touch the serious problem of intimidation and harassment that women activists and human rights advocates have to deal with Part of the book also included her reflections on her personal relationship with Islam To me it seemed that she confused spirituality with Islam Like many people of all religions she wanted to pick and choose which part of the religion she wanted to follow and apply to her life That may work well in democracies but in a Islamic Republic it is not that simpleIf someone wants to understand about life in the Islamic Republic of Iran there are better books If you just want to read about the author’s life then you might find the book enjoyable even though it does drag in several places


  5. says:

    This book tells the story of Ahmadinejad's first election and how the first years of his administration affected the daily lives of people and specifically this reporterAzadeh Moaveni takes you through the naiveté of reform minded voters who justified their sitting out the 2005 election since no one represented positive change Little did they know that at the last minute a hard liner could be entered in stealth and would change the country and take away what little freedoms they hadShe shows how the situation deteriorated To this point small freedoms had crept into the Islamic Republic When Ahmadinejad opened soccer games to women it was hoped the trend would continue but this was followed a widespread crackdown on woman's attire Satellite dishes are first removed by somewhat polite police later they are just smashed on roofs with little warning Moaveni's professional situation deteriorates as well The intimidating government minder becomes downright lethalAmid all this Moaveni falls in love and becomes pregnant She can't get health information since sites found in Googling Women as well other body parts are blocked Every aspect of childbirth is fraught with stress down to selection of the child's name The marriage ceremony and celebration have concerns In Iran wedding planners have added responsibilities They may have to pay the police to so your friends and relatives can be together men and women to celebrate Add music or wine to your party and you have complicationsDon't let the title fool you This is not chick lit and it is not flip It is a serious work on the difficulties of daily life in Iran


  6. says:

    An intriguing book that left me with mixed feelings Azadeh Moaveni is an Iranian born US journalist working for Time magazine in the Middle East In 2005 she lives in Iran covering the elections and the unexpected rise to power of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Not a great deal happens in the book but she covers daily life in Iran it's restrictions politics and the difficulties of living under an oppressive Islamic regime She herself seems somewhat conflicted in her views At times she is nationalistic and seems to be trying to prove how forward thinking and open minded the people of Iran are despite the corruption and restrictiveness of the government and the Mullahs At other times she seems completely frustrated by Iran She also has a conflicted relationship with Islam trying to meld the liberal form she had seen in America with what she now faced in Iran She alternately seeks to excuse Islam for the state of things in Iran and also blame it Although I see that real life in any country is unlikely to be black and white and life is always complex I found her confusing at times I also found myself captivated by her references to ancient Persian culture largely destroyed by the regime Overall an interesting book that takes you somewhere


  7. says:

    Personally I think that this book gives a very correct and complex account on present day Iran I really liked how the author succeeded to maintain the balance between the positive and negative depiction of Iranian politics and society which also made me realize how incredibly divided and antagonistic the everyday experience in Iran can be While implementing the strictest clothing regulations to women it allows or better said doesn't take action against alcohol consumption in underground bars and this friction is there in all areas of everyday life The book is also a very emotional and touching personal story about how difficult it is to admit that the religious and political agenda of your country is built on antiquated discriminating and fundamentalist principles and the even difficult decision to leave your loving environment behind because you don't want your child to be raised in such a hypocritical restrictive regime A very good first read on Iran


  8. says:

    Honeymoon in Tehran is Azadeh Moaveni's distinguished memoir of her time spent living in Iran as a journalist and newly married mother As an Iranian native of California and journalist for Time magazine Moaveni spends her notable career reporting on the societal aspects of Iran from it's controversial elections to trends in Iran's youth activist culture When she returns to the country to begin reporting on Iran's 2005 presidential elections she has no idea that she will soon begin living in Iran not to mention that she will meet and fall in love with her soon to be husband But despite best laid plans Moaveni is soon pregnant and must navigate among Iran's religious and political restrictions to first marry and have her child then to continue reporting With harrowing clarity she explains the sanctioned abuses that face unwed pregnant mothers and experiences the difficulty of obtaining the proper permission to be married While documenting this time in her life the author extensively explains the political social and religious climate that she is steeped in as a resident of Iran In an eye opening way she describes the confusion of governmental agencies that share executive power over the country and even for someone as well versed in Iran's culture as Moaveni it still is sometimes unclear who holds ultimate authorityIn addition she gives a first hand account of the social repression that is the standard for the country From the strict laws on acceptable attire especially for women who are expected to don their head coverings in almost all public venues to the segregation of the sexes even at events such as private weddings Moveni explores an array of customs that all must live by in their everyday life Aside from these revelations she examines the repressive and reactionary attitude of the government documenting the way in which the country's leaders seek to control Iran's image in the media and the shocking downfall in the socioeconomic status of Iran after Ahmadinejad's unexpected election as president With all that she faces there is still she must routinely deal with her private handler known only as Mr X as he systematically bullies threatens and frightens her into complicity In Iran each news correspondent must have a government minder ensuring that the reporter doesn't portray unsavory aspects of the country or its leaders to the outside world's news outlets By using scare tactics and intimidation Mr X fast becomes a villain in this insidiously prescribed relationship As Moaveni moves through these new stages of her life she gives a candid account of the attitude of both the traditionally religious and secular Islamic people living in Iran and she explains in great detail the way in which the Islamic religion has shaped and still very much influences the governmental aspects of the country Although Moaveni must face many difficulties in her time in Iran still she embodies a great love for the people culture and wonderful contradictions of Iran where today most people can't afford to buy a home but nose jobs are had easily and affordably At the conclusion of her memoir Moaveni must decide if Iran is truly the place in which she wants to live her life and raise her child and though I won't spoil the book for you it's obvious that her heart is torn in two opposing directions Her ultimate decision is hard won and heartbreaking This accurate and compelling look at life in modern Iran encompasses all that the country is and all it hopes to one day beWhen I first began reading this book I was a little non plussed at the fact that this was not mainly a book about one's person's experiences with everyday life in Iran I had supposed going by the title that it would be exclusively about the author's struggles in a strict and repressive society When I finally realized the scope of the book I began to be able to better form an opinion of it Although it was not what I was expecting this book caught me totally off guard and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed and appreciated the story Moaveni told I didn't have much information regarding the state of society in Iran but was quickly able to understand and grasp the various aspects of modern life in the country I believe that this material handled so well by the author could have been very flavorless and dull had it been presented in other ways by other authors As I read and my understanding grew I began to ask myself questions that I hoped to be able to research the answers to later However that wasn't necessary because Moaveni did a wonderfully thorough job of answering all these questions for me I needed only to be patient as she explainedAs time went on I realized that this book was perfectly complete posing and answering questions about Iran that have been shrouded in mystery for far too long It was then that a curious change took place within me I stopped doubting the story and became intimately involved with the country's history and future The fact that the story was not as personal as I had originally hoped for ceased to matter and I left those feelings behind and became totally engrossed with the all encompassing story the author had to tell I still enjoyed Moaveni's story of her marriage and pregnancy but taken with all the other aspects of the book those sections were only one facet of a multi layered portrait of Iran While reading I experienced several emotions all at the heels of each other I found myself angry at the government and its minions for attempting to totally repress an intelligent and growing society I was astonished that so many Iranians seemed to humbly accept these impositions on their lives and saddened by their apathy for instituting change I was also a bit perplexed at the audacity of the governments reactions and punishments to totally ordinary and normal aspects of human behavior I was joyful when I read on to discover that most secular Iranians had their own ways of obliquely dealing with their suppressive regime giving themselves the freedoms that had been methodically denied to them by their leaders And last but certainly not least I was appalled and scared for Moaveni in her dealings with Mr X a cruel and inventive man who did his best to terrify the journalist away from her work I very greatly appreciated the exclusive instruction that this book provided for me and I think that Moaveni did a fabulous job in relating a huge amount of history and the implications for Iran's future in such a compelling and interesting wayI have not had the opportunity to read the author's first book Lipstick Jihad but I am looking forward to reading from this author who I consider an expert in this area of the world I think that this book should be read by anyone with a curiosity for Iran Whether this will be your first time reading about the country or you are seasoned in the area's complexities this is a wonderful read that is not only timely but enlightening I applaud this author for her unflinching look at Iran and her ability to relate the country's flaws beauties and conundrums A great read


  9. says:

    Recommended for anyone who wants to better understand life in Iran both politically and how it feels for the people The love story that runs as a thread throughout and the author’s biographical material help make this all very accessible and interesting