Posts From Author: hostage crisis

A Year in Tehran

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran by Hooman Majd NY: Anchor Books, 2014; 272pp “I advise you not to hang around the Americans very much.” This friendly advice, given to the author and journalist Hooman Majd by a doorman at a hotel in Tehran, while he is travelling with a CNN crew, in some ways typifies his experience at the hands of Iranian officialdom. In┬áThe Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran, Majd chronicles the year he recently spent with his (American) wife and baby son living in his motherland. It was the year of what Majd calls Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “big sulk;” the Occupy movement; the main events of the Arab Spring. At a fraught political juncture, there is perhaps inevitably a strong Kafkaesque flavor to much of Majd and his friends’ interactions with the police and the government. But while this excellent, concise work of social commentary doesn’t shy away from politics, its fascination and pleasure lie just as much in its gentle revelation of everyday life in Iran. Nostalgia, an insoluble emotion at the best of times, ghosts both what has been and what […]
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