A timely read, in the month (all being well) I head off on my trip to Iran. Christiane Bird’s book provides insight and opinion on modern day Iran as well as detail on history and geography, culture and politics, drawn from the experiences Christiane Bird gained and the people she met as she travelled around Iran in 1998.
Whilst naturally taking a female, western (US) perspective Christiane Bird balances gut reactions with conversations and explanations that result from the opportunity afforded to her as a woman (able to meet and freely discourse with other women) and a westerner. The book does not avoid difficult topics, including religious and personal freedoms, and the inevitable conclusion is that mutual misunderstanding results from preconceived ideas, and that all societies and cultures (and countries) merely reflect the people who create and occupy them, and individuals are more complex and varied than the stereotypes allow.
Amazon.co.uk link: Neither East Nor West: One Woman’s Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran – Christiane Bird