The Wind in My Hair
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The Wind in My Hair : My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran

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'A must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality' Sheryl Sandberg

'A flame-thrower for the rights of women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice' Tina Brown

BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

This memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.

It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression.

With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee -- a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn. In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland.

A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere.

'Intriguing and inspiring . . . her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 34mm | 320g
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0349008965
  • 9780349008967
  • 7,825

Review Text

With mighty righteousness on her side and bravery in her heart, Masih Alinejad is a flame-thrower for the rights of all women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice Tina Brown, author of The Vanity Fair Diaries
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Review quote

Told poignantly and with a blunt honesty that seems a characteristic of Alinejad's life and writing, here is a gripping tale that permits us to peek at the inner workings of the Iranian Revolution and consider the question of its health and longevity...a prescient expose of the cruelty of paradigms, the constrictions of the Muslim woman liberation tale and the often maddening centrality of the veil within it -- Rafia Zakaria * New York Times Book Review * The Wind in My Hair paints a vivid portrait of modern Iran and chronicles her journey from Iran to Britain and finally the United States * New York Times * Gutsy Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad tells her life story in a chatty, confiding tone . . . Alinejad's experiences make for a compelling and eye-opening read * Christian Science Monitor * The road to expulsion is paved with scoops,' she writes. It's the content of those scoops, along with the graft and corruption underlying a regime that is still made up of politicians, that will be of interest to readers . . . Alinejad's account provides a timely glimpse behind the Iranian curtain * Kirkus * [Alinejad's] descriptions of life as a journalist and activist will captivate readers interested in Iran, international affairs, gender equality, and human rights * Booklist * Masih Alinejad's inspiring journey from an ordinary working-class village girl in Iran into a transnational activist-journalist is a testimony to not only her talents and passionate dedication to equal rights, but also to the aspiration and determination of many Iranian women whose stories are recounted by her. Masih's courageous journey is part of a growing women's rights movement that resonates with women everywhere -- Nayereh Tohidi, Director, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at California State, Northridge Masih Alinejad's personal story is intriguing and inspiring. For her freedom is not just political but existential, which is why Masih's voice is so important to Iran's civil society and the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy -- Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and The Republic of Imagination Masih Alinejad is a fearless champion for women's rights. She built her career as a reporter uncovering powerful truths and writing passionately in support of human rights in a country where doing so meant risking one's freedom and safety. Her book is a must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality and autonomy-in Iran, the United States, and everywhere -- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org With mighty righteousness on her side and bravery in her heart, Masih Alinejad is a flame-thrower for the rights of all women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice -- Tina Brown, author of The Vanity Fair Diaries
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About Masih Alinejad

Masih Alinejad is a journalist and activist from a small village in Iran. When she posted a photo of herself without her veil, or hijab, on her Facebook page, she sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.
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