Intercultures

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Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country

Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country

by Shirin Ebadi (Author), Azadeh Moaveni (Author)

The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work.

Best known in this country as the lawyer working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian photojournalist, Zara Kazemi – raped, tortured and murdered in Iran – Dr. Ebadi offers us a vivid picture of the struggles of one woman against the system. The book movingly chronicles her childhood in a loving, untraditional family, her upbringing before the Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah, her marriage and her religious faith, as well as her life as a mother and lawyer battling an oppressive regime in the courts while bringing up her girls at home.

Outspoken, controversial, Shirin Ebadi is one of the most fascinating women today. She rose quickly to become the first female judge in the country; but when the religious authorities declared women unfit to serve as judges she was demoted to clerk in the courtroom she had once presided over. She eventually fought her way back as a human rights lawyer, defending women and children in politically charged cases that most lawyers were afraid to represent. She has been arrested and been the target of assassination, but through it all has spoken out with quiet bravery on behalf of the victims of injustice and discrimination and become a powerful voice for change, almost universally embraced as a hero.

Her memoir is a gripping story – a must-read for anyone interested in Zara Kazemi's case, in the life of a remarkable woman, or in understanding the political and religious upheaval in our world.

From the Hardcover edition.

Women Who Light the Dark

Women Who Light the Dark

Paola Gianturco

Across the world, local women are helping one another tackle problems that darken their lives. These women lack material resources, but they possess a wealth of a more precious resource: imagination. Imaginations that light the dark. Moroccan women create and produce plays that educate illiterate people about women's rights. Girls in Zimbabwe compose and perform poems that move communities to fight child rape. In Vietnam, counselors heal survivors of domestic violence with line dancing, art, and games. Brazilian math teachers inspire girls from the favelas to learn math by originating fashion shows. Sometimes imagination takes the form of innovative strategies. In Nicaragua, women become welders, carpenters and electricians—all supposedly men's jobs. In Kenya, mothers get wells dug at schools so their daughters can bring water home from class rather than walking seven hours to fetch it. In the US, activists introduce women with disabilities to ropes courses, camping, whitewater rafting, and swimming, empowering them to lead. Travel with photojournalist Paola Gianturco: climb Annapurna; eat lunch while soldiers carry sandbags to the roof; watch a traditional healer at work; attend a Muslim reception with ambassadors, rabbis, bishops, and cabinet ministers; witness a ceremony that welcomes indigenous babies to the world.