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Book Title: The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran|
Date of issue: November 5th 2013
ISBN 13: 9780385535328
The author of the book: Hooman Majd
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 39.40 MB
Read full description of the books The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran:With U.S.–Iran relations at a thirty-year low, Iranian-American writer Hooman Majd dared to take his young family on a year-long sojourn in Tehran. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay traces their domestic adventures and closely tracks the political drama of a terrible year for Iran's government.
It was an annus horribilis for Iran's Supreme Leader. The Green Movement had been crushed, but the regime was on edge, anxious lest democratic protests resurge. International sanctions were dragging down the economy while talk of war with the West grew. Hooman Majd was there for all of it. A new father at age fifty, he decided to take his blonde, blue-eyed Midwestern yoga instructor wife Karri and his adorable, only-eats-organic infant son Khash from their hip Brooklyn neighborhood to spend a year in the land of his birth. It was to be a year of discovery for Majd, too, who had only lived in Iran as a child.
The book opens ominously as Majd is stopped at the airport by intelligence officers who show him a four-inch thick security file about his books and journalism and warn him not to write about Iran during his stay. Majd brushes it off—but doesn't tell Karri—and the family soon settles in to the rituals of middle class life in Tehran: finding an apartment (which requires many thousands of dollars, all of which, bafflingly, is returned to you when you leave), a secure internet connection (one that persuades the local censors you are in New York) and a bootlegger (self-explanatory). Karri masters the head scarf, but not before being stopped for mal-veiling, twice. They endure fasting at Ramadan and keep up with Khash in a country weirdly obsessed with children.
All the while, Majd fields calls from security officers and he and Karri eye the headlines—the arrest of an American "spy," the British embassy riots, the Arab Spring—and wonder if they are pushing their luck. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay is a sparkling account of life under a quixotic authoritarian regime that offers rare and intimate insight into a country and its people, as well as a personal story of exile and a search for the meaning of home.
Read information about the authorBorn in Tehran but educated in the West, Hooman Majd is the author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ (an Economist and Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2008) and The Ayatollahs' Democracy: An Iranian Challenge, as well as his most recent book, The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay. He lives in New York City.
Hooman Majd has also written for GQ, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Politico, The New York Observer, Interview, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among others. He has also published short fiction in literary journals such as Guernica, The American Scholar, and Bald Ego.
Majd has also served as an advisor and translator for President Mohammad Khatami and translator for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on their trips to the United States and the United Nations, and has written about those experiences.
Majd's maternal grandfather was the Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Assar (1885-1975), who was born to an Iraqi mother and an Iranian father. The Ayatollah, along with other contemporary ulema, overcame traditional opposition to serve as a professor of philosophy at the University of Tehran. His own father, whose origins were in the village of Ardakan, Iran, became representative of a "middle class" that was "pro-democratic and pro-modernization".
Raised in a family involved in the diplomatic service, Majd lived from infancy abroad, mostly in the US and in England but attending American schools in varied places, such as Tunis and New Delhi. He boarded at St Paul's School in London, England and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He stayed in the US after the 1979 revolution and finished his college education in the US.
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