No True Love in Tehran: An American Trip to Iran by Kareem Aal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kareem is an American of Egyptian origin hence he does have an inkling of the Arab culture so his trip to Iran is not a huge culture shock for him.
I enjoyed reading the first half of the book and then the interest slackened.
Kareem does give some wonderful insights into the political and cultural circumstances of Iran hence it is a recommended read to get a glimpse of life in Iran during its turbulent times.
The author's thoughts keep jumping between life in the USA and Iran to find analogies for the stark differences and this is disturbing at times.
I will give below a few excerpts from the book to give you an idea of what to expect.
When you have a problem with someone, you should talk, Sanjar often said. Not doing so, or setting prohibitive conditions to doing so, could only mean that both sides desired the impasse...The result was that the citizens of each country had little chance to speak with one another and bypass the trolls guarding either side of the divide with their aging arsenals of propoganda.
Self-importance: that is the scent in the air of New York.
An hour with a man of learning is better than a thousand years studying on your own.
It was a place where you had to rely on people - not a system - if you wanted justice.
I don't undesrstand how someone can say they just love God or Jesus when they don't even know how to love another person!
I began to understand the larger goal of censorship: getting people's own minds to do the work of the police.
Perfection is a return to a preconceived notion.
It was the conditioning I had as a middle class American: you could go out anywhere and get served hand and foot, but to have someone serving you in your own home was both economically and culturally questionable.
What I learned was that they desired to do ordinary things without being subjected to extraordinary attention.
Freedom is an opening with sharp edges that disfigures some and refines others.
Overall a book worth reading.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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