Blog Archives

How Blaming the West Hides a War on Women

The targeting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl shot nearly two weeks ago by a Pakistani Taliban assassin, brought back memories of my teenage years in Tehran, where theocratic zealots were similarly in control. The words of the Taliban’s chief

The Verdict that Shook Iran and Europe

“They say a good news story is like an onion. The more one peels it, the newer and fresher are the layers that surface. If depth and longevity are the gold standards for a news story, then the assassinations of

A Friend’s Tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens: The Diplomatic Indiana Jones

He was brilliant, full of conviction, and defied the extremist narrative that Americans are greedy, arrogant, and dimwitted. They had no choice but to kill him. Roya Hakakian remembers her dear friend Chris Stevens. “Eating on the floor of a

Where Did Iran’s Green Movement Go?

Iran appears to have missed the Arab Spring that is sweeping through the region. Or perhaps the country is experiencing the tail end of the long theocratic winter about to blanket its neighbors. No one knows better than the Iranians

Iran & Israel: What Two Enemies Share

  “IF a war were to break out between Iran and Israel, whose side would you be on?” someone asked me on Facebook a few weeks ago, when an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities was reportedly imminent.  From early adolescence,

Egypt Through the Lens of Iran’s 1979 Revolution

Feb 2011: Ever since the crowds flooded into Tahrir Square, I’ve begun talking to the living-room television. “Drop that hand!” I shouted at the raised fist of a pro-Mubarak thug a few days ago.  We, as in young Iranians, flooded

Christopher Hitchens Eulogized by Roya Hakakian

“His charm, his way with words and his brilliant contentiousness have all been well cataloged, but Christopher Hitchens’s key quality was his ability to make common cause with the oppressed wherever he found them. The debater, thinker, charmer, weaver of

Roya on Iran & America: A Revolution On The Page: Finding Identity In Poetry

“The effect of a great work of literature is often to unhinge its reader, to strip her of all previously cherished beliefs down to discomfiting nakedness. Roethke’s “Waltz” did just that. It abruptly unveiled to me everything that centuries of

A Revolution On The Page: Finding Identity In Poetry

Roya Hakakian’s most recent English-language book isAssassins of the Turquoise Palace, a 2011 Notable Book. She is also the author of For the Sake of Water, a collection of poems in Persian. An immigrant’s arrival in America has a distinct

How Iran Kills Abroad: Parallels between the Mykonos Assassinations and the plot against the Saudi ambassador

On the night of Sept. 17, 1992, at 10:45, two darkly clad men burst in on a private dinner at a Berlin restaurant and stood over a table around which eight of Iran’s leading opposition figures were seated. The taller