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From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran

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Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian father and a British mother. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in p Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian father and a British mother. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community—primarily the disparate religions and cultures. In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, a Jewish girl forced to veil her body as the rest of the country, and hiding in the basement as bombs fell all over the city. She fled to the United States in 1987 with her husband and children after witnessing her six-year-old daughter’s indoctrination into radical politics at school. At the heart of Saper’s story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist society.  


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Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian father and a British mother. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in p Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian father and a British mother. At eighteen she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community—primarily the disparate religions and cultures. In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, a Jewish girl forced to veil her body as the rest of the country, and hiding in the basement as bombs fell all over the city. She fled to the United States in 1987 with her husband and children after witnessing her six-year-old daughter’s indoctrination into radical politics at school. At the heart of Saper’s story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist society.  

44 review for From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I read this book in 4 days; that tells you how good it is! Besides being a page turner, it's also a quick read because it is only 240 pages. Jacqueline Saper takes the reader on a journey through two vastly different time periods in Iran. She starts with describing what it was like to be a female teen when the Shah was in power and Iranians enjoyed more freedoms. Then, Saper eloquently describes what it was like to be a young woman and a mother during Ayatollah Khomeni's oppressive rule. Adding I read this book in 4 days; that tells you how good it is! Besides being a page turner, it's also a quick read because it is only 240 pages. Jacqueline Saper takes the reader on a journey through two vastly different time periods in Iran. She starts with describing what it was like to be a female teen when the Shah was in power and Iranians enjoyed more freedoms. Then, Saper eloquently describes what it was like to be a young woman and a mother during Ayatollah Khomeni's oppressive rule. Adding another layer of interest, Saper also describes what it was like for a Jewish Iranian during both time periods. I rarely give a book 5 stars, but From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran deserves this high rating.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Luba

    A personal account providing a glimpse into the ongoing instability in the middle east. Felt a little repetitive at times but it served as a reminder of the daily uncertainty and fear she lived through

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carol Rizzardi

    Congratulations to Jacqueline Saper! Her book From Miniskirt to Hijabis a long list title for the Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature awarded by Jane's Stories Press Foundation. Want to learn more? Check out the Jane's Stories Press Foundation Facebook page.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Captivating biography. Informative and engaging.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    Actually 3.5 Interesting general content related to the first years of the Islamic revolution, but was by far more interested in the life and personal experiences of the Persian Jews.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Gripping, terrifying and a must read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    My review can be found here. My review can be found here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shainna

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marsmannix

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie Alexander

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kari

  16. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria Hammond

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  19. 4 out of 5

    Penni Raphaelson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie DiGuiseppe

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tzipora

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brianne Honda

  25. 5 out of 5

    Merav Fine Braun

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lectorem

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Taylor Walker

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gina Mullen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  31. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  32. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dana Maria

  34. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Ross

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ajay Singh

  36. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Sinclair

  37. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Meghatz

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Adler

  40. 5 out of 5

    Laura Magid-Aloni

  41. 5 out of 5

    Cdentama

  42. 4 out of 5

    Bonnylee77

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sari

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

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