Azadeh Moaveni

Azadeh Moaveni’s Guest House for Young Widows is out in paperback.

The Caviar Club: Rebel with a Hermès Scarf

Azadeh Moaveni, 9 September 2021

Farah Pahlavi and Andy Warhol photographed in New York, 1977.

In the mid 1970s​, Iran started buying nudes. Some were abstract nudes, such as Willem de Kooning’s Woman III, with her yellow hair and emphatic yellow breasts and an expression that suggests some bemusement at de Kooning’s ‘melodrama of vulgarity’. Some featured nudity as part of a mysterious mise en...

The Garment of Terrorism

Azadeh Moaveni, 30 August 2018

Teaching at Kingston University, where Muslim women form a sizeable percentage of the student body, I noticed that some Muslim girls start their first year unveiled, only to discover that hijabi fashionistas are the ruling clique on campus. They return for second year wearing a headscarf or turban. Hijabs are cool, just like beards are cool, just like Muslim piety is cool; wearing them gives meaning to a perplexing, unjust world and lends the wearer a coherent, dignified transnational identity. It is the language of multiple rebellions: against keep your head down, ‘coconut’ parents; against the state that views your religion as a security problem; against a press that delights in your racist humiliation.

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