Masih Alinejad was forced out of Iran after years of demanding women’s rights. She is now leading the charge against the country’s compulsory hijab law from the U.S. She spoke with Paula Ebben and Liam Martin about her new book “The Wind In My Hair.”
THE WIND IN MY HAIR: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran, by Masih Alinejad.
(Little, Brown, $28.) In her passionate and often riveting memoir, Alinejad — an Iranian-American journalist and lifelong advocate for Muslim women — unspools her struggles against poverty, political repression and personal crises. “Told poignantly and with a blunt honesty that seems a characteristic of Alinejad’s life and writing, here is a gripping tale that permits us to peek at the inner workings of the Iranian Revolution and consider the question of its health and longevity,” our reviewer, Rafia Zakaria, writes.
When Masih Alinejad was a girl in the tiny Iranian village of Ghomikola, her father — who eked out a living selling chickens, ducks and eggs — once brought home a thick yellow stick. Her mother, the village tailor, cut it into six tiny pieces at her husband’s instruction. Each child got one, including the youngest, our author. Read more “The Woman Whose Hair Frightens Iran”
Masih Alinejad has paid a high price for letting her hair down and criticising her government. She’s been sentenced to prison, fled her native Iran and is unable to see her family. Here, she reveals why all she wants is to give women the choice to wear the hijab or not Read more “one Iranian woman’s courageous struggle against being forced to wear the hijab”
Freedom in Iran can only come when Iranian women have equal rights and are free to choose their own destiny, Masih Alinejd tells Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East program devoted to a discussion on her recently published memoir the women’s rights in Iran.
Our camera is our weapon, Masih Alinejad talks about #MeToo movement in Iran and how women are fighting back against harassment
The Fifth Floor
When Iranian activist Masih Alinejad posted a picture of herself driving without a hijab, she had no idea what she was starting. Five years later, thousands of women have joined her movement against the mandatory hijab, and they have become a force for the Iranian government to reckon with. The BBC’s Nassim Hatam has been following the story.
Childhood in Iran – Episode 1
BBC Radio 4. picks The Wind in My Hair, as its book of the week. Masih Alinejad is a journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, who sparked against compulsory hijab. Across Iran, women started sharing pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih’s Facebook page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country – and often, their families.
But Masih’s journey began in a small and impoverished village in northern Iran before she made her way to some of the country’s top newspapers. Her writings angered many powerful people in Iran who forced her into exile.
In this first episode, she remembers the advice her mother gave her to overcome obstacles
School Rebellion – Episode 2
In this episode, Masih starts an underground political book group while at school. She continued to be a troublemaker, reading out a poem against the Islamic Republic during a Quran recital competition. The group soon decides to publish secret pamphlets calling for greater freedom in Iranian society, and word of their activities begins to spread alarmingly quickly. Meanwhile, Masih struggles with the question of whether she can bear to get married, purely in order to travel and live more freely.
Political Reporter – Episode 4
Masih begins a new career as a political journalist in Iran, exposing corruption in Iranian politics. While she gains readers, she also begins to be threatened by the authorities. Meanwhile, she faces divorce and losing custody of her son.
A Memoir That Came to Life When She Removed Her Hijab
The first time Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist, walked in public without her hijab was in 2006. She was a 30-year-old columnist for Etemad-e-Melli, a now defunct Iranian daily newspaper, and working on a series of articles in Beirut, Lebanon. Ms. Alinejad, who was on her first trip outside of Iran, was immediately struck by the city’s relatively relaxed attitude toward women’s appearance in public.
My Stealthy Freedom – Episode 5
It is now years later and Masih’s journalism have turned her into a target. Masih finds that she is no longer safe in Tehran working as a political journalist. She is forced into exile during the Iranian elections of 2009 but finds a way to protest against the Islamic Republic with her online movement.
“The Wind in My Hair,” by Masih Alinejad
Gutsy Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad tells her life story in a chatty, confiding tone. Right from her childhood in a small village in rural Iran, she was a rebel. As a young adult, she chose the unusual (for an Iranian woman) career of journalism and was exiled to Britain, where she created My Stealthy Freedom, a Facebook page for women who reject the compulsory hijab. Alinejad’s experiences make for a compelling and eye-opening read.
Christian Science Monitor
In this intense memoir, Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and women’s rights advocate, writes about her life of resistance in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Alinejad chronicles her teenage years in a rural village in the 1990s, pulling pranks as a kind of rebellion against the supreme leader (in a high school Quran-reading competition, she recited an epic poem by Ahmad Shamlou in Persian); as an adult, she became a prominent, globally recognized advocate for women’s rights in Iran. Read more “My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran”
Pointed memoir by an Iranian journalist who has been a longtime advocate of women’s rights in the Islamic republic.
Alinejad, who has largely lived in exile for years, was born in a village in northern Iran. “I couldn’t imagine a better place anywhere else in the world,” she writes of her hometown. Born two years before the ouster of the shah, the author never knew the relative freedoms women enjoyed in Iran before the revolution in a state so secular that a law was passed forbidding women from wearing the hijab. “If I was alive then,” she writes, “I’d have opposed it not because I believe in the hijab but because I believe in freedom of choice.” Read more “THE WIND IN MY HAIR”
The Wind in My Hair, by Masih Alinejad
Alinejad, creator of the My Stealthy Freedom campaign, celebrates ‘the moments of small rebellion, the tiny acts of defiance that allow us to breathe, the guilty pleasure of breaking unjust rules.’
In her compelling memoir, The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran, journalist and activist Masih Alinejad describes several occasions when she was castigated for how she was dressed. The first occurred when she was a teenager who traveled from her tiny northern Iranian village, Ghomikola, to the city of Babol to attend high school. When she saw that many young women in Babol did not wear the chador, the large cloak that leaves only a woman’s face visible, she decided to stop wearing one herself.
Read more “An Iranian Activist’s Gutsy Story”