Two Sides to Every Story

The West and Middle East have had ongoing conflict and have misinterpreted each other for a long period of time. The amount of hate that followed 9/11 completely controlled the way the west viewed the Middle East. The U.S. were so hurt that there seemed to be no other way to look at it than to see Iran as an enemy. Every bit of media that came out was about the opposed state the women were in, and that everyone in their borders was some kind of religious fanatic. The mystery of the veil and their religious dress was unfamiliar and misunderstood, even twisted to be a symbol of oppression rather than an honor. As a result the West then took it upon itself to come in and fix what they saw as a broken country ruled by the Taliban. Fadwa's story is valuable because it goes beyond the political divides. It was a fierce cry to look beyond the preconceived idea that something as meaningless as skin color mattered so greatly and separated people. It was a physical representation that our identity is so much more than a single definition of a certain nationality.

Marjane Satraphi goes even further in her novel, Persepolis, to tell her life story during the Iranian Revolution giving an inside look to the people and politics of that time. She writes her novel in such a way to remind us that we are not all so different from one another. She attempts to make a common ground by letting us into her family life and giving us a better explanation of what was going on during the revolution. Their main goal is justice in whatever way they can get it. Marjane stand up in front of her class advocating for women's right to dress as they want. She is respectful but gives a god case for why they should be able to pull the head scarf a little further back. Even still they were fighting for equality. Its a long fight but one they were willing to support whole heartedly.

Persepolis is such a moving story because it is the simple truth told by a woman who grew up in the middle of a war that the world watched and judged. As you listen to her story you become attached to the things that she is concerned with and you begin to love her family as she does. She holds nothing back from the audience and exposes herself again and again as she tries to find her identity through the war and even more when she is separated from her family. Watching her struggle in Europe draws particular attention because she struggles between trying to make a life outside or Iran and its culture, and being away from her family, wishing she could just be with them again. She changes and tries to find her place but never really can fit in, however she never looses the fight in her spirit. When odds are against her declares that she is proud of who she is, accepting her past and how it affects her. Then later when she hits such a low point she decides to take her own life but is unsuccessful. Eventually she accepts her liminality with style finally being secure in her identity that is partially built from her past but she alone ultimately will decide her own future.

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