Written by a pious and non-political man and a desperate father, Aziz’s Notebook sheds new light on the events leading from the Iranian Revolution to the Islamic Republic.
In 2004, Chowra Makaremi discovered a notebook written years before by her since-deceased maternal grandfather, Aziz Zarei. The notebook recounts the tragic tale of Aziz’s daughters, Fataneh and Fatemah, who despite having supported the Iranian Revolution were arrested after the Shah was deposed and Khomeini became Supreme Leader, and were ultimately executed in prison. Providing a context to the notebook is Chowra’s own account of her return and rediscovery of her childhood and her mother’s fate in Iran.
The notebook presents a vivid account of the everyday under a regime of terror, the plight of women in prison, and the prison massacres of 1988. Aziz’s Notebook is a testament to the political power of quotidian writing in providing witness to such moments of epochal tragedy, and how love and legacy can challenge the reign of silence.
As countries like Egypt and Syria grapple with the aftermath of the Arab Spring, this grim yet riveting new book asks the difficult question ‘what happens when a Revolution goes bad?
Chowra Makaremi was born in Teheran in 1980 but escaped very young to Paris with her brother and father when her mother was imprisoned. She studied political science and anthropology in Paris.
Edited by Chowra Makaremi