Ode To Azadeh


I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek
by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Dear Azadeh,

I am lifting my fatwa against you.

After Lipstick Jihad, I wrote you off as regular "Iranian Chick Lit chick" who wanted quick access to the American public through your youthful eyes. I think the discussion of nose jobs and Madonna bothered me because I needed something more serious at the time. I realize now that you were doing something Iran has lost since Ahmadinejad descended on the cable news cycle in America: give Iranians humanity (even if it involves the awkward moments like Madonna debates or fake nose jobs). I take it all back.

Reading your book alongside Soul of Iran by Afshin Molavi was probably what spoiled you for me. SOI is huge in scope and a much different endeavor altogether. But it shouldn't have made Lipstick less important. We need all of these perspectives. We need people who can put the silly or the non-serious into context about Iran, for Americans, for homesick Iranians, for English, for French, and I think you have done this well as a writer, and not only because you are a woman. Men would never admit to the things you do, not to their names at least. You're brave.

That is why I fell in love with Honeymoon in Tehran. I haven't finished it, and that is intentional. I am savoring this book. I am enjoying every page and it is the perfect sequel to Lipstick Jihad. It is actually a prequel in some ways. Your observations about Iranians and their society, as well as the diaspora community is sharp. I think you earn credit from me in your observations about explaining "lazy logic" on page 83 (it happens a lot on this site!) and working to correct this. Thank you.

I was so moved by what your fiance (I like this word more than husband) said about why lifting sanctions is so important. I was moved to anger. It made me angry that mullahs are disarming their own population by dismissing technology, the open source software you discuss, but it's another for the noble, free, well-intentioned WEST to do it too. What a sham.

When you talk about "the man with the colossal nose" (100) I realized why I love you. You're absolutely funny. Who the hell notices the size of a nose when they are fearing for themselves? For their loved ones? A witty woman named Azadeh. These details are important to readers like me, and whether or not people who are too high brow, like Thomas Friedman, to mention them, make their books less appealing. You give the flavor that Friedman must freak out at reading. You're a big threat to a bag of bones like him.

Your honesty is what really won me over this time. The personal details you reveal about yourself and your family, your love, all during your work is great. You give journalism its humanity too. Your story has made me, a cynical, cold woman cry several times. 

At first I did not like your title. It was so romantic. So cheesy! But then I realized, dumb idiot I am, that "Americans" would not be able to handle a love story about an Iranian man. You were Sally Field! Your walked into the belly of the beast twice (more if you count the weird buildings you went to meet Mr. X). You showed love in a land where most people outside Iran don't think of how Iranians can fall in love - the same foolish way the rest of the world does.

I'm glad you revealed what the backup mullah said to your witness friend during the marriage ceremony. I liked your view about mehriyeh and how men aren't the only ones phucking up Iranian society.

My only bones are that you were so diplomatic with the "squawks" of the monarchists. I wonder why you were so tame toward this group, whose Prince Pahlavi they protect as if they are the 3 fairies in sleeping beauty, who only stand a chance with a military attack with the blessings of Israel. 

I congratulate you for showing restraint with that brain dead girl racer Sonbol. What you have learned and heard from khanoum Shirin Ebadi would have made me take the lamb skewers and yogurt to her head.

I congratulate you on the fantastic interviews. What a great range of views you have propped up in this book. Young, old, dumb, intelligent, artist, cook, writer, phony, fighter, family, friends...... they are all in there, they are iranian, they are wonderful!

I enjoyed that you revealed the fights bout Islam between you and your fiance. Again, it is brave to reveal a domestic dispute of any kind. This is an important one. This fight, along with other points in the book I found myself saying "YES! Someone had to say this!" and you have. The stories, the sadness, the fragments, the frustrations on so many issues from marriage to voting and booze are all well documented. All the scattered jokes, insights, embarrassments, oddities are living in this book, about an important time. 

I wanted to write this blog to ask anyone who is thinking about buying your hardcover book to do it. NOW! This book is worth every penny even in this shitty economic "tsunami". While it may be silly for me to suggest a book, being a cartoon and anonymous person on iranian.com, I have to say my reaction, considering some of the boloney I have written about like those creepy Iranian men who were stealing from cars they valet on hidden camera on 48 hours. What you do is not reactive work, it's ACTIVE or pro-active I should say. You, like khanoum Shirin Ebadi, give a voice to people who don't have it. I wish more "leaders" would do this. I'm proud of you and Shirin Khanoum. I really am. 

Thank you Azadeh. You have written a great book. I wish you and your new family well. Congratulations on everything! 


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more from I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek
Ardeshir Ariana

Dear readers

by Ardeshir Ariana on

I agree with you 99%, however there is time for diplomacy and time for war, i`m trying to do both since diplomacy alone is not working and US Government thinks that my people are still naive.
PS. FYI My eduacated black friends told me this story about Oreo Cookie. I`m not racist as i love all human beings whom respect my culture as well.


Please read my book when i publish it online for free. It will explain everything.


with all my love and respect for all children of Cyrus the Great,

anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on


anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

thank you so much!  i want to participate in any worthwhile activist groups but not just any group that comes along without some background information.  y'all are the best source of information for me. :-)


anonymous fish re: feminist majority foundation

by kollangi (not verified) on

this is a group of people who I can tell have good intentions but have unfortunately been fooled by the terrorist group Mojahedeen Khalgh, aka. MEK.

They think just because MEK has a woman "President", it is pro democracy and legitimate. Hatred of this pathetic cult group is the one thing all Iranians are in agreement with. In recent years with foreign funding, this group has been trying to legitimize itself by getting into "liberal" and "progressive" causes to attract followers.

So I no longer trust FMF for being either too stupid or too opportunistic not to MEK for what it is.

I hope this helps.

anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

hate to derail but i have another question.  what can anyone tell me about the "feminist majority foundation"?  i get soooooo nervous about putting my name "out there". 

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Hi anonymous fish and Niki

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Why don't we all read this and talk about the ending in a month or 2? I'm sure she's left the door open for further study of Iran. I'm positive Niki and You are going to enjoy this. She has matured from chick lit in this one, i assure you. She's dealing with more bigger demons and issues. You'll see. 

anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

it's interesting hearing an iranian's point of view after reading "lipstick jihad".  it's hard to know what is real and pertinent.  i stopped every few pages to ask my husband a question... :-)  i enjoyed it... it was entertaining and light.  "reading lolita in tehran" was a little more difficult because it jumped around so much.  i finally made a mini-spreadsheet to keep characters and times in order...lol.  husband found THAT and still hasn't stopped laughing at me!  not being familiar with political dates and situations caused "some" confusion.  and of course i've joined the zillions of people who've read firoozeh dumas.  what fun!!!!

i'll definitely get this as well after the glowing praise by marge!  but can you suggest anything else for me? 

LOVE to see any women... ALL women coming into their own.  our power will rule the world!!!

peace out.

Niki Tehranchi

Was disappointed by Lipstick Jihad

by Niki Tehranchi on

but maybe it was because I read it right after Persepolis and Reading Lolita in Tehran so my expectations were high and kind of different.  Not that I mind silly and superficial. I totally agree with you that those little things are what brings humanity to all of us as human beings. Too much filet mignon will raise your cholesterol so you can't have that every day.  You need to alternate with a California chopped salad sometimes.  That's why I devour chick lit staples such as Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bridget Jones' diary in between books of more substance.  I am going to re-read Lipstick again and then go ahead and buy the sequel or prequel as you say.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Why Azadeh's love story matters

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

The role of her love story with her fiance, Arash, is very important. I just saw the comments about what a little brat she is to go to Tehran and "discover" Iranians and make fun of the life. That's bull and I can tell such people won't read her book, but offer their fatwas anyway.

The comments in there, especially by eroonam, remind me of what Arash said to Azadeh during their many disputes about politics and religion. When she would do juvenile things like blast Googoosh at the window when the martyr parade would zip by, he yelled at her, not because he's an asshole, but because she was doing what most people do when they come to Iran - act like they are above it or there to influence it and of course, be humorous in the process.

I just wanted to say that a lot of those comments in the Iranian of the Day for Azadeh are already in her book. In most chapters, coming from her fiance. It's interesting and quite fascinating if you think about it - a marriage that doesn't depend on the two parties agreeing on things. Another interesting person is Azadeh's mom. She's pretty devout and didn't even show up for the marriage ceremony (AFTER FLYING FROM CALIFORNIA) to protest the times.  

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

AVA good!

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Normally I'd be worried but this book is worth the risk. I'm really proud of this book. I even like the physical attributes of the book. The pages and the length are perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. We're lucky to have Azadeh doing good work. I hope her new domestic life doesn't take her away from her work (marge = selfish).

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek


by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

There is actually a video of her from the library event. Don't sweat it. Book talks are great but, I prefer to stick with the book. I can't stand the environment at those events.....especially Iranian ones. It turns into an interrogation by monarchists or a series of oral congrats!


Thanks Marge

by IRANdokht on

You made me regret having missed the event at the library.

You also made me want to read this book. It sure sounds very interesting. I have heard a lot of positive feedback on Azadeh's writing but yours was detailed and very convincing.

Well done! 




I'll read it

by Ava01 (not verified) on

but only because you told me to do it Marge.

Multiple Personality Disorder

I'll buy it

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

when it comes out in garage sales.