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Category Archives: Iran Folio


Sakeen the housemaid was rarely free to play with us, even at parties. She had to prepare dinner, serve it to the guests, and clean up. Shahnaz, my uncle’s wife, liked to throw big parties to outplay our mothers in a game between them known

The End of Romanticism in Tehran

I must have been about ten when my mother and I were called into a cubicle at the American embassy in India, where we had traveled from Iran as part of our visa application, and in light of the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran


My mother picks up the pestle and mortar and does to saffron what the clerics have done to her country/ pours in steaming water till the liquid in the bowl becomes the Caspian swallowing the sun/ it smells like a home I have not returned

At the Same Dead End

Digging through trash, I smell the whiskey on Shamlu’s breath. It’s not so strange. He once stood here recording the rhythm of the butcher’s cleaver like a journalist for Satan’s newspaper. In the ash of lilies and the charred remains of tortured canaries, I open