I left my home country of Iran and my parents who live there in 2014, and since then I have made it a priority to visit every year for a few weeks. This was perfectly manageable, whether during a one year MA degree course, financial strains, or times of political uncertainty, I made the trip back. The last time I visited was September 2019; I told my parents I would be getting married, and when they hugged me goodbye in the airport, somehow separating seemed less painful this time. I would be returning soon for a non-negotiable wedding party. I trust I don’t need to explain what happened next. This is the longest I’ve been away from my parents and the home I grew up in—my mom’s cooking and the smell of her hugs. My dad’s dad jokes and his reassuring smile. Continue reading
As the name suggests, ‘Book of the Week’ was a series of paperbacks that were distributed every week in Iran between the years of 1961 and 1963. A product of the Tehran-based publishing institute Kayhan, the books gained a great amount of popularity among the general public by featuring literature from established writers, as well as publishing essays on a diverse range of topics such as science, culture, society, poetry and the arts.
To many people, the sentence “here is your change” followed by a clenched hand extending out towards them results in an inner groan. They know that hand is about to offer them coins, an object often perceived as an inconvenience—and in the case of coins with lower value, a nuisance. Coins are frequently taken out of circulation by people who keep them simply because they cannot be bothered to count, calculate, and spend them. I have memories of my parents coming home and discarding loose change on the coffee table, not wanting to carry the jingling weight in a pocket or purse the next day. Yet the same people were the cause of my appreciation for coins. More specifically, Iranian coins.