Azar Nafisi: An Iranian Exile

Question: Where are you from and how has that shaped you? Azar Nafisi: That’s a very interesting and a very difficult question because at some point I decided that what shapes me is a portable world that I can take with me everywhere I go. Because I . . . I stayed in Iran until I was 13, and then I was sent to England and to Switzerland, and later to the United States to continue my studies. So from a very early age the idea of going back home . . . I think that the strange thing about Iran for me is that the idea of returning to Iran has shaped me more than the idea of being in Iran. And then when I went back home, I realized home was not home because I went back to the Islamic Revolution, you know. And the best that it has given me has been the memories of the culture, the poetry. I think that is what I most identify with. The start of the revolution I was in U.S. then. I was writing my dissertation actually when it happened in 1979. And as luck would have it, I finished my oral defense the summer of 1979 and I went back. So I wasn’t there for the very beginning, but I was there for, you know, pretty much from the start of it. And I left Iran in ’97, so I was there for 18 years.


Nafisi was studying in the U.S. when the Revolution broke out in 1979. She chose to go back.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less