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Zahra's Paradise

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,173 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Set in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra’s Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished into an extrajudicial twilight zone. What’s keeping his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of his mother, who refuses to surrender her son to fate, and the tenacity of his broth
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Hardcover, 257 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by First Second (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Laleh
On Iran's 2009 presidential election aftermath. As far as graphic novels go, this is a very well done book, and as far as historic fictions go, it seems to be historically sound and to have a powerful story line.
For me, reading Zahra's Paradise has brought back so many painful memories. Yet I believe what happened in that bloody summer should be told again and again, and never be forgotten.
Jim
Blessed are the truthseekers and truth tellers, especially those who risk not only their own lives and voices, but those of family and friends, in the pursuit of the real story, particularly in the face of vicious, oppressive tyrannies, whether religiously fanatical or simply power hungry. The people of the great country of Iran have suffered enormously under the rule of the mullahs and their basij stormtroopers, and the world was stunned by the execution of Neda on a Tehran street on 20 June 20 ...more
 Lio  Proeliator
هذه هي الأيام الجيدة، التي تستيقظ فيها صباحاً، تلتقي صديقة، تعطيك كتاباً انتظرته، تمسكه حتى ينتهي، أنا أتحيز للكوميكس على حساب أي أعمال أدبية/فنية أخرى، لذا لا أملك التقييم إلا بما ترتضيه ذائقتي فقط.
الثبت بأسماء الشهداء في آخر الرواية، طبع ليلتي ببهجة حزينة أو حزن بهيج، شعرتُ ارتياحاً ما أنّهم لم يُنسوا.
Ahmed Wael
لا تخلو قراءة تجارب الكوميكس الإيرانية من جاذبية مضاعفة، سببها سحر هذا الفن البصري من ناحية، وغواية كشف هذا المجتمع المغلق والبعيد عنّا من ناحية أخرى

وإن كانت هذه التجارب ستظل مرتبطة لفترة، بتجارب قادمة من خارج "الجمهورية الإسلامية"، حيث كانت البداية مع "برسبوليس" لمرجان ساترابي، السيرة الذاتية للرسامة الفرنسية الإيرانية (صدرت الطبعة الفرنسية العام 2000)، مع رسمها لطفولتها في ظل نشأة الجمهورية عن طريق الظلال، والسواد المهيمن على العالم البصري، والآن تتجدد هذه الجاذبية مع كوميكس يكشف المجتمع نفسه
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ma'a
قصة مصورة تعطي وجها لمعاناة الشعب الايراني مع الحكم الاسلامي، تحدث في الوقت الحاضر وبعد أحداث مقتل ندى أغا-سلطان، التي أصبحت وجها لجميع الشباب الايراني الذي اختفى في سجون الحكومة

قصة بحث أم عن ابنها، تروى من وجهة نظر اخوه الأكبر..

لا تخلوا من المشاهد الطريفة والتي تعمل هوماج لأيسكر
Escher - Relativity, 1953
ولوحة مايكل أنجلو "خلق ادم"
Michelangelo's creation of Adam
والتي تصور دور الخميني عندما أنزل الوحي على اتباعه من بعده، ومن ضمن هذه الايحات استخدام الرافعة لشنق الناس في كل مكان

الشخصيات تنضح بال
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Courtney
If you're looking for a book to break your heart, this might be the one. Flashback a few years to the Iranian elections and subsequent protests. A young man, Medhi, has gone missing. His brother, a blogger, and his mother set out to find him. Their journey takes the reader across Tehran and into prisons, morgues and mass graves. It's an unflinching look at the effects of government corruption intertwined with Shari'a law, told with absolute respect for those trapped in the crossfire. It is as mu ...more
Petergiaquinta
This weekend Iran announced the election of its new president, Hasan Rowhani, so today was the perfect day to read Zahra's Paradise, a graphic novel telling the story of a family's relentless search through the streets and hospitals of Tehran, its prisons and government offices, its morgue and cemeteries, for their son who has disappeared from Freedom Square in the wake of the disputed June 2009 elections when Ahmadinejad was returned to the presidency despite overwhelming concerns of election f ...more
First Second Books
Aug 03, 2011 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications
We're very proud of this book -- which the authors have created to be in itself a revolutionary document about political upheaval and what an individual's role in it can ultimately be.
Lee Razer
It's a tremendously important story to tell, and the book does an okay job of it. If the reader did not closely follow the protests and resulting repression in Iran in 2009 then a lot will be learned here. Comparing it to Persepolis, since I read this one closely following on from the other, Zahra's Paradise is the more impersonal, which for me knocks it down a couple notches. It is not a memoir but rather the story of a "typical" student who took part in the protests and was unluckily one of th ...more
Minli
I finished this graphic novel on the subway home from work last night, where I sat sniffling pathetically reading the afterword among a throng of commuters. I don't know what led me to pick it up--though I do stalk First Second because their projects are so interesting--since I usually shy away from this kind of book. I read for many reasons, but after being traumatized by The Rape of Nanking when I was sixteen, I find reading books about civil unrest, war, violence and rape terribly difficult. ...more
Mark
“What mattered to us when we started this project, and what matters to us now, is witnessing the plight and reversing the tragedy that has befallen the Iranian people. That tragedy is personal. Its details and dimensions are unfathomable. It is also legal, political, religious, and cultural.

It was hard for us, like millions of other people outside Iran, to watch Iranian mothers and fathers grieve over the loss of their sons and daughters in Zahra’s Paradise – the actual cemetery – and not feel s
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Shannon
Personally, I don't know much about Iran or its political climate except that it has been and is in the throes of revolution. I know more now. The true value of this book is not that it is an incredibly well written graphic novel or that it tells an difficult story of the experience of students during the 2009 elections, although, both would make it an important book. Its true value is in illustrating the power of ordinary individuals to use social media and the internet to tell stories that wer ...more
Christine Edison
Although I don't know a lot about the 2009 riots, I was moved by this graphic novel. Zahra's Paradise is a powerful and personal statement made by its author and artist, who remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals by the government of Iran.

The story takes place in the chaos just after the 2009 riots, but the themes explored are universal. A mother struggles to find out anything about what happened to her son, searching hospitals, morgues, and a prison. Her other son does everything he can to
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Anna
This book brought up so many complex emotions for me...I don't know where to start. It is beautiful and haunting. Like Maus or Palestine, but set in the now. This is happening now.

In 2009 Iranian's took to the streets to protest Ahmadinejad's electoral "victory." I remember images on the news of crowds swathed in green; an upheaval I couldn't fully fathom. The scene quickly changed to sports or the Kardashians or the latest political talking points. No depth. No history. No follow up. Zahra's P
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Kristine Gift
On the cover of this book is a quote from NPR comparing Zahra's Paradise to the celebrated graphic novels Maus and Persepolis and this comparison is a completely deserved one. Amir and Khalil tell a heart-wrenching story of loss, corruption, fear and terrorism set during the 2009 election revolts in Iran (which arguably kicked off the Arab Spring). The story was riveting, but you question the possibility of a happy ending through the entire novel. This book was eye-opening and, while a work of f ...more
Mahmoud Radi
هذه الرواية تعيد لﻷذهان اﻷسباب التي جعلتنا نعشق رواية (بيرسوبولس) لمراجان ساترابي حتى مع اختلاف منظور كل منهما، ففي حين أن (بيرسوبولس) تتخذ منظوراً ذاتياً هو نفس منظور مؤلفة الرواية لمجريات اﻷحداث في إيران قبل وبعد الثورة وتأثيرها على تطور التجربة الشخصية للكاتبة، تحاول (فردوس الزهراء) تتبع المسارات التي يتخذها اﻹيرانيون لنفسهم، ليس فقط خلال فترة الانتفاضة الخضراء في عام 2009، وإنما بشكل عام، من خلال رحلة بحث لاهثة ومنهكة يسلكها اﻷخ واﻷم للبحث عن (مهدي) الذي اختفى منذ اندلاع الانتفاضة ولم يعثر ل ...more
Josh
In my two decades as an educator, I have been constantly amazed by the communicative power conveyed through the simplest of media. I read the entire text in ninety minutes, as a cursory evaluation for future use in my classes. Now that I have decided to implement the book into my courses, I will be spending hours poring over the lyric passages, the latent images, and the beautiful depiction of a modern day societal destruction. Read this book. At least a few times.
Chris
WOW, wow, and wow. Somewhere between Persepolis and Habibi in both terms of artistic style and writing. This GN tells the true (though fictionalized/names changed/etc. for the purpose of this book) story of the 2009 Tehran protests following the election, and the government organized massacre that followed. While the focus of the story is on a single missing student, the stories of women and men from all walks of life intertwine here to show a much larger picture. 5 stars, easy.
Laila Haerian
I always wondered how come there is no body writing a book about all those terrible events that happened and still happening ... for the world to know and to remember. I know there have been many articles, blog post and ... but not a book like this and here you go, this is one ... I hope there will be more and more books like this ... to tell and re-tell all the things that people have been experiencing ....
Great job Amir and Khalil!

Liked the way it ended with mehdi and Yasmin's baby born ... H
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Bruce
Massive demonstration erupted in the aftermath of the 2009 Iranian election. The government, the police and the paramilitary militia cracked down hard on the protesters. Many were beaten and many more disappeared. The pseudonymous authors set their fictional tale during these tense weeks in June and July of that year. A young man, Mehdi, has disappeared. His brother chronicles the search that his mother and he make to find their brother and son in a blog titled “Zahra's Paradise,” the name of “a ...more
Elena Grassi
“I nostri antichi re ci cavavano gli occhi.
Quelli nuovi vogliono staccare la spina a internet per eliminare il nostro riflesso.”

Prende il nome dall'enorme cimitero alla periferia di Teheran ed è la storia a fumetti di Zahra, madre di Mehdi e della sua ricerca del figlio scomparso nel 2009 durante un' imponente e violentemente repressa manifestazione studentesca a seguito delle elezioni presidenziali in Iran e della poco trasparente vittoria di Ahmadinejad.

Pubblicata prima sul blog www.zahrasp
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Soobie's confused
3,5 ad essere sinceri
Preso dallo scaffale della biblio di paese senza aver alcuna alba del contenuto.

Allora. Siamo a Teheran, in Iran, nel 2009 subito dopo le elezioni presidenziali. Il diciannovenne Mehdi non torna a casa e la madre e il fratello si mettono alla sua ricerca.

Durante queste ricerca i due portano alla luce le storture del sistema Iran, degli arresti arbitrari e le torture, tutto in nome della religione.

La ricerca (view spoiler)
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Fredrik Strömberg
Zahra’s Paradise is a beautiful, moving story about the repercussions of the tumultuous election in Iran 2009. The story follows a courageous mother of a boy who, like so many, disappears after taking part in the demonstrations that followed the election. Through her and her younger son's struggles with everything from grueling bureaucracy to the violent actions of an all-out dictatorship, to find out what has actually happened, the author and the artist paints a bleak but still somehow hopeful ...more
Abbey
Jan 07, 2013 Abbey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comix
The illustrations remind me of Craig Thompson which I adore and the story itself is fictional but based very much in the reality of many Iranian protesters in 2009. Love the social media connection to the uprising, the criticism of the lack of Western media coverage, and the awesome glossary + fact section at the end. Great read for anyone interested in learning more about the current state of Iran and the corrupt election of Ahmadinejad.
Jacob Wingler wilde
Zahras paradise is excelent and I would definetly recomend it. The story is told through comic style picures and this helps really put an image of whats happening there.

The story begins with a man taking some puppies for an old dog and putting the puppies in a bag and beating them leaving to drown in the water. This comes back through the novel to show how the inocent people are lined up and beaten for the sake of freedom. Hassan, our main character has lost his brother in the protests which
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Adriana
3.5/5 Stars

Obligatory Trigger Warning:
This graphic novel contains scenes of brutality, violence, rape, and public execution, among other "adult" content.

I didn't know what to expect when I began reading this book, because prio to stumbling upon it in a library display, I had never heard of it before I picked it up.

I think it's obvious that the "point" of this graphic novel is the message that it relays and how it shows corruption that has been going on and continues to go on in Iran and how peop
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Eman Herzallah
لا تبحث في الأرض عن مرقدنا بعد الوفاة
إنما مقامنا في صدور العارفين من الأنام
جلال الدين الرومي
Ahmed Salem
قالت لى صديقتى و انا احدثها عن الرواية " لما كانوا بيقولوا ان فلان مفقود، عمرى ما قدرت احسها .. يعنى ايه مفقود ؟؟ يعنى ايه انسان مش لاقينه ؟؟ و أهله بيلفوا عليه بلا جدوى؟" كنا نمر وقتها بجانب احد جدران وسط البلد و كتب عليه "هنلاقيهم ... حملة لايجاد المفقودين"
هذه الرواية تتحدث عن الاختفاء، المفقودين .. مهدى الذى خرج محتجا على تزوير الانتخابات الرئاسية الايرانية .. فلم يعد
و يبحث عنه أخوه و أمه ...بلا جدوى
قصة مهدى هى قصة الكثيرون من المفقودين و المختفيين
زرت ايران فى 2012 ... كان الحرس يحيطوننا ح
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Farah
قرأتها بالعربية من ترجمة أحمد وريم، إصدار 2013. الترجمة رائعة ومتقنة، الرواية وأحداثها تشد الانتباه بشكل كبير، الرسوم مبهرة، والمحتوى ثري بالمعلومات والقسم الملحق مهم جدا

أعجبني ومسني على وجه الخصوص المونولوج الأخير لزهراء أم مهدي
Aaron Broadwell
A great insider's view of being on the 'wrong side' of the Islamic Revolution, and the ruthless way in which anyone who runs afoul of the authorities is treated in modern Iran. Terrific graphic style and a gripping plot.
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