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The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran
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The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  102 reviews
A photo on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, face bare, hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the self-portrait that sparked 'My Stealthy Freedom,' a social media campaign that went viral. Masih is a world-class journalist who grew up in a traditional village where her mother, a tailo ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Jenna
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beyonce Hair GIF - Beyonce Hair Wind GIFs

"“The Iran government thinks I have too much hair, too much voice, and I am too much of a woman.”

Picture yourself on a warm, sunny day. You are standing on a hill, gazing at a blue sky, watching soft, fluffy clouds drift by. You feel the sun warm your head, the breeze tousle your hair. It's one of the joys of summer. If you are a woman in Iran and some other countries, you do not have the right to enjoy this pleasure. You can only savour the memory of this from when you were a child. Masih A
...more
Elyse  Walters
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook... read by Linda Henning...
EXCELLENT voice & story!!!!

Masih Alinejad stands for freedom of choice - basic human rights - and a leader for women’s rights in Iran.

Iran has continually reasserted its national identity throughout the centuries. Today - modern Iran is still suppressing freedom for women.

Masih grew up during the Islamic/ Iranian revolution.
We get a very personal story about her as a child from an elite family to a rebel teenager - ( frightening and inspiring) - to the ver
...more
Ashton
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher, however, my opinions are my own!

The most spellbinding book I have read all year!!!

I have spent a lot of time in Middle Eastern countries. First in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait (the war), and then later Doha, and the Emirates for vacation. I've found the region to be complex, confusing, and captivating. There is something distinctly forlorn and romantic about the wind-swept deserts, and sparse vegetation. And of course, the
...more
Julie
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masih’s life story from her rural home in North of Iran to New York, the city that never sleeps.
Her journey from the troublemaker child to troublemaker women’s advocate.
I always wonder at the women who live under the circumstances that we do and yet don’t turn feminists. Maybe this book could show them a little on resilience.
Laura
From BBC radio 4 - Book of the week:
Masih Alinejad is a journalist and activist from a small village in Iran. In 2014 she sparked a social media movement when she posted a picture of her curly hair blowing in the wind without her veil or hijab. Across Iran, women started sharing pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's Facebook page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country - and often, their families.

With the creation of My Stealthy Freedom Masih gained over one milli
...more
Cheryl
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
After getting placed in a taxi by the morality police that just assaulted her as she walked home with her friend... The taxi driver said, "Please, ladies, fix your head scarves. I need you to respect the hijab laws. We had just been brutally assaulted, and this driver's only concern was about our loose head scarves. We meekly obeyed him as we cried quietly in the backseat. Perhaps he thought we really were call girls. But there is something wrong with a country where people are more concerned ab ...more
Meghan
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I received this book as an advanced reader's copy as well and the story Masih has told through this book is inspiring on all levels. Masih tells the story of her family and its involvement in crime and how she broke free and started a brand-new life. I requested this book because patrons at my library are looking for more inspirational stories and with a good diverse patron population over 50% Muslim, our patrons can closely relate to Masih and the story she has to tell. A well-rounded book that ...more
Yalman Onaran
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a powerful story of a woman who wouldn’t bow to her country’s non-stop pressure to silence her! Although I’ve known and felt terrible for the oppression of women in Iran for decades, this book jolted me once again to the harsh reality and the injustice. And it gave me hope, once again, that change can come for this wonderfully rich culture of people one day.
zo.ah
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really eager to read this book and when I finally bought it I didn’t want to finish reading it. Loved every bit if it. Masih’s autobiography really captivated me and taught me so much. I could relate to Masih’s anger towards the compulsory hijab law as I am myself a citizen of a country (Afghanistan) where hijab is a vital part of the society even though there is no compulsory hijab law as such like there is in Iran (Pheww! Thank God !) but still 90% of women and girls wear it as it have b ...more
Yasmin Moghadamnia
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Powerful story.
Couple facts before I write my review about this book:
I was raised in the same small town that Masih is from. I know her campaign and I know all the feelings she describes, about being a girl in Iran. I don’t always agree with her but I admire her courage.

I think the book started off as an exciting story, and the more we got closer to her adulthood the less exciting the story became. Towards the very end I mostly felt like she is defending all her choices to the people who have at
...more
LeeAnn
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really love her personality. Fierce bravery in journalism. She lays out in detail a section of the most critical 30 years in recent Iranian history very well.
Aygün Ismayilova
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed every page of Masih’s memoirs. She is a voice of millions of Iranian women who rightfully demand a freedom of choice.
Mimi
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Willa
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first 5 star review.

Incredible book! Masih Alinejad's strength and power are amazing. I've gone through life busy with my day-to-day and the problems I deal with at work and home. I've not paid nearly as much attention to the rest of the world. Ms Alinejad has given me a history lesson and a lesson in freedoms, I as an American simply take for granted. Much of what she says about Iran frightens me as I'm beginning to see our freedoms here, while not exactly being taken away, at least
...more
Atefeh Eghbali
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciate what Masih Alinejad is doing so with my positive background my review may not be the best to take judgement from.
About the book, what I liked the most was description the periods which I had memory of myself. Not to spoil much, she goes through the political events in Iran mainly which can be interesting for a non-Iranian. However in general I would have expected this book to be published in farsi first.
Overall, interesting book as it is actual life of a human-being :)
JoJo
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
How I ope never to have to live in a culture that treats women so poorly, but I am grateful for the telling of the author's story and how she overcame the prejudices. I felt immersed in land, politica and life so well described.
Samantha
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the Goodreads giveaway program. A wonderfully written book. Very interesting. I wish the author would have said a bit more about her life in the United States.
Georgia Herod
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't give five stars easily and when I do, the word "amazing" keeps running through my mind. Is it the story that is amazing (and not necessarily the writing) or the person in the story? In this case, I do think it is Masih Alinejad, a young woman from Ghomikola, a rural village in Iran, from a very strict Islamic family. She shares her "fight for freedom in modern Iran," beginning with her strongmindedness at an early age growing into outright rebelliousness, and then eventually becoming an ...more
Thomas Keech
The book follows the life story of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and human rights activist, from her beginnings in an impoverished agricultural village in northern Iran through her career as a journalist in Teheran to her meteoric rise as a human rights activist based in London and New York. Without the benefit of a high school degree, and forbidden by law from qualifying for a press pass, she talked her way into becoming a reporter and journalist covering political events in the Irania ...more
Mehrsa
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really fascinating story--from small town in Iran to international activist. The book is dry at times and I thought the story at the end dragged on from one social media protest to another, but the early sections were really fascinating to me. Alinejad is an inspiration--but I do wonder whether any of her activism on forced hijab or human rights has been effective. I think she's done more than anyone to place this issue in the public dialogue, but is there any progress? I hope there will be soon ...more
Esther Bradley-detally
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You can't keep a good woman down. That phrase rings to true in this book; what a warrior for justice Masih Alinejad is! Well written, good details, certainly catches the ethos of the society, and what she overcame. She is a determined and articulate woman whose bravery will impact many women's lives favorably; i vote of thanks and admiration. I just stumbled upon this book, and will recommend it to my friends and my book club.
Debbie Crouch
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superb memoir. I feel lucky to be able to afford a cut and color of my hair each month, and the Iranian women aren't even able to show theirs. But this is about so much more than hair. It's about being able to choose what is important, esp to the oppressed women in Iran. Masih is a most admirable woman who has sacrificed unbelievably to fight for what is right for all women. She also has written an exceptional book!
Leanne Ellis
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent account of the difficult life in modern Iran. I loved how Alinejad sticks to her convictions and calls out the hypocrisy of Western feminists who refuse to break with leftist orthodoxy, even if it means criticizing non-Western countries, cultures, and religion. Women should be able to wear whatever they want as a rule of law!
Sue
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book with first hand knowledge of woman's rights in Iran. Masih tells of her upbringing in Iran and about her position as a journalist and her freedom in Iran as a woman.
I highly recommend this book.
Terri Gulyas
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and relevant book for anyone who advocates for equality and freedom to choose your destiny. Especially important in light of current US politics and erosion of basic human rights. Such courage showed by women who have suffered oppression under a brutal regime. Couldn't put this one down.
Ali Khalessi
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was similar to what I did experience in my land. Masih is my heroine.
Niloufar
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s difficult to critique a memoir without critiquing the author and their story. You become so entangled in their experience that separating the writing technique and overall reading experience from the author’s life becomes impossible.
However, I’ll try.
The book is well chronicled, with clear descriptions of events and their historical background as well as explanations of laws, regulations, customs and the Iranian culture. I doubt that this was written by Alinejad herself, at least not the
...more
Ellery
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: activists, journalists, people interested in compulsory hijab and Iran
I was absolutely spellbound by this book. Masih is such an incredible human being. I am in complete awe of her bravery and fearlessness, not to mention incredible talent and personality.

I've been following Masih for a few years now, having first learned about her because of the My Stealthy Freedom movement. Curious to learn more about it, her story, and Iran, I was quick to order the book as soon as I learned she has written it.

Given the title and her activism centering around compulsory hijab
...more
Zeek
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book for all women, for our times.
Adithya Dushyanth
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in a long long time.

I have been fascinated by this part of the world - the Middle East for quite some time now. Iran has been of special interest to me for its history, its landscapes and its cities.

It was while reading about Iran and life in Iran online that I discovered the My Stealthy Freedom campaign. I was hooked and immediately invested in the brave women who threw off their hijabs in public, risking arrest for their freedom.

Reading this book now after mo
...more
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“We all have yavashaki, or stealthy, moments, but we become powerful as women the moment we stop living a lie.” 1 likes
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