“It's fear that makes us lose our conscience. It's also what transforms us into cowards.”
“The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself:
Are my trousers long enough?
Is my veil in place?
Can my make-up be seen?
Are they going to whip me?
No longer asks herself:
Where is my freedom of thought?
Where is my freedom of speech?
My life, is it liveable?
What's going on in the political prisons?”
“We can only feel sorry for ourselves when our misfortunes are still supportable. Once this limit is crossed, the only way to bear the unbearable is to laugh at it.”
“When we're afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us. Besides, fear has always been the driving force behind all dictators' repression.”
“In every religion, you find the same extremists.”
“Anyway, that's how it is! Either they obey the law, or they're expelled!! And make sure they wear their veils correctly..." - "If hair is as stimulating as you say, then you need to shave your moustache!" My father actually said that.”
“I rushed to the living room to protect myself from I don't know what, behind my best friend, a book.”
“War always takes you by surprise.”
“Rule number six: Everybody should have a car
Rule number seven: All maids should eat at the table with the others
Rule number eight: No old person should have to suffer
Grandmother: In that case, I'll be your first disciple.
Grandmother: But tell me how you'll arrange for old people not to suffer?
Persepolis: It will simply be forbidden.”
“People don't know anymore why we've had eight years of war. Why their children have died...This entire war was just a big setup to destroy both the Iranian and the Iraqi armies. The former was the most powerful in the Middle East in 1980, and the latter represented a real danger to Israel. The West sold weapons to both camps and we, we were stupid enough to enter into this cynical game...eight years of war for nothing! So now the state names streets after martyrs to flatter the families of the victims. In this way, perhaps, they'll find some meaning in all this absurdity.”
“The Shah stayed on the throne until 1979, when he fled Iran to escape the Islamic revolution.
Since then, this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth. This is why writing "Persepolis" was so important to me. I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists. I also don't want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homeland to be forgotten.
One can forgive but one should never forget.”
“The Germans sell chemical weapons to Iran and Iraq. The wounded are then sent to Germany to be treated. Veritable human guinea pigs.”
“I learned that you should always shout louder than your aggressor.”
“I wanted to be an educated, liberated woman. And if the pursuit of knowledge meant getting cancer, so be it.”
“Despite the doctor’s orders, I bought myself several cartons of cigarettes (…) I think that I preferred to put myself in serious danger rather than confront my shame. My shame at not having become someone, the shame of not having made my parents proud after all the sacrifices they had made for me. The shame of having become a mediocre nihilist.”
“En la vida encontrarás muchos imbéciles. Si te hieren, piensa que es su estupidez la que les empuja a hacerte daño. Así evitarás responder a su maldad. Porque no hay nada peor en el mundo que el rencor y la venganza... Mantén siempre tu dignidad, tu integridad y la fidelidad a ti misma (p.159)”
“cuando entré en su habitación estaba llorando... No pertenecíamos a la misma clase social, pero al menos estabamos en la misma cama”
“Don't let it get to you, mom! The Western media also fights against us. That's where our reputation as fundamentalists and terrorists comes from."
"You're right. Between one's fanaticism and the other's disdain, it's hard to know which side to choose. Personally, I hate Saddam and I have no sympathy for the Kuwaitism but I hate just as much the cynicism of the allies who call themselves "liberators" while they're there for the oil."
"Exactly. Just look at Afghanistan! They fought there for ten years. There were 900,000 dead and today the country is still in chaos. No one lifted a finger! Because Afghanistan is poor! The worst is that the intervention in Kuwait is done in the name of the human rights! Which rights? Which humans?"
At the time, this kind of analysis wasn't commonplace. After our own war, we were happy that Iraq got itself attacked and delighted that it wasn't happening in our country. We were finally able to sleep peacefully without fear of missiles... We no longed needed to line up with our food ration coupon...the rest mattered little. And then, there wasn't any more opposition. The protesters had been executed. Or had fled the country any way possible. The regime had absolute power...and most people , in search of a cloud of happiness, had forgotten their political conscience.”
“I wanted to be justice, love and the wrath of God all in one”
“El motivo de mi vergüenza y de la revolución es el mismo la diferencia de clase social”
“Preferiría que estuviera vivo y encarcelado que muerto como un héroe”
“Dans ta vie tu rencontreras beaucoup de cons. S'ils te blessent, dis-toi que c'est la bêtise qui les pousse à te faire du mal. Ça t'évitera de répondre à leur méchanceté. Car il n'y a rien de pire au monde que l'amertume et la vengeance. .. Reste toujours digne et intègre à toi même.”
“They found records and video-cassettes at their place, a deck of cards, a chess set. In other words, everything that's banned.”
“To die a martyr is to inject blood into the veins of society”
“And so I was lost, without any bearings... what could be worse than that?”
“Chouka era muy divertida. Por desgracia, cuando dos años más tarde se casó, su esposo le prohibió verme. Para él, yo era una persona amoral”
“LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE LIVED BADLY”
“Guns may shoot and knives may carve, but we won't wear your silly scarves!”
“With this first cigarette, I kissed childhood goodbye. Now I was a grown-up.”
“We must ensure that Grenadine doesn’t have any cards hidden up her sleeve.” He slapped Jeb on the back. “See what I did there? ‘Cards up her sleeve’?” He chuckled.”
“Hope Was but a timid friend;
She sat without the grated den,
Watching how my fate would tend,
Even as selfish-hearted men.
She was cruel in her fear;
Through the bars one dreary day,
I looked out to see her there,
And she turned her face away!
Like a false guard, false watch keeping,
Still, in strife, she whispered peace;
She would sing while I was weeping;
If I listened, she would cease.
False she was, and unrelenting;
When my last joys strewed the ground,
Even Sorrow saw, repenting,
Those sad relics scattered round;
Hope, whose whisper would have given
Balm to all my frenzied pain,
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
Went, and ne'er returned again!”
“More to the point, if he did cancel the tour in order to fight that tax, would we regard him as a rational man of high principle or as a doctrinaire, a moral exhibitionist, or an egomaniac”
“I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.”
“We're all scared most of the time. Life would be lifeless if we weren't.”
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