Friday, July 26, 2013
Love and Pomegranates- A Review
Last month, I stumbled upon this article by Meghan Nuttall Sayres in the Huffington Post about her new book Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran. I only made it about a third of the way through the article when I skipped over to Amazon and immediately ordered the book. It was going to be a long 2-day wait until it arrived.
The media has long portrayed Iran as enemy number one, but Love and Pomegranates offers testimonials from people who have traveled to Iran, spent time in the home of the so-called "enemy" and experienced something entirely different- experiences that left one of the contributors, Judith Ernst, asking the question (and title of her testimonial) Who is It We Fear?
The different sections of this book cover hospitality, cuisine, art, religion, literature, and politics. The testimonials are interspersed with poems, both ancient and contemporary, all illustrating the heart of Iran and Iranian culture. I wanted to list a few of my favorite ones, but when I went back through the book, there was no way I could narrow them down. Each and every piece has it's own place, and many of them read like love letters to Iran. Instead of saying any more of the amazing stories you will find in this book (because there is no way that I could do them justice), all I will say is get it immediately.
On behalf of all Iranians, I would like to give you a whole-hearted dame shoma garm! and thank you, Ms. Sayres, for showing that our country, people, culture and traditions are rich and go much farther beyond the government that they are so often simply reduced to. You have truly accomplished your goal of publishing this book as a gesture of peace, and it couldn't have come at a more opportune time, with the sounds of the beating war drums a constant white noise. It's easy to hop on that band wagon when you have never experienced the devastation of war first hand or known anyone from the "enemy" country. It's time we all try a little Love and Pomegranates (preferably with some salt and golpar sprinkled on top). Now I'm off to read Anahita's Woven Riddle.