Fadwa Laroui’s story matters because her story was ignored, even though it represented an important part of the protests and revolutions that were happening in the Islamic world, particularly in North Africa. Because Fadwa’s story was ignored by the western media, it goes to show that the western media does not fully include the entire story. In Tunisia, Muhammad Al-Bouazizi’s story was included in the western media, and was represented as being a small cause to a huge explosion of protests. Fadwa’s story is important because it reveals yet again the single story of the western media, and although the causes behind her protest could be argued as being greater and more legitimate than Muhammad’s, her story was not included. Her story is also important because it represents a female perspective on protests, which is a group that media, not only the western media, has been infamous for leaving out. Fadwa’s story goes to show that there is much more to the story than we are generally aware of, and to get the full background, we need to make sure we are looking at more than what is presented to us and what is immediately available to us.
Persepolis is important to me because it is a representation of a very complicated conflict that many in the west do not fully understand, or that many in the west misunderstand entirely. By giving not only a first-person perspective, but also showing expression and emotion in the use of the comics, Persepolis, both the movie and the book, create a representation that can be much more easily understood and followed by those in the west, even younger children. The book helps the reader identify and sympathize with the young Marjane, and the depictions of violence or loss through a child’s eyes show the extent of the injustices that the Iranian people suffered under the Shah’s regime and the resulting conflicts. After reading Persepolis, I understand more about the role of women in the Islamic world, and the differences in perspectives or practices that I previously saw as either being oppressed or rebellious. I have been a victim of the single story of the west, and studying non-Western topics at SPU and reading Persepolis have been very important aspects of a more comprehensive and inclusive worldview.