Cultural Change and Exchange


  1. Fadwa

Fadwa is an important figure because of how her story did not receive as much attention as the other stories of suffering portrayed. Interestingly enough a different death actually garnered more attention than her death. This happened to be the death of Bouazizi. It is important to get stories from multiple walks of life and without the story of Fadwa being a focus a crucial element is missing. This is the element of the women’s story in that area. There were several factors about her that are unique. The oppression towards women who did not fulfill certain societal roles is present here. One example is her being a woman who is not married and has the status of mother. She ended up having to resort to protesting in order to become noticed. Western media was not too flattering as they forgot to acknowledge her positive qualities like “Moroccans who regard with compassion, cherishing her as a national symbol of protest”(201). Instead of showing her as someone who has a position of respect they focused on how they as Westerners thought she was nothing more than a shunned and oppressed women of the Middle East. The single story here represents how women can fail to get the recognition they deserve.


  1. Social Issues

There were a lot of reasons why Persepolis received a shaky reception. The most significant reason was because it decided to point out the flaws of the new social system. If one only scratches the surface than it appears as if it is purely religious. However religion was merely one of the social constructs that changed over time. Satrapi points this out and people became skeptical as a result. We get a hint what is important to those who surround her, as we are enlightened and they say, “depictions of the divine were not allowed by legalistic Muslims”(104). Therefore when she goes around drawing her God people will get upset. She is the modernist disliked by the fundamentalist system that now exists. She points out that this group has created a new social system and people are unhappy that the implications are that not everything is the better for it. Her book although a personal story does point out some flaws with the current way things are. It is not hard to see why many find that to be a problem.


  1. Personal Thoughts

I really loved these books. I am by no means trying to suck up to any authority figures either when I say this. I am sorry to admit that for the longest time I believed the single story regarding Iranian woman. I thought that most Muslims in Iran where fundamentalist or oppressed and forced into fundamentalism. However reading the story of Marji and her life allows me to see that I couldn’t be more wrong. Despite her being from Iran she is a lot more like me than I ever thought she would be. That is what I love to see most as I read. It is refreshing to see that no matter how different someone’s life experiences might be that all people really have similar things that tie them together. Reading this I really wanted to be friends with Marji. I would still have loved to hang out with her as I was growing up. Seeing how she appreciated the culture of the West was a nice eye opener to. For too long Western media has falsely led me to believe that all people from the Middle East despised what we promote. This book showed me otherwise. She went to great lengths to enjoy the same Western pop culture we do. I really love seeing that. I myself greatly admire the pop culture of other countries too. Just knowing that I know we would have gotten along really well. Just to name a few I am passionate about the pop culture offered by nations such as Japan, South Korea, and China. Getting to exchange cultural ideas with others is so much fun for me. Knowing that this can happen anywhere in the world brings a smile to my face. It will be a nice change now that I know my preconceived notions about Iran are wrong. Therefore I look forward to any cultural exchanges I can be apart of with them in the future.

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