Protest, Freedom of Speech, Persepolis

Fadwa’s story matters because in a Western perspective it seems that during the time of the Arab Spring women were not deeply involved protesting. However, women have always been apart of the protest. Numerous Moroccan websites calls Fadwa’s story of her burning herself and the symbol of her fist, rising above the flames as a national protest against the dictatorship. Back in America, Fadwa’s story of political protest is changed to focus on her gender. Descriptions for Fadwa’s story appeared in media as “Help for Unwed Mothers in Morocco” or “unmarried mothers are condemned as prostitutes” (201). The West makes Fadwa’s story as a cry of feminist rescue mission to escape the Islamic culture of oppressing women. Understanding the truth behind Fadwa’s story opens up our Western single story view of Arab Spring. We should search out and hear different sides of a story, so that we have different perspectives of the world than what media is trying to portray to us.


Persepolis was banned because of the struggle between freedom of speech, violating the religion of Islam, and/or the violence against the people/government. Lawyer “Makhlouf detailed the freedom of speech within Tunisia to speak freely against the president or the government, but attacks on God or in beliefs “what is sacred,” were unacceptable limits…tension between freedom of speech and the confines of what is sacred space within the nation…all societies operate within certain limitations and noted exceptions (105).” Religion is a sensitive topic in most countries and when you protest against a major religion within a country you can offend many people, which is why Persepolis was banned. Persepolis was walking on such fine lines between what is acceptable/tolerable and what is inappropriate/banned material.


Persepolis is such a different perspective, especially because it was told from a child perspective in the first part. It had a child-like humor as she retells us events that were occurring at the time. The graphic images along with the child narrator makes readers feel like they are living/going on a journey with this little girl learning the hard news of reality/historical events. What we know in the West is not the true fully reality of Iran. Persepolis shows us life in Iran at the time and the struggle this one girl goes through over time in Iran and in Europe. It really changes my perspective of the single story I learned in school and from media. The people of Iran are very similar to us; Marjane like punk rock, jean jackets, dancing, and parties basically a lot of things people in America/West can relate to.

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