By: Mariam Behnam
Genre: Autobiography - Biography
Description: "A woman before her time The extraordinary story of the author's unconventional life in Iran and the UAE. 9" x 6" ---- "Zelzelah (""earthquake"" in Farsi and Urdu) is the nickname by which Mariam Behnam was known from early childhood because of her love of mischief and refusal to accept 'a woman's lot' in life. Born in the year of a major earthquake, the second daughter of parents who wanted a son, she grew into a rebellious and dynamic young person, in the process shaking the centuries-old customs and tradition to the core. Having fought to be sent to an English-speaking school, she went on to become the first woman in her conservative and traditional family to obtain a university degree. Constantly in conflict with the stifling customs and oppressive conditions for women, she entered a defiant marriage in her late teens which ended in failure, leaving her with a young son. Undaunted, she started afresh, carving herself a distinguished career in public service and as a diplomat in Pakistan and Iran, where inevitably, she found herself caught up in the revolution of 1979. With her life in danger, she left Iran to seek refuge across the Arabian Gulf in neighbouring Dubai, the haven for her extended family for more than a hundred years. Besides telling the story of an unusual woman, Zelzelah also provides a rich and colourful insight into a civilisation in transition. Her account of the impact of the Iranian Revolution on her family and close friends, and its far-reaching repercussions, is particularly compelling.