I have dedicated my next novel “Nador” to the Iranian Shirin Ebadi who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. “Nador” will come out on 23 March from Mirza Publishing at the Paris book fair (salon du livre de Paris). Shirin lived through the perversity of a dictator and paid dearly. In her autobiography “Until We Are Free”(Pour être enfin libre) that was published by Random House in 2016, she tells us her story.
It is the story of a woman that lived in a system where, judicially, a woman is worth half what a man is. Shirin decided to live with this “anomaly” day by day in her hometown Tehran. She was the first femalepresiding judge at the District Court in Tehran but had to resign during the 1979 revolution. She then hid out in her home and organized herself. As an attorney she received clients in the kitchen while drinking tea. Her husband, an engineer, and her two daughters provided her with unwavering support.
But insidiously and with the persistence of a rodent the political police interfered in the heart of this woman’s existence; a woman that they could not silence. Everyday they bullied her. Then they began taking in succession everything she loved: her small plot of land with fruit trees planted near Tehran where she regenerated herself among family and friends; then her husband, crushed by a sex scandal. Fortunately, her daughters were studying abroad. Finally, one day in June 2009 when she was invited to a conference in Spain, during the elections stolen by the Mullahs in Iran, she made the crucial decision to never return to Tehran.She feared she would be assassinated, forever erased without anyone being named or incriminated.
Today, exiled in London, Shirin fights on all fronts for women’s causes and ends her book with: “I lost more than I ever thought possible…It is for Iran and its people, its potential and its grandeur, that took every step of this path.