The House of the Mosque beautifully describes a family history before, during and after the Iranian revolution (1979).
Iran. A country that is probably not at the top of your list of places you want to visit in the near future. A country that seems a bit like the big unknown.
Perhaps due to Western media, Iran is all too often described as the bad guy of the Middle East. The angry neighbour that you would rather not come across. The country has strict Islamic legislation. But that has not always been the case.
The book tells about a prominent family of traders and the imam, the most important religious person in a city. In The House of the Mosque you become acquainted with Iranian customs and the way in which Islam occupies a place in daily life. The tone of the book is sweet, even a bit dreamy and the characters of this large family come to life.
Until there is some unrest among some family members, dissatisfaction with the current political climate. The writer sketches very subtly, piece by piece, the prelude to the revolution. The differences of opinion, the question marks, but also the justification of the revolution, the excitement and the hope. The atmosphere of the book and the atmosphere in the house of the mosque becomes more grim. An atmosphere of chaos, confusion and violence that the revolution has created. And thereby the disillusionment and feeling of powerlessness of a tide that has turned. A revolution that hasn’t turned out positively for many people. From one dictatorship to another radical Islamic dictatorship.
The writer of this book, Kader Abdolah, fled from Iran himself and has since lived in the Netherlands, where he has become an established writer. Through this book he will take you back to his country. Back to his house, his family, his town. A country in which the population seem to have taken the right turn (starting a revolution), but spinned out of control in the first bend on the road. This book consists of fictional characters and not all events are described accurately according to the history books. Though, after reading this book you understand much better what happened in Iran. Informative and very moving at the same time. Like secretly checking your angry neighbour, who does not appear to be angry, but is lost.
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