In the wake of the media focus on Iran's nuclear technology development and its place in Middle East politics, the West continues its quest to understand this paradoxical nation: its politics, yes, but also its people, their culture, and even their everyday customs and rituals.
Western readers may be familiar with a stereotyped view of Iran's unchanging 'high culture' in its great mosques and squares and to some extent its classical literature in the poems of Hafez and Khayyam. However, this book conveys the flavour of everyday life in Iran. From from queueing for bread to dress codes and degrees of piety; from polite behaviour and the cultural notion of face, to gender roles and the image that every Iranian wants to project to the world, Among the Iranians offers Westerners access to a private, culturally unexplored Iran and the opportunity to delight in the commonplace experience that is the stuff of life.
'Part-travel guide, part-sociological analysis, part autobiography - packed with fascinating insights into an ancient and widely misunderstood culture.' Sarah Arnott, correspondent, The Independent
Sofia Koutlaki is married to an Iranian and recently spent three years living and lecturing in Iran before moving back to the UK. She has since returned to Tehran with her family, maintaining dual residences in Iran and the UK.