x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 September 2017

The Gaze of the Gazelle: witness to a death that changed history

The exiled Iranian writer Arash Hejazi offers a direst and hard-hitting account of when he recorded on video the death of the activist Neda Agha-Soltan during Iran's 2009 riots.

The Gaze of the Gazelle
Arash Hejazi
University of Chicago Press
Dh78
The Gaze of the Gazelle Arash Hejazi University of Chicago Press Dh78

Arash Hejazi is an Iranian writer, publisher, doctor and one of the few to witness Neda Agha-Soltan's dying moments first-hand, when he captured it on a mobile-phone camera during the 2009 riots. It was his choice to upload the video, whichsparked an international media frenzy over the death of the bright-eyed young woman.

Forced to leave his country and live in exile due to his prominent role as an opponent of the Ahmedinejad regime, it is no surprise that Hejazi comes across as a weary narrator.

Along with Hejazi's recollections of his youth and experiences in Iran's publishing industry, The Gaze of the Gazelle is also an account of the nation's history of uprisings - political, religious and cultural. From being prosecuted by hardline Islamists for his outspoken attitude at college to the difficulties he endures under Iran's strict censorship regulations, Hejazi spares little in recounting the decline that finally culminated in the incident that put him in the global spotlight.

Hard-hitting and direct, this book provides valuable revelations about a struggle that receivedvery little coverage inside Iran.