by Nina Ansary


The popular narrative about women’s lives in Iran over the last forty years goes something like this:

During the Pahlavi Monarchy, women were on an upward trajectory. In a nation on the cusp of modernity, women actively participated. They were given the right to vote and were free to be in public without veils; they wore miniskirts on university campuses. Then came the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with Ayatollah Khomeini at the helm. The burgeoning freedoms for women were extinguished. The veil was required and institutions were segregated by gender. The Islamic Republic had thus achieved its goal of resurrecting the image of the traditional Muslim woman.

The problem with popular narratives is that, despite their convenient half-truths, the real story is more complicated, unexpected, and less tidy.

Inspired by author Nina Ansary’s scholarly journey, Jewels of Allah is a provocative roller coaster ride that shatters the stereotypical assumptions and the often misunderstood story of women in Iran today. Highlighting many courageous female leaders and advocates throughout Iran’s history, the book illuminates the unanticipated consequences of the Islamic Revolution and the unexpected twists and turns leading to a full-blown feminist movement within a post-revolutionary patriarchal society.

Jewels of Allah is dedicated to every individual oppressed by discriminatory ideology. 100% of all proceeds from the sale of the book will go to various charitable organizations and institutions, with the primary recipient being the OMID Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity that has been empowering disadvantaged young women for over 10 years. Shortlisted for the 2016 Civil Society Charity Award, NBC recently highlighted OMID and the work that they do. CLICK HERE to see the article and video or, for more information on the OMID Foundation, please visit:

Praise for Jewels of Allah

 “An incisive, intellectually robust look at the feminist movement in Iran…a riveting portrait of the Iranian woman: her strength, resilience, suffering and hope.” – Publishers Weekly

“A well-documented and persuasively written examination of the change in Iranian women’s status under the country’s secular and religious governments…maintains an engaging tone that makes it easy for casual readers to follow the arguments.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Nina Ansary’s book is a must-read for anyone hoping for a fuller understanding of the role of women and the women’s rights movement in Iran. It is a must needed antidote to Western misconceptions.” – San Francisco Book Review

“The most accurate and appealing book that I have read about the women’s rights movement in contemporary Iran.” – Mehrangiz Kar, Prominent Iranian Attorney & Celebrated Women’s Rights Activist

“Offering an informed view of the women’s movement within Iran, JEWELS OF ALLAH challenges assumptions and offers cautious optimism.” – IndieReader Review

“This is a remarkable book. Nina Ansary explodes some of the myths and prejudices held about Iranian women across the centuries. This volume is an invaluable addition to the existing literature on the subject and a must read for all those who are interested in understanding Islam and feminisms and in the celebration of differences and diversities within the feminist movements.” – Baroness Afshar of Heslington, Professor, Academy of Social Sciences, University of York

“Knowing our history is knowing ourselves. Nina Ansary expertly reveals largely untold stories of the multifaceted women of Iran and their perseverance to overcome considerable obstacles.” – Alisa Miller, CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)

“The women of Iran have no greater champion than Nina Ansary, nor does anyone equal her in explaining the seemingly paradoxical expansion of women's education since the Iranian Revolution.” – Richard W. Bulliet, Professor of History, Columbia University

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