The Gaze of the Gazelle

When I decided to abandon my medical career, I could never have imagined that one day, if someone Googled the two words ‘Iran’ and ‘Doctor’ my name would appear among the top ten search results. And not because I was a good doctor, but because I had just failed to save the life of a young girl bleeding to death in the street.’

So begins–or maybe concludes–the chain of events that were to change the life of a young Iranian doctor, writer and publisher forever. On 20 June 2009, during demonstrations to protest the fraudulent Iranian presidential election, a young girl called Neda was shot to death in the streets of Tehran. Within hours, the video footage of Neda’s death, fortuitously captured on a roving camera-phone, had circled the globe. Outside the country, the incident was a nine-day wonder; in Iran it changed the course of politics for a new generation.

It was also the moment of choice for the young doctor who had tried and failed to save her. Within days he had left Iran to tell the world the story the government was denying: Neda had died at the hands of the pro-government militia. After this, any chance of returning home was gone; Arash Hejazi, author and publisher himself became a target.

But as Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, writes in the introduction to his friend’s book: ‘Arash’s story is not summarised in that moment; now he has to tell the story of that generation.’ The Gaze of the Gazelle is that story: The memoirs and autobiography of Arash Hejazi on one hand, and the biography of the generation that was raised under the Islamic Republic of Iran on the other.

In a tale that mingles politics and the personal, mythology and history, he tries to answer the question ‘How did it come to this?’ His quest for an answer tells the story of the years since the Iranian Revolution brought Ayatollah Khomeini back from exile to drive the Shah from his peacock throne and set up the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Against the background of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran and the prolonged and dirty war that followed, the author of this autobiography skilfully interweaves his own story and that of his family and friends with the machinations of mullahs and the manoeuvres of politicians who seek to control their lives. The joy of revolution turns to the sorrow of loss: of friends and family at the front and in the prisons of the regime, of hope in the future. And of the determination of a new generation to recover that hope in the name of Neda, who gave her life in pursuit of a freer and better world.

This ‘important and life-affirming memoir,’ as Paulo Coelho says, is a must read for all who share that dream and seek to discover a country beyond the headlines and the hysteria that surrounds the Iranian bomb.

The Gaze of the Gazelle has been released in English, German, Swedish and Italian.


9 comments on “About

  1. Dear Arash,

    Pleased to hear one more masterpiece is published from you, I’m leaving in Dubai-UAE and was wondering if The gace of the Gazelle will be distributed in UAE market as well, Any plans for a persian translation?

    I’m so deeply in love with your novels and can’t wait to read another one from you.

    Warmest regards,

    • Yes, it should be available in the UAE at bookstores such as Kinokinya, Jashanmal, Magrudy’s, Virgin Megastore and Borders. My company represents Chicago University Press in the Middle East which will distribute this book outside India and will be doing our best to ensure that it is available in all possible outlets throughout the Middle East.

  2. When you said in Iran your book is not available… I didnt take that as a surprise…. i hate how women are treated in the Islamic countries, it winds me up just like Neda Ogha Soltan, that women are treated like this… its a country of beastly men who oogle at women in the first place then say they are too atrractive… of for allahs sake, fear allah, they treat women like dirt.. its soo wrong and against islam the way they kill, and women are meant to give up their children if they divorce and marry someone else… what the hell..How can they get away with all these atrocities! I hate how they have interpreted islam and stone women to death!!! men have a right to run… oh my god!!1 man made rules and regulations!!!! Shaitan is in these peoples heads.. afghan, yemenis, pakistan, dubai, arab rules are all mental… Hope iran and all muslims finds peace and freedom one day.. and womens rights are back! inshallah

  3. What were the installations for peace on and from 9-11-01 to 1-11-09 in terms of the world…is something to understand in the effects of the violence encircling NEDA…New York City to Israel…are the cities to observe on those two dates see an explanation for anyone’s truth. Even Zawahiri in Pakistan.

  4. Dear Arash,
    Thank you so much for sacrificing everything you had just to show us the truth.
    Thank you for telling us how our country was when the revelation happened your story was so so different from the others and believe it or not yours was the only story about 1979 that I dared believe into , I don’t know why but for someone like who never felt freedom who never had the right to choose her rights everything your story was a key of hope was something to help me bare this situation better thank you for sharing everything with us this book was another master-piece just like your other books I love everything you write good job ,you really suit your name well just like the great Arash who banished all the things he could have and gifted his life to irainians you did everything to show us the truth.

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