• From Miniskirt to Hijab

  • A Girl in Revolutionary Iran
  • By: Jacqueline Saper
  • Narrated by: Vaneh Assadourian
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (278 ratings)

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From Miniskirt to Hijab  By  cover art

From Miniskirt to Hijab

By: Jacqueline Saper
Narrated by: Vaneh Assadourian
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Publisher's Summary

Jacqueline Saper, named after Jacqueline Kennedy, was born in Tehran to Iranian and British parents. At 18 she witnessed the civil unrest of the 1979 Iranian revolution and continued to live in the Islamic Republic during its most volatile times, including the Iran-Iraq War. In a deeply intimate and personal story, Saper recounts her privileged childhood in prerevolutionary Iran and how she gradually became aware of the paradoxes in her life and community - primarily the disparate religions and cultures.

In 1979 under the Ayatollah regime, Iran became increasingly unfamiliar and hostile to Saper. Seemingly overnight she went from living a carefree life of wearing miniskirts and attending high school to listening to fanatic diatribes, forced to wear the hijab, and hiding in the basement as Iraqi bombs fell over the city. She eventually fled to the United States in 1987 with her husband and children after, in part, witnessing her six-year-old daughter’s indoctrination into radical Islamic politics at school. At the heart of Saper’s story is a harrowing and instructive tale of how extremist ideologies seized a Westernized, affluent country and transformed it into a fundamentalist Islamic society.

©2018 Jaqueline Saper (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about From Miniskirt to Hijab

Average Customer Ratings
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Very good

I was not sure whether this would be a book that I would enjoy or not, but it proved to be very enjoyable. It was very interesting to hear the first hand accounts of someone who lived through great social and political upheaval in a nation that went very quickly from a first world nation to a third world nation with fringe lunatic leaders. This is a good read for us Americans so we realize how fast the very same situation can happen in our land.

10 people found this helpful

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Brought back many fading memories

This is a very true and sad story of how a proud culture was deceived and trampled. I was born and raised at the era and listening to this book brought back many memories I have kept locked for many years. Lacking political views made the book an easy to listen but I hope someday, someone would write about the whole story with all its secrets revealed.

6 people found this helpful

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Makes you feel you were there

This book is a beautifully written and read collection of stories from the inflection point of a country’s history. I started it to hear a more detailed perspective on the countries so often in the news. Each anecdote has very satisfying details and paints a vivid picture of how it must feel to live under the huge stress of living in a country whose value system is changing underneath your feet.

2 people found this helpful

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Sadly inconsequential, DNF

I really wanted this to be a good book, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s shallow and without insight and never rises beyond soap operaesque Daily Mail cliches. It’s also politically infantile: It begins with the Shah being good because he’s a king, and there are no signs the book could possibly broaden its horizon from there. Unbearable, could not finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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so good!

Such a good book. the story is amazing and contrasts pre and post revolution iran in a fascinating way.

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Highly recommend

Such a fantastic story and great narration. Definitely recommend this book as it will immerse you in her experiences

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loved this book

This author/narrator did an excellent job of telling her story while also explaining the history and circumstances of Iran. It was like listening to a dear friend recount her experiences and every time I put it down, I couldn't wait to get back to hear the rest of her story.

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Educational, interesting and thought provoking

I stumbled on this book on Audible and thought it could be an interesting read. I was right!
This book explains very well the friction between east and west, and between different ideologies.
Thanks to the author for sharing her story and perspectives

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Interesting story.

I didn't know much about Iranian history of the past 50 years, and I found this book both interesting and entertaining. The Narrator was good but a little mechanical. She sounded like she was reading carefully.

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A compelling historical narrative!

I finished the whole book in one go! It was a very interesting story, n it also piqued my curiosity to look up the history of the Persian n Iranian revolution. People must learn from history; with what’s happening in today’s world, I am sad to feel that some parts of the world are replaying some dark chapters of history.

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  • S.A.M
  • 04-07-22

Fascinating

This account has gone further than any thing I have heard or read in giving an understanding of the culture and life in the beautiful country of Iran. It also explains to a degree the psychology of the Muslim religion. I am very glad to have listened to it.

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  • C. Thompson
  • 03-25-22

What an amazing story!

Having independently driven to Iran twice, I wasn’t at all disappointed with this fascinating story. Really well written and left me wanting to hear more. (Audible) Jacqueline set the scene with her Jewish family in Tehran during the era of the Shah, then her teenage years and the political changes of the Islamic Revolution, and her marriage and eventual exodus from Iran to settle in America. For anyone with an interest in Iranian modern history and how it affected every day life, this book will not disappoint. I hope Jacqueline writes another book. 5 stars

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  • Neg
  • 11-22-21

Gripping story

As an Iranian born and bred during the war I relayed to this story on so many levels. The story is gripping and true on so many level. The details described depicts the whole scene in the listeners mind. One of the best books I have listened to. Highly highly recommend it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-17-22

can relate

I can relate to all she described in this book. During those days of protestation against the mollahs's regime, I can say that all women, girls born in the 90s and the millennium have had bad experience with the morality police, with the hateful speeches of the sepah and millions are trying to flee the country. within those 40 years people were arrested, tortured and executed nothing.
the performance was good but I couldn't understand why switching to iranian accent 😕?

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  • Sigrin
  • 09-28-22

Dull as ditch water


I was hoping this washing to be a bit more interesting.

By the end of chapter 3, I had to call it a day. If ever a book was in need of editing, this is it.

This book could be liquified and poured into patients ears and save on the anaesthetic.

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  • Lizzy Rain
  • 08-06-22

A wonderful read ....

Thank you Jacqueline for giving an English woman of your own generation an insight into Iranian life. How fortunate am I have to have grown up in such freedom in comparison; as you experienced in Birmingham. To experience a parallel life through your eyes was an incredible read. I held my breath so many times throughout. I wished like crazy for your Father to get you out of there asap. I admired the stalwart attitude of your Mother (a little of the British stiff upper lip), always so elegant and loyal to your Father. My heart broke when you walked your daughter into school and it lifted on your granddaughter's first day. We all take such freedoms for granted. A life lived sometimes with fear, frustration and trepidation, but also with so much bravery, grace, fortitude and love.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-22

An engrossing read

One of the best biographies I've read on Audible. Informative and engrossing covering the life of a woman who experienced three significant stages in Iran's history - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Narrator was first class, with no breathy overkill preferred by many narrators.
It contained a lot of explanation, but the author wove it brilliantly into the storyline.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-17-22

Amazing!

Loved this! Narrator and story were both amazing. I learnt so much about Iran and Jewish people living there.