Pouran Najafi was born in the northern city of Rasht in 1960. In 1979, in the throes of the anti-monarchical revolution and as a young student, she engaged in political activism and within a year found her lost gem in the ideals of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). She enthusiastically and tirelessly began to distribute the organization's publications in order to raise awareness among the Iranian people regarding the new threat of Islamic fundamentalism.
She was later arrested and imprisoned at the notorious Evin prison. For five years, the mediaeval torturers of the prison tried to break her down. But it was them who would eventually tire and accept defeat in the face of this freedom fighter's resolve and relentless quest for liberty.
The end of her prison term and the return to her family tested her resolve once again. But instead of submitting to a normal existence, Pouran chose to dedicate her life to attaining the freedom of the Iranian people. She realized that the path to freedom is paved by the PMOI, and so sought to once again join the organization after her release from prison. The PMOI was the embodiment of her ideals and broader aspirations for her homeland.
In 1987, she fled to Iraq to join her colleagues in Camp Ashraf. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S.-led forces, Pouran faced yet another test. Over a decade of perseverance under the toughest of restrictions and an inhumane siege, compounded by frequent terrorist attacks by the Iranian regime and its proxies in Iraq, proved that Pouran stayed true to her promise to the Iranian people.
Pouran was slain on February 9, 2013, along with seven other heroic colleagues, when the Iranian regime's agents and their allies in the Iraqi government fired missiles on Camp Liberty.
I don’t recall if I saw my first gunman in my childhood nightmares or on my childhood streets.
There were plenty in both and they looked very much like each other.
So begins Reggie Chamberlain-King’s introduction to The Black Dreams, a thrilling and compelling collection of specially commissioned stories that explore the emotional geography of growing up and living in Northern Ireland.
The fourteen stories gathered here criss-cross coast, border and city as they map a ‘strange’ territory of in-between states and unstable realities in which understanding is unreliable. Obsessions, death and rebirth, violence, sexuality, retribution and apocalypse are all part of the rich fabric of The Black Dreams.
Bringing together some of Northern Ireland’s finest writers, along with some of the best new talents, The Black Dreams celebrates and extends the rich tradition of the weird, surreal and dream-like in Northern Irish writing. It is also a powerful act of imagining and storytelling – a vibrant, vivid and exhilarating exploration of a world we cannot, or choose not, to see.
Contributors: Jo Baker, Jan Carson, Reggie Chamberlain-King, Aislínn Clarke, Emma Devlin, Moyra Donaldson, Michelle Gallen, Carlo Gébler, John Patrick Higgins, Ian McDonald, Gerard McKeown, Bernie McGill, Ian Sansom,
'The powerful new voice of her generation'
'Funny, nuanced and wonderful'
'A book that had me hollering, nodding and questioning at the same time'
Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie
A candid exploration of the state of outrage in our culture, and how we can channel it back into the fights that matter, from presenter and DJ Ashley 'Dotty' Charles.
In this wise and very funny journey into the outrage industry, Ashley 'Dotty' Charles explores how by shouting about everything, we have lost sight of the fights that actually matter - and created a world where our outrage feels with consequence.
Here's how we can get it back on track.
'Funny, educational, enlightening . . . Way ahead of its time' Chris Evans
'A smart and timely manifesto for surviving the age of rage' i
'Everyone with a social media account should read this book' Bella Mackie
'A swipe at the empty rhetoric of activism' Observer
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