The People with No Camel

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The story of the Baha’is in Iran can be told in a thousand ways. Whatever the medium, it is a powerful and heartbreaking story. The way that Roya Movafegh approaches the saga of her family’s escape from Iran in 1981 is from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. Looking through her eyes, the details of life under a regime whose goal is to annihilate a group of people whose only crime is that of belief in the Baha’i Faith are stark and very real.

I have never been to Iran, never been to the place where my ancestors lived for millennia, but Roya’s words took me to my lost homeland and gave me a glimpse of the struggles that so many people, including many of my relatives, had when they fled Iran. One of the things I appreciated most about this book was her ability to include details that brought a visual aspect in my mind’s eye without distracting from the story itself.

There are 200 pages in The People with No Camel, but the first part of the book was a fast read. The second part, which was only 40 pages, is a brief parable which has references to Persian mythical characters. It is a little confusing but has beautiful imagery. I enjoyed this book and it is important that these kinds of personal stories are shared, to humanize the struggle for human rights and to help us understand the impact that individuals can have. Roya’s story could have been my own.

Sholeh is a founder and Photography Editor of Nineteen Months and takes photos with a Sony A6000. As a child, she was a master fort builder and mud pie baker. Now she reads books, cooks, and organizes everything. You’ve probably met her at a conference somewhere. She is a certified meeting planner. She lives in Chicago with her husband, works as an event manager, and blogs.


  1. Monica

    15 April, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Wow that books looks really good! I want to read it. I watched the video. It seems very moving and well-written.

  2. Maeve

    24 April, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I’ve read this book and it’s extremely eye-opening. I watched the film Persepolis around the same time and together I felt they helped me better understand an event I will never experience first hand, and it’s repercussions.

  3. Reggie

    26 December, 2011 at 12:11 am

    This promo is brilliant, affective, effective leaving me anxious to read the book.