Jamileh Alam al-Hoda, the wife of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, has said she has been asked to write a book in the style of ex-US First Lady Michelle Obama. Her husband, she told a conference in Qom on Thursday, had given her permission to go ahead with it.
“A few days ago, I was given the book of the wife of the former president of the United States, which has been translated 37 times in Iran and has been republished in higher circulation each time,” she said of Michelle Obama’s international bestseller, Becoming (2018). “I was asked to write a similar book.
“I read the book. It was very beautiful, attractive and impressive. I even showed parts of it to the president [Raisi], and he said that writing my own book was the right thing to do."
She went on: “I doubt that this book was written by one person; I expect a team of experts was involved. The book presents a role model for all girls in the world, Cinderella: an ordinary girl who moves from a normal life to reach the highest global position. There was nothing new in terms of the pattern of femininity, but it was written in a modern, impactful style.”
Al-Hoda, the daughter of Mashhad’s Friday Imam, did not specify who had approached her to write her own autobiography. But she said it would present an alternative set of values, in line with the ideology of the Islamic Republic, for young Iranian girls to aspire to.
“What is the dream of an Iranian girl?” she asked. “Is the dream of an Iranian girl such that I can write my own biography based on it? When we look at the lives of the wives of the Defenders of the Shrine, I see this is not the dream of an Iranian girl. Others should write this book.
"The greatest achievement of the Islamic Revolution is martyrdom. Martyrdom may be due to the weakness of security systems. But the greatest aspiration is the desire to be martyred. Those who can use a pen must write the dream of Iranian girls."
At the event Jamileh Alam al-Hoda also used her platform to defend her husband’s decision to conspicuously perform his prayers in front of cameras during a state visit to Moscow last week, echoing a similar publicity stunt by ex-IRGC Quds Force commander Ghasem Soleimani in 2015. "The concept of spirituality was reflected in the president’s behavior in the Kremlin," she said.