The children’s author, poet and illustrator Hoda Hadadi has been allowed to publish her new book after initially being told censors had rejected it over use of the word “November”.
In a post on Twitter on Saturday, Hadadi said her latest poetry collection for teenagers had been knocked back by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
The publisher, she wrote, had told her “the reason for it was the presence of several words, including ‘Aban’ [November]”.
In Iran the world “Aban” is sometimes used as shorthand for the November 2019 protests, in which thousands of civilians demonstrating against a hike in gas prices were shot, detained and tortured by security forces. Information about the bloody events of that month is suppressed as far as possible by the authorities.
Hoda Hadadi already has more than 80 publications to her name around the world. She has received numerous commendations from Iranian and foreign industry figures, including Best Illustrator the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and
News of the apparent rejection was reported by numerous Persian-language media outlets over the weekend. On Monday, Hadadi posted again: “I’d expressed my surprise at the lack of permission for my teenage book of poetry.
“Today, I was presented with documents that show that the wrong information was given to me, and the guidance letter only said the book is not for teenagers, and should go to the adult section.”