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Nazila Fathi


Nazila Fathi, an Iranian-Canadian journalist, became the longest serving correspondent for the New York Times based in Tehran for 13 years. Nazila forced to leave Iran after Iran’s disputed presidential election in 2009. She recently published her memoire The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran. Nazila is on her book tour. Goltune met her in Chicago.

Your bookshelf?

I am reading the book I have brought with me, A Mountain of Crumbs by a Russian writer. I think her name is Elena Gorokhova. It is a memoire. I usually read different ones [books]. It depends on what mood I am in. The other book I am reading is A Spy for All Seasons by a former spy Duane Clarridge. I am finishing that one actually.

Your inspirations?

A lot of things. My children. My husband. I am a positive person. I always look for opportunities, and I look at even bad things, that happen in life, as opportunities that will end up for the best. So yeah, a lot of things. Friends. Success of friends.

Your best meal?

Well depends on how hungry I was. Well, the best meal I had was when I came from Afghanistan to Iran. I was in Afghanistan for an assignment for New York Times. I told that the food, the meat, was bad in Afghanistan. I was starving. There was a small town near the border, when we crossed Afghanistan for Iran. And I remember the best food I ever has was chicken kabob. I am not a big fan of kabob. But it tasted like the best food ever for me.

Your musical DNA?

I used to love rock and roll, and I still get a thrill from hearing rock and roll. But, I also like jazz. My favorite musician is Chris Botti. What else? Well Chris Botti is definitely one of my most favorite ones.

Your google browser?

The New York Times, of course.

Your friends and followers?

Well Facebook is a bit hard. I have a lot of Iranian friends whom I don’t know. But on Twitter, I have a lot of followers who are journalists, reporters, people interested in women, and I would say on the Middle East. Yeah. I think, on Twitter, I have more serious followers than on Facebook.

Your complaints?

I don’t know. I can’t think of anything. I have different complaints on different days. For instance I was mad at my daughter’s violin teacher just recently. My daughter does not like her, and she is not trying to be a better teacher.

Your wellness RX?

I love exercising. I try to do it on a daily basis, but I don’t like classes. I don’t like yoga. I like going to the gym on my own, and elliptical is my favorite machine.