Equally at home in Tehran or New York, Hooman Majd benefits from a background as intricately woven as any Persian carpet. The son of a diplomat under the shah of Iran, Majd attended schools in California, India, Iran, North Africa, and England. After the tumultuous 1979 Islamic Revolution, return to Iran for Majd and others like him suddenly became highly unlikely if not impossible.
But with reforms and an easing of restrictions on dual-passport holders under former President Mohammad Khatami, Majd returned to Iran for the first time in three decades in 2003. Since then, he has written about Iran full-time for, among others, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, Politico, and Salon. His first book, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran, was widely lauded for its keen insight into Iranian society and the Islamic Republic. Majd has also interpreted for both Khatami and — at the UN (2006-2008) — for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Majd has repeatedly traveled inside Iran since the disputed 2009 Iranian elections, and documents the current state of affairs in his newly published book, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge.