I previously posted a video on this graphic novel, Zahra’s Paradise, but I found its’ first page online- which is what initially attracted me to the book. As we know, Iran is predominantly Islam, and is further occupied by a widespread Armenian diaspora. On the first page, the character Mariam is the main character’s best friend. She is Christian and Armenian, as seen by the huge cross she proudly wears around her neck. While she is a Christian and the main character is Muslim, Mariam loves to chain smoke and drink- a lot. And this resonated with me a lot.
Mariam reminds me of my own mother, who always wears an colossal golden cross around her neck, yet smokes and drinks like no body’s business. Further, she doesn’t understand the significance and righteousness of Islam. It’s more honorable to be a devout Muslim than be a contradicting Christian.