chapter  12
The odyssey of Jalal Al-Ahmad’s Gharbzadegi – five decades after
Pages 29

In November 1961, the author Jalal Al-Ahmad addressed a critical report on the educational and cultural problems of Iran to a council convened by the Ministry of Education to discuss the country’s cultural objectives.1 In January 1962, he addressed the council again only to discover, the following month, that his report was excluded from the published proceedings. In May 1962, encouraged by a close circle of friends, Al-Ahmad published a revised version of the report’s first part renamed Gharbzadegi, in the Kayhan Group’s new monthly periodical Ketab-e mah, which he edited.2 Shortly after the publication of its first issue, the periodical was banned by the authorities.3 His conviction that the publication of Gharbzadegi led to the ban plunged Al-Ahmad into great “gloom and distress.”4 Yet within a few months, in October 1962, he independently sponsored the publication of 1,000 copies of an extended version of the paper, which was now a full-scale essay.