Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Glossary


A Bolshevik is a member of the Communist party. The Bolsheviks are credited with founding the Soviet Union in 1917 and encouraging communist revolt throughout Europe and Asia.


Communism is an economic theory in which social classes are abolished and all property enters into common ownership.

coup d’état

A coup d’état is a sudden overthrow of a sitting government.


An F-14 is a type of fighter jet plane.


A fatwa is a religious proclamation of rule or order.


Fundamentalism is usually related to a religious belief in certain "fundamental," usually conservative, aspects of faith.

Guardians of the Revolution

The Guardians of the Revolution were the secret police agency of the Islamic Fundamentalist regime.

Iran-Iraq War

The Iran-Iraq War was a conflict occurring from 1980 to 1988. The Iraqi Sunni government engaged the Iranian Shi'ite government for control of the Middle East.


The term "leftist" refers to a liberal political position.


Matriarchy refers to a family's lineage from the mother's side of the family.


Persepolis was an ancient capital of the Persian Empire and a symbol of Persian greatness. Many Persian kings are buried there.

Prime Minister

A Prime Minister is a political leader in a constitutional monarchy.


Self-flagellation is the act of beating or whipping ones self, usually in an act of contrition or demonstration of toughness.


Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath, celebrated every seventh day.


In a general sense, the term "Shah" represents a Persian name for king or ruler. In a specific sense, Shah was the name of used for Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, ruler of Iran from 1941 until the 1979 Revolution.


Sharia is the term for Islamic law and rule.


The Shi'a are the second largest Islamic denomination. Shi'as differ from other Islamic denominations in their belief that Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, is the rightful successor to Muhammad and first Imam. Iran is the country with the largest Shi'a population.


Socialism is an economic and political theory that stipulates common ownership of the means of economic production.


The Sunni are the largest Muslim denomination in the world.

The Iranian Revolution

The Iranian Revolution was the 1979 coup by the people of Iran to overthrow the Shah. The coup was lead by leftist political leaders, but a fundamentalist Islamic regime ended up holding power after the revolution.


A vintner is a person who ferments and bottles wine.


"Western" is a term that generally relates to the culture and society of the Western Hemisphere, often specifically meaning Europe and the United States.