Insight with Ramita Navai: Love, Sex, Death and the Search for Truth in Tehran

Talk Wednesday 21 May 2014, 7:00 PM

The politics of Iran are frequently analysed and debated on the international stage but rarely do we glimpse what everyday life is like in Tehran. In her new book City of Lies, Ramita Navai returns to the city where she was born to explore the lives of its residents.

Navai focuses on eight protagonists: a porn star, an ageing socialite, an assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, a volunteer religious militiaman who undergoes a sex change, a dutiful housewife who files for divorce and an old-time thug running a gambling den. Drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society, their lives present a fascinating and intimate portrait of a complex, colourful and changing city.

Ramita Navai will be joining us in conversation with the BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, to talk about her exploration of modern-day Tehran and what life in the city signals about how the country will develop.

Ramita Navai is a British-Iranian journalist and reporter for Channel 4’s foreign affairs series, Unreported World. Born in Tehran, she has reported from over 30 different countries, including Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, El Salvador and Zimbabwe. She was awarded an EMMY for her undercover report from Syria. She has also worked as a journalist for the United Nations in Pakistan, northern Iraq and Iran, and was the Tehran correspondent for The Times from 2003 to 2006.