Iran Publishes Children’s Book About War in Syria

Iran Publishes Children’s Book About War in Syria PHOTOGRAPH: Pixabay/Hashem | Under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Iran published a children’s book that upholds pro-Iranian fighters in Syria. These fighters are supporting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Iranian military is also promoting the book.

Iran: Children’s Book About War In Syria

This newly-published book is called Angels of Shrine. It is meant for children five years old and above. In addition, the book teaches the children about “Shrine Defenders,” a phrase Tehran used for its fighters who were present in Syria.

In fact, Angels of Shrine is a Persian-language book. It included paintings and text, which talked about the battles, Iranian forces fought in Syria. The book was written in the form of bedtime poetry. It is a 42-page book depicting illustrations of the war in Syria. It also talked about fighters defending a shrine and venerated religious figures sacred to Shi’ites.

“This children’s book came about after a lot of brainstorming by cultural activists in Iran,” the book’s publisher, Ali Pourtaghi, said. The aim of the book, according to Pourtaghi, is to create proper emotional sustenance. It is meant for families and children whose fathers or brothers sacrificed their lives in the war, reported VOA.

In addition, Pourtaghi stated that the book was published in late December. The publication is an independent venture made by the “Shrine Defenders’ Retainers Group,” the publisher said. Moreover, the scenarios in the book were absolutely pro-regime. On social media, the book is being promoted by IRGC leader Qasim Soleimani, who is an important military commander.

However, the publication of the book has been criticized fully by rights groups. These groups also criticized the government. They said that the book that was meant for children is “an exploitation of children’s emotions.” “We can’t teach children with whatever we want without measuring their consequences in the future,” said a Tehran-based children rights activist, Hiwa Ahmadi.

Iran: Early Publication Controversy

In August 2016, DW reported that book publication in Iran could go through strict evaluation. However, children’s books in the country contained intense violence, which were published without any proper scrutiny. Moreover, children’s books must come in terms with the difficult criteria of upholding Iran’s religious values.

“I look very carefully at what I buy for my 8-year-old daughter. I have to make sure the books she gets don’t celebrate violence,” Shohreh (name changed) said. Shohreh is a graphic designer from Isfahan. She talked about the craze in literature for young people in Iran.

She said that children’s books were sold heavily in the country. However, other books were low in the market, as majority preferred to watch television than reading. In addition, Shohreh stated that violence in children’s books is another reason for them being sold. In fact, she wasn’t surprised that books, which contained hanging of animals, did well in the markets.

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