Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Books banned in Iran

Author: Paulo Coelho

14 Janeiro 2011

Note from the Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran in Brasil (English and Portuguese)

13 Janeiro 2011
After nearly one week of International pressure, Epoca Magazine informs that the Iranian Embassy will release a note denying the censorship.
Valor Economico (a Brazilian newspaper) informs that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff asked the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the reason of the ban, and “was informed by the [ Iranian ] diplomatic corps [in Brasil] that the action was taken against the publishing house, not against the books of the Brazilian author”.
As I said in my previous posts, there is no reason to ban books that are circulating in the country for the past 12 years
Unfortunately, my official publishing house, Caravan Books, was closed. To see the official letter, CLICK HERE (Disclaimer: this letter was sent and translated by Dr. Hejazi. I don’t have means to verify if the translation is accurate)

I take this opportunity to thank the Brazilian Govt – The Ministry of Culture, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Brazilian President – for the strong, firm, and decisive support during the whole process. It was more decisive than you may imagine.
Aproveito a oportunidade para agradecer ao Governo Brasileiro – O Ministério da Cultura, o Ministério de Relaí§íµes Exteriores, e a Presidenta Dilma Rousseff – pelo apoio firme e decisivo durante todo o processo. Foi mais decisivo do que imaginam.

12 Janeiro 2011
1] I had a long conversation with one of the top people in the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are still waiting for a confirmation from the Iranian authorities on the veto (or on the absence of it). Both the Brazilian Embassy in Tehran and from The Iranian Embassy in Brasil. However, the top official told me, the Brazilian Govt. will not accept the absence of an answer as an answer.
2]Books in Farsi (Persian) for free download (you need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Copy, Share, Print, Distribute freely!!
Be Like the Flowing River
By the River Piedra I sat down and Wept
Stories for fathers sons and grandsons
The Devil & Miss Prym
The Fifth Mountain
The Gift
The Love Letters of a Prophet
The Manual of the Warrior of the Light
The Valkyries
The Winner Stands Alone
The Witch of Portobello
Veronika Decides to Die

11 Janeiro 2011
1] The Brazilian Minister of Culture, Ana de Hollanda, is in contact with the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Patriota. They are currently studying the next steps to be taken. I thank the Brazilian Govt. for the strong support in this issue.
10:08 PM: The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs criticizes censorship (I used Google Translator)
2] I am not naive. Therefore, I still believe that this arbitrary decision was taken from a low-ranking official in Iran. I repeat: it makes no sense to forbid books that were being published for the past 12 years. The contents of the books did not change – they are still the same.
3] Today the Iran Book News Agency published “Paulo Coelho Opinions Reviewed”.
4] I am honestly hoping that sooner or later the Islamic Republic of Iran will reconsider (or eventually deny) the ban.
5] As soon as I have the files in Farsi, all my books will be posted for free in this blog.

1] A ministra da Cultura, Ana de Hollanda, está em contato com o Ministro de Relaí§íµes Exteriores, Sr. Patriota. Eu agradeí§o o apoio do Governo Brasileiro no caso em questí£o
2] Eu ní£o sou ingíªnuo. Portanto, acredito que essa decisí£o arbitrária foi tomada por um funcionário, e ní£o pelo governo em si. Repito: ní£o faz sentido proibir livros que estí£o sendo publicados há doze anos no paí­s.
3] Hoje a Iran Book News Agency publicou o estudo “Paulo Coelho Opinions Reviewed”. Nada neste estudo indica que é uma posicí£o do governo. O jornal Estado de Sao Paulo transcreve o texto: Agencia Iraniana Divulga Nota í  Censura
4] Espero que cedo ou tarde a Republica Islí¢mica do Irí£ reconsidere (ou até mesmo negue) a proibií§í£o.
5] Assim que receber os arquivos, todos os meus livros em Farsi (Persa) serí£o colocados neste blog.

10 Janeiro 2011 16:15 hr

The Brazilian Minister of Culture and the president of Funarte manifested their concern about the ban of my books in Iran. You can read the news HERE (I used Google Translator)
Arash Hejazi explains the system of censorship in Iran. Read HERE

10 Janeiro 2011

1] My books have been published in Iran since 1998, in different publishing houses (Caravan Books, directed by Arash Hejazi, is the only official publisher). So far, we estimated that there are over 6 million copies sold in the country.
2] My books have been published under different governments in Iran. An arbitrary decision, after 12 years of publication in the country, can only be a misunderstanding.
3] In 2009, I used the social communities to support Arash’s ordeal after the elections. You can read the post The Doctor.
4] I hope this misunderstanding will be solved during this week. And I strongly count on the Brazilian Government to support me, my books, for the sake of all the values we cherish.

Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 12:31:56 -0800 (PST)

From: Arash Hejazi

Dear Paulo,

First of all, happy new year and sorry for my belated greetings. As I know you receive tons of emails during the new year, I thought you won’t be eager to receive just another one :) This doesn’t mean that we didn’t think of you at the New Years eve. Since we spent our new year eve at Lourdes in 2001, every year we think of you at about the same time.

Secondly, unfortunately I was informed today that the Ministry of Culture and ‘Islamic Guidance’ in Iran has banned all of your books, even the unauthorized versions published by other publishers. My friends have been told that no book that has Paulo Coelho’s name on it will be authorized to be published in Iran any more.

This is bad news, but I also thought may be it’s time to make your books freely available on Internet in Persian. I haven’t found any way to commercialize this, as there is no way for e-commerce in Iran (people cannot buy anything from outside Iran). But I thought if we can find a proper charity cause, we can ask anyone who downloads one of your books in Farsi to donate some money to that charity. If you agree to this, we will have to discuss the nature of the Charity. If so, I am ready to translate Aleph and make it available this way. As these are your books, I leave the decision about their destiny in your hands.

I also think it might be the time for you to comment on this, at least in your blog, if you want to. Your books have been banned with no explanation, and your Iranian readers are anxious to hear about it from you. We can further discuss it if you wish.

Much love,



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