In an interview with Now Lebanon published today I say:

It was difficult to find women for the calendar; many of those who had originally agreed to do it pulled out for various reasons, including because they couldn’t do full frontal nudity in keeping with Aliaa’s original photo. Also initially I had decided to include men but didn’t receive any professional photos which could be used. Finally, though, we managed to find an amazing group of women – diverse in their bodies as well as in their thoughts – to bring the calendar to fruition.

I am sure there were different degrees of comfort or discomfort with the project amongst the women involved. Some were more comfortable than others. I myself found it incredibly difficult to have my photo taken; it is possibly the most difficult thing I have ever done. I realised how deep-seated and negative some of my feelings were about my own body. It was such a painful process for me but by the time the calendar went public I was over it and no longer ‘embarrassed’ and for that I will always be grateful. Added to my own insecurities were ‘pressures’ from people who felt it was ‘inappropriate’ for someone in my ‘position’ to do such a thing, which only made me more determined. It’s interesting how uncomfortable nudity is the closer to ‘home’ it is. Aliaa’s nudity ‘tarnished the Egyptian revolution’, Golshifteh Farahani, an entire nation, and I and the Iranian women in the supporting video an entire nation but also the political opposition in Iran!

To read the full inteview, click here.



  1. Maryam, Well done! What you said was pure gold,” My body is not obscene; veiling is!” You are genius Maryam! I love your perseverance and restlessness. Please do keep up the GOOD WORK!

    Maryam, don`t ever get discouraged and disappointed! How unimaginative are those who are unable to understand the depth of message you are conveying by doing this brave action! Their minds are handicapped and CAN NOT conceive that by doing this nudity you are targeting the heart of all that religious prejudice and dogmatism who shake the world every now and then in various different ways such as terrorism, honour killing etc. You are so brave Maryam, you are just doing great. Please don`t ever get disappointed just because some people`s minds are not open enough to understand what you have done!

  2. Maryam & all of the women who appear in the Calendar have proclaimed a powerful message of solidarity with Aliaa & Golshifteh. This is a defiant protest against those who revile the human form & who would have people ashamed of their bodies. In these photos, freedom of both the body & the mind are celebrated & affirmed.

  3. Congratulations to all of you for your courage.
    You were far braver than the ‘calendar girls’.
    Now you just have to wait for the film! 🙂

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