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Upcoming Event at the JCC in Manhattan

As an author, one of the most prestigious places to have a book event is at the JCC in Manhattan, and on May 25th, I will have the opportunity to speak with the community about my book and my experiences as an Iranian-Jewish Immigrant.  Inevitably I am asked about my reasons behind writing the harrowing tale of our family’s escape from revolutionary-rocked Iran.  One reason I wrote Life as a Visitor because I wanted to give my community a voice.

At the JCC event, I want to share the varied stories of my people from Iran. It is interesting that through my book tour, I now realize that many people were not even aware that there were Jews in Iran. As a matter of fact, we were the largest community in the Middle East after Israel right at the start of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. With the revolution in 1979, 60% of Jews immigrated—so, the largest Jewish community in diaspora in the Middle East is now slowly but surely fading away. So, in a way by talking about my story and my heritage, I am reintroducing this ancient family of Jews and making their presence known. On a personal level though, I feel there is an urgency to document our story because with our move to the United Sates, and the declining Jewish population in Iran, our story will be lost forever.

For more information on the JCC and my event please go to this link:

A Marathon Week

This week proved to be one of the busiest weeks of all for me: A book signing event at the Tycher Library, in coordination with the Jewish Federation of Dallas, and an interview at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.  One of the great surprises of a book event is that you never know who shows up and whom you meet!

My Sunday book event in Dallas was just delightful and what made it even more fun was that my nephew, Ariel, a student at SMU, came to see me.  This is a big deal because in the past couple of years, I don’t think he has ever woken up before 11:00 am for anything.  (He plans all his classes at noon or later).  A big nod to my handsome Ariel and a big thank you to Shula, my sister-in-law, for joining me on this leg of the tour.

Then off to Austin I went. I met with my good friends, Suzanne and David Booth, who have just moved from Los Angeles to live there.  I am so grateful for their hospitality and for the spectacular party the had in honor of  my husband and me.  The following day I got a tour of the Ransom Center, and Molly, one of the curators, took me to their manuscript archives in the basement.  This was a real treat and an experience. Listen up book worms—you will love this!  I got the chance to see original manuscripts from Bowles, Beckett, and other greats, with their own handwritten editing work in the margins! And if you don’t know, I love the smell of old books, so imagine getting your hands on 200 year old bound manuscripts and books.

That evening, Suzanne Booth, who is also on the advisory board at the Ransom Center, did a Q & A there in the center’s theatre. I got a chance to meet fellow writers, some Iranians in Dallas, and of course other university faculty and students.

Okay, I know I should not brag about my kids, it is not a nice thing to do. But I can’t help myself. So, here I go!  Later on this week, Phillip and I went to Stanford for the new student orientation.  Words cannot express how exhilarating this experience was. The campus is gorgeous and the faculty and the courses offered are just mind blowing. In an ideal world I would want to be a university student forever. Really, it’s the truth!

A Warm Reception with the Ladies of IMA Association

These pictures of the book event that took place at the North Shore Hebrew Academy in Kings Point, Long Island are long overdue. I just received them myself a few days ago.

IMA Association (The Iranian Jewish Mothers Association) put together this wonderful event for me.  The mission of this association is to bring cultural awareness and Jewish Studies to a new generation of Iranian Jewish Families.  I have to say that every attendant at that event was exceptionally warm and supportive.  I was so touched by their enthusiasm and their interest in my book and I hope that I, too was able to impact them in a positive way myself. I look forward to seeing these ladies soon!

Reception for Shirin Neshat’s film– Women Without Men

It goes without saying that I am a major Shirin Neshat fan. What I admire about her is that her art is constantly evolving and her works has broken through the cultural specific genre of Iranian Art has garnered international appeal. Just imagine how excited I was when I could include some of Shirin’s hauntingly images in my book, Life as a Visitor.

My husband, David and I had a reception at our home to celebrate her and Shoja Azai’s most recent collaboration and creation—the feature film that earned them a Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival—Women without Men.

It was wonderful evening. Friends, artists, and art patrons all gathered at our home in support of the film.  Laughter, discussion, and friendly banter could be heard everywhere.

Here are a couple of pictures of the evening.