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One more book event before the summer

A dear friend of mine, Karen Winnick, hosted a beautiful luncheon for me to talk about my book. It was a perfect California Sun shinny day and Karen, true to her good taste, hosted a lovely lunch with English tea and finger sandwiches and home made desserts. As I told friends at the event, Karen truly made me feel like a princess.  Among the guests were other authors and artists, which made for a lively discussion.  My heartfelt thanks to Karen and impeccable hospitality.

Here are some pictures of the day!

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:

Elie Wiesel, the Queen and I — a surreal night

A friend told me over lunch yesterday, “You should just write a book about all that is happening at the book signing!” Her comment is quite on target….I have had the most wonderful and surreal experiences at my book events.

Just this week my book tour took me to New York, where good friends Nazee and Joe Moinian hosted a fabulous and elegant cocktail party at the Plaza Hotel. One Hundred and fifty friends, family, and colleagues came to the signing, which was a huge success.

There were two people whom I have always admired, attended and supported the event.

Her Majesty, Queen Farah Pahlavi and her daughter-in-law, Yasmine attended this event.  Her Majesty had the kindest words to say about the book and the role of Iranian artists in the Persian culture, especially in the diaspora.   This event was surely not about politics, as my book is not about politics either. Her Majesty’s presence had the added significance since as a child I have always regarded her as a symbol of a modern Iranian woman—one who is intelligent, articulate, and concerned for the larger community.  I also know of her great passion for art, which inspires me to this day.  As she put it in her eloquent way, “People who show the good face of Iranians, who elevate us, are the jewel of the country”. I was touched and humbled that she included me in that group.

Elie Wiesel, the Noble Laureate and Holocaust survivor has always been a hero to me. His life and his message surpass the limits of race or religion.  He speaks out against violence, repression, and racism all over the world and always stresses the dangers of society’s indifference in relation to such matters.  How amazed I was to have him  attend the NY book signing. Again, another “pinch-me” kind of moments where I felt so truly lucky to talk to him finally.

…..And the list of my many wonderful experiences continues.

My book signing at the Beverly Hills Public Library

The next two weeks will be action packed for me.  It starts with my book launch on October 4th and keeps going, with it culminating with my reading and book signing at the Beverly Hills Public Library on October 18th at 3:00pm.  It is a surreal experience because when I was in middle school and high school, I spent so much of my time at the public library in Beverly Hills. Here I am 25 years later talking about my experiences growing up in the city.  It is also an incredibly exciting time for me since I get to share the stage with one of my childhood idles, Mr. Sidney Poitier.  Please take the time to look through the following publications that list in greater detail, the program for that day.  The Los Angeles Times Calendar, Metromix Los Angelels, LA weekly, Iranian Information & Connection Center, Kodoom, and The Jewish Journal have all have my event posted in their calendars.  Hope to see you at one of my events.