Possibly, we’re thinking of her today because we went to Reza’s for lunch on Saturday (all you can eat Persian buffet with all the kebobs, the shirazi salad, hummas, and all sorts of other Persian goodies), but we wonder if you have ever read the excellent book “Daughter of Persia” by Sattareh Farman Famaian?
She’s the daughter of a Persian prince who grew up in opulence, lost everything in the revolution, and started a school for social work in Iran before moving to the United States and lecturing on women’s rights and resistance to militant Islam.
In college, one of us was assigned the book in a political science class, and one of the essay assignments was to write about what Sattareh would think of several questions the teacher posed. So, we wrote to Sattareh herself, on a lark, and asked her the questions, not thinking she would ever respond. But, she did…answered every one of them…and it made for one of the best essays we ever wrote in college. The professor didn’t believe it was really her, and was shocked we were able to get through like that. But, if people have a contact button on their website, and they do public speaking, chances are they’ll write back to you if you are nice to them. Especially people who aren’t necessarily inundated with fan mail by the public at large. Old movie stars and retired politicians write back quite often (Claudette Colbert, in the early 90s, was especially penpal-receptive). Same with authors of books published a while ago. Try it…you’ll be surprised who you hear from. Most of these people are very nice, especially the ones with stories to tell as remarkable as Sattareh’s.
It’s sad, but her website has not been updated in five years regarding her speaking engagements, so perhaps she’s passed away and her Wiki bio has not been updated yet. That’s a shame because she’s someone we would have liked to have met — at Reza’s for lunch, especially — to hear more of her life’s story.
Seriously, people, it’s like Gone With the Wind in Iran, where Scarlett was smarter, had more morals, was more beautiful, and faced down the forces of true evil in the form of the Ayatollahs. It was the most riveting and exciting book we ever read for any class in all of our years in school.
Like we said, we have no idea why we had this sudden urge to tell you about this book today, but when something like this happens, and there’s an energy to write something, we do. Maybe you are meant to read this book right now for some reason, to give you a better picture of the people of Iran.
The REAL Iranians…not the Ayatollahs and religious nuts. The real Persians, not the lunatic fundamentalists in charge over there.
If you’ve read “Daughter of Persia”, chime in here with your thoughts, especially if you have an update on what Sattareh’s doing now, especially since we very much hope she is still with us, speaking somewhere.
If you haven’t read it yet, please add it to your reading list. You won’t be sorry.
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