“We stormed every classroom, inscribed our slogans on the blackboard . . . Never had mayhem brought more peace. All our lives we had been taught the virtues of behaving, and now we were discovering the importance of misbehaving. Too much fear had tainted our days. Too many afternoons had passed in silence, listening to a fanatic’s diatribes. We were rebelling because we were not evil, we had not sinned, and we knew nothing of the apocalypse. . . . This was 1979, the year that showed us we could make our own destinies. We were rebelling because rebelling was all we could do to quell the rage in our teenage veins. Together as girls we found the courage we had been told was not in us.” In Journey from the Land of No Roya Hakakian recalls her childhood and adolescence in prerevolutionary Iran with candor and verve. The result is a beautifully written coming-of-age story about one deeply intelligent and perceptive girl’s attempt to ﬁnd an authentic voice of her own at a time of cultural closing and repression. Remarkably, she manages to re-create a time and place dominated by religious fanaticism, violence, and fear with an open heart and often with great humor. Hakakian was twelve years old in 1979 when the revolution swept through Tehran. The daughter of an esteemed poet, she grew up in a household that hummed with intellectual life. Family gatherings were punctuated by witty, satirical exchanges and spontaneous recitations of poetry. But the Hakakians were also part of the very small Jewish population in Iran who witnessed the iron fist of the Islamic fundamentalists increasingly tightening its grip. It is with the innocent confusion of youth that Roya describes her discovery of a swastika—“a plus sign gone awry, a dark reptile with four hungry claws”—painted on the wall near her home. As a schoolgirl she watched as friends accused of reading blasphemous books were escorted from class by Islamic Society guards, never to return. Only much later did Roya learn that she was spared a similar fate because her teacher admired her writing. Hakakian relates in the most poignant, and at times painful, ways what life was like for women after the country fell into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who had declared an insidious war against them, but we see it all through the eyes of a strong, youthful optimist who somehow came up in the world believing that she was different, knowing she was special. At her loneliest, Roya discovers the consolations of writing while sitting on the rooftop of her house late at night. There, “pen in hand, I led my own chorus of words, with a melody of my own making.” And she discovers the craft that would ultimately enable her to find her own voice and become her own person. A wonderfully evocative story, Journey from the Land of No reveals an Iran most readers have not encountered and marks the debut of a stunning new talent. From the Hardcover edition.
An Iranian-American poet recounts her life as a daughter of Jewish parents growing up in Tehran, during which she witnessed the impact of the Ayatollah Khomeyni's return to the nation and contemplated political asylum. 40,000 first printing.
Growing up on the far side of Boston in Dorchester, Joseph Sullivan could never have imagined the career he eventually had. But with his parents’ encouragement he studied at Boston Latin School and Tufts and Georgetown Universities and entered an increasingly diverse Foreign Service. His thirty-eight-year career included assignments in Mexico, post-revolution Portugal, Israel, Cuba, South Lebanon, Angola, and Zimbabwe. These countries shared common features of excitement, uncertainty, fascinating cultures, and people. In Washington, Ambassador Sullivan worked on controversial policy issues in Central America and Haiti. This book recounts Joe Sullivan’s story in interview form. As a senior diplomat, Joseph Sullivan rose to the positions of ambassador to Zimbabwe and to Angola, chief of the U.S. mission in Havana, Cuba, and deputy assistant secretary for Latin America. He chaired the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group and was Special Haiti Coordinator. Ambassador Sullivan is a Career Minister and won two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards. He assembled and edited the book, Embassies Under Siege and published articles in “Orbis” and “The Diplomatic Record.” Joseph Sullivan also served at Georgetown and Tulane Universities. While at Tulane, he coordinated international aspects of the U.S. response to Hurricane Katrina. He has two sons, Patrick and Sean.
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.
Who was responsible for the machine-gun murders of the Kurdish and Iranian protestors in a Berlin restaurant? Opinions varied, but the federal prosecutor would charge on to a clear verdict. Adapted from jacket flap.
In the Land of No Kingdom There is based on the great eschatological poem in the book of Isaiah, Chapters 34 and 35, which portrays the end-times war between good and evil. The Kingdom of Cyun has lost the Vessel of Their Lord’s Presence because of their sins, and only ones without sin can cross the ominous Land of No Kingdom There to retrieve it. Only two can be found worthy—Joshua, age twelve, and Sophia, age thirteen. Joshua is named after Joshua the high priest in the book of Zachariah, who bears the same name as Jesus—Yeshua in Hebrew—and is called the Branch. Sophia is named for Lady Wisdom in training. Together these two young people accept the daunting journey of crossing this dangerous land to reach the far mountain of God and to bring back the Vessel of Their Lord’s Presence before Cyun is invaded by Darkon the Dragon and his hordes. On their trek Sophia and Joshua encounter the defeated inhabitants who have no hope and a perilous abode, with dangerous animals and plants, scarce food and water, and the Serpent himself. But this brave duo is also helped by unexpected encounters with visitors to this realm and is able at last to complete their mission! “Dragons do stir the imagination. This story brings to mind the biblical references to dragons and other images as the reader enjoys an exciting allegorical tale that parallels prophecy in Scripture. It is an adventure that hooks the reader on what comes next. I recommend it as an exciting read about perilous times that end with victory.” - Rev. Bob Frank-Plumlee, MDiv, retired minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)