About The Author

moving picture of the author signing books

My story starts on the rough streets of a small southern Iranian town named Nayriz and ends on equally rough streets of a tumultuous Harlem in the 1960s. My Nayriz childhood and adolescence involved growing up among a persecuted but highly resilient Baha’i religious minority. Two decades later, I found myself working and somehow thriving amongst like-minded colleagues at the Harlem Prep school to guide hundreds of young African-Americans away from the streets and into college.

My Faith, along with a sense of humor, has been my saviour through all my struggles with the harsh reality of rural Iran as well as with life on the margins of American society as an immigrant.

Throughout it all and amidst misunderstandings of cultural norms (some larger than others) of a new homeland, I worked to maintain my Baha’i and Iranian identities as I gradually (and I would say successfully) settled into the American dream in New York City.

I was a Baha’i in a Shi’a Muslim country, an immigrant in a foreign land, a poor person in New York City, a middle Easterner in the West. All the while, I lived a life full of humorous moments, meeting many colorful personalities from all walks of life, and carving out a path forward filled with love and meaning.

Recent Articles

BABISM iii. Babism in Neyriz for Encyclopædia Iranica

BABISM iii. Babism in Neyriz for Encyclopædia Iranica

Neyriz (Niriz) is a town in Fars south of Iran, located about 220 km southeast of Shiraz on the eastern side of Baḵtagān Lake. In the medieval period, the nesba “Neyrizi” is attested by Abu’l-ʿAbbās Fażl b. Ḥātem Neyrizi ...In 1850, Sayyed Yaḥyā ...more
On Tahirih, The First Persian Feminist

On Tahirih, The First Persian Feminist

Tahirih has been inspiring writers, human rights activists and artists for generations. Now a new book about the Persian poet and champion of women’s rights examines her life and her links with suffragettes in the West, and pays tribute to her legacy.  Robert Harris reviews The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and her American Contemporaries by Hussein Ahdieh and ...more

Books