Exile

“We have learned first hand that nothing is worth the suffering, death, and destruction brought about by ideologies that in their fervor uproot so much and destroy so many and then fade away, blow up, or self-destruct. We learned in looking back over our lives that nothing is worth the breach of the sanctity of […]

Mahnaz Afkhami & Farah Ebrahimi: Iran

PBS “Destination America”
Sisters Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. Both later returned to Iran as adults, where they would be torn apart by Iranian politics during the reign of the shah. Mahnaz became a minister in the shah’s government and advocated for women’s rights, while Farah and her husband joined the cause of the revolution. Ultimately, Mahnaz and Farah both had to flee Iran in fear for their lives.

PBS Destination America “Mahnaz Afkhami and Farah Ebrahimi”

Ferdows Naficy and her two daughters, Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. The PBS program “Destination America” features their story in the episode “Mahnaz Afkhami and Farah Ebrahimi: Iran.”

Exiles, Immigrants and Refugees: Women Making Choices

Book review by Ivette Valdés In Feminist Collections, A Quarterly of Women’s Studies Resources, Volume 17, Nos. 3-4, Spring/Summer 1996 Mahnaz Afkhami, WOMEN IN EXILE. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1994. 210p. $35, ISBN 0-8139-1542-2; pap., $12.95, ISBN 0-8139-1543-0. Jill M. Bystydzienski and Estelle P. Resnik, eds., WOMEN IN CROSS-CULTURAL TRANSITIONS. Bloomington, IN: Phi […]

Allah and Freud are against them: Shusha Guppy is fascinated and saddened by a new survey of Iranian women’s lives

The Independent / Book Review by Shusha Guppy
DURING THE upheavals that led to the 1979 revolution in Iran, women’s support is supposed to have been the decisive factor in the overthrow of the Shah and the seizure of power by Ayatollah Khomeini. Every day in the news we saw images of women wrapped in black chador shaking their fists and shrieking slogans, like birds of bad omen in a horror movie. This was all the more astonishing as Iranian women were among the most emancipated in the Islamic world.

Women in Exile: A Prologue

cover_WomenInExileAlong with the loss of our culture and home comes the loss of the traditional patriarchal structures that flouted our lives in our own land. The pain of breaking out of our cultural cocoon brings with it the possibility of an expanded universe and a freer, more independent self. We are all “damaged,” but we repair ourselves into larger, deeper, more humane personalities. Indeed, the similarities between our lives as women and as women in exiles supersede every other experience we have encountered as members of different countries, classes, cultures, professions, and religions. We echo each other when we say the world is our home and repeat wistfully that it means we have no home. We talk of having gained identification with a more universal cause. We have also learned firsthand that nothing is worth the suffering, death, and destruction brought about by ideologies that in their fervor uproot so much and destroy so many and then fade away, blow up, or self-destruct.

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