On another occasion, Mullah was sleeping at night when he heard a big commotion on the street. He got up, wrapped himself in a blanket, and stepped out. After a few minutes, things quieted down and he came back home without his blanket. When his wife asked him about the fight, he answered, "Oh, the fight was over my blanket!"
This is actually a popular expression now. Whenever there’s an argument about something seemingly irrelevant, or if a disagreement fades away without any resolution, someone might say, "The fight was over Mullah’s blanket!"
From Iran to America
Mahnaz and Shirin – A Love Story
Through anecdotes related between long lost acquaintances, Reza Mashayekhi has given us a glimpse of what it was like growing up in Iran. The tension of Iranian politics through the years, from Mosaddegh to the Shah to Khomeini, and the fear of SAVAK, the secret police, are balanced with the humor of the culture clash of coming to America and adjusting to customs much different from Iran's. Intertwined in all of this are the relationships, lost and renewed, which bring a special poignancy to the historical context.
Fort Pierce, Florida
Reza Mayasheki’s book From Iran to America is a very funny and enjoyable read. Eventhough Reza feels that he is primarily a writer, he really should try to get work as a storyteller or a comedian. The stories are wonderfully told, and I found myself laughing aloud as I read them. The perspective Reza brings to his writing, having lived in two completely different cultures, is refreshing. In my experience as a vocal artist who has recorded the work of many authors, I have to say that rarely have I found characters as unique and alive as the ones Reza describes in From Iran to America. This is one book you will enjoy!
Gary Ciesla, Author
Highland Falls, New York
"From Iran to America" is an intelligent love story that dually takes you on a voyage of understanding and learning about Middle East culture and personality through rich story-telling. Reza Mashayeki is a master-wordsmith and novelist -- his stories, you will not forget.
Marc Emmelmann, Publisher
Generally light hearted humor, with episodes of cruelty and sadness, Reza tells his love story through dozens of short stories. While he contrasts his childhood in Iran with those in America. I have to say, that many of my American childhood experiences were similar to his. And so it goes throughout. His story so different, yet so similar, to mine. Often in a distant, different part of the world. As luck would have it, our paths have crossed a few times. Each of them good. This time we crossed paths in print. I enjoyed the read and left some of my chores behind.
Steve Estes, Engineer
This book, as it is meant to be, is about a love story based on personal experiences. But it is so only on the surface. It goes much deeper . . . The choice of the topic and the simplicity in dealing with it, added to its authenticity, make the book an easy read . . . Moreover, it brings to light serious problems, notably that of miscommunication that cripples so many human beings who are in continuous search for identity, especially those who live in a foreign country.
Kelly Monia Ben Felah Hughes, English teacher
What can I say? “From Iran to America” is a superb and very well written story. It is a compelling read, which had me hooked from start to finish. A story filled with emotion and humour; realistic life experiences of people from different backgrounds and nationalities, which are both gripping and believable. My only regret is that I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait for the sequel.Thank you for sharing your book with me Reza Mashayekhi. I highly and wholeheartedly recommend "From Iran to America".
Zoe Miller, Online ESL English Teacher
A simple tale of love, loss, and innocence set at the cross-cultural roads of identity and obscurity. Sincerely told through the eyes of an immigrant struggling to rediscover his Eastern cultural past while on a quest of discovering a new Western selfhood amidst life's daily challenges. I recommend this book, not only to all new immigrants who are going, or very likely have gone, through similar battles of self identity, but also to their first and subsequent generation children and kindred who may be unaware of the roots of their parents' and ancestors' struggles and hardships, as new immigrants in a new land.
Rametin Movahhed, Theatrical and Film Director
San Diego, California
From Iran To America is a book that teaches about the wonders of coming to our country. It also teaches us about how hard it is to be a new citizen of our country. This is a wonderful story.
Sherri Rabinowitz, Author
San Diego, California
Reza uses a two-tiered structure in "From Iran to America." He peppers the narrative with asides that detail the history, culture or idiosyncratic preferences of the Iranian narrator which explain his actions. The result is a stream of consciousness story with a much deeper understanding of the character and with insights into how the Iranian culture influences him. An enjoyable story.
Andrew F. Rey, Author Science fiction stories,
San Diego, California
What I like most about this book is the way Persian parables are woven through the author’s philosophy and outlook on modern society, tolerance, politics and everyday struggles and joys. Reza Mashayekhi’s voice is sincere, which makes me sit up and listen; it is authentic, which makes me want to read on; and it is humorous, which makes me laugh when sometimes I want to cry. If you want an insider’s look of what it means to live in two worlds – the foreign and the foreigner – this book is a must read.The author hopes for a more tolerant world where dialogue instead of violence empowers people to transform misunderstandings into understanding and in this way, manifest within oneself tolerance and acceptance of other cultures and peoples, which are different and foreign. This is my hope, too. Maybe that is why From Iran to America resonates within me. One of my favorite parts of the book is the following parable about a very popular regional figure in Iran:
So, the next time I’m engaged in an irrelevant argument or an unresolved disagreement, I’m going to say, “The fight was over Mullah’s blanket!” And hopefully, my American friends will question what the heck I mean so I can educate them a little in the Persian way.
Leilani Squire, Writer, Creativity coach, Veterans advocate,
Los Angeles, California
Speaking from personal experience, Mr. Mashayehki’s perceptive, clear, and gentle observations and conversational commentaries lead the Reader through important questions and insights about one's perception of the Other.
He uses the events and relationships of his past life growing up in Iran, his new life in the West, his past love relationship with Shirin (and others), and the potential of a new mature relationship between himself and Mahnaz, to explore the difficulties and rewards of communication and understanding—between modern and ancient cultures, and between men and women.
This is a highly recommended read for any person of any culture wishing to gain a deeper perception and appreciation of the value of communication.
Richard Adrian Steiger,Ethnomusicologist San Diego, California
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