Tehran to Miami by Donya Ziraksari
Both an inspiring personal memoir and also an impactful resource that shares the complexities of Iranian history and traditions, Tehran to Miami is a must-read non-fiction masterpiece. In the book, author Donya Ziraksari shares her experience suffering religious persecution in 1980s Iran. This unique survival story highlights the plight and difficulties experienced by the largest Iranian minority, women.
As you read this book, you gain first-hand insight into Persian homes during the 1980s and 90s. Through tragic but captivating detail, the book reveals the oppressive plight under the Iranian government. Women faced a bleak reality. Stripped of their rights, they were forced to cover themselves in public, often lashed in the streets, or imprisoned if not wearing a decent hijab. They were not granted divorce rights, even in the case of infidelity or abuse. Donya Ziraksari is a masterful storyteller who writes with honesty and passion, and she successfully takes on the challenge of speaking on behalf of an entire Iranian generation.
This triumphant memoir captures the profound challenges that people faced and eventually adapted to so they could survive. Ziraksari is a refugee herself, and her ability to tell this story with such vigor is an inspiration to others who are facing similar struggles. There is no other memoir like this, as it presents the myriad of Iranian cultures and traditions through personal stories and approachable language.
Ziraksari is both a survivor and a hero. Tragically, there are far too many women who did not make it out of Iran during this time. With this book, you not only experience life within Iranian homes, but you get to read untold stories that need to be told. The book gives a voice to those who didn’t have one, and never got the chance to find it. Western readers will gain so much from this book. Although it has been 40 years since these stories took place, religious persecution and injustice rage on in the world today. Knowledge is power, and Tehran to Miami will open your minds and hearts to a life outside of your own. It’s a book for men, women, students, historians, professors, and countless others. It’s a book that will change your way of thinking. It’s a book that will drive action and change.