This book examines how, through the mediation of past history and current cultural and professional experience, selected Iranian professionals who came to the United States after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, created new identities and possibilities for the future. The stories and experiences of these individuals speak of elements that have contributed to Iranians' view of themselves and their relationship with one ather. The study touches upon the conflict between Iranians' national/cultural and religious identities and explains how individuals' understanding of power and capacity to act is interrelated with the sequences, continuity, and preservation of historical events. Furthermore, it describes how, through interpretation and re-interpretation of narratives, individuals and communities can reflect upon their understanding and ownership of power and make changes that reconnect and empower them in the future. The power of narrative is a medium to initiate a long overdue dialogue amongst Iranians that could help heal the history of a thousand years.
Laleh Shahideh is Director of Student Academic Services, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco.