Welcome To The Office of New Student Experience
"Funny in Farsi"
By Firoozeh Dumas
A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
"In 1972, when she was seven, the author
and her family moved from Iran to Southern
California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge
of this country beyond Firoozeh's father's
glowing memories of his graduate school years
here. In a series of deftly drawn scenes, Funny
in Farsi chronicles the American journey of
Dumas's wonderfully engaging family: her
engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who
first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and
in Las Vegas; her elegant mother, who never
fully mastered English (or cared to); her uncle,
who combated the effects of American fast food
with an array of miraculous American weight-loss
gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl
changed her name to Julie and who encountered a
second wave of culture shock when she met and
married a Frenchman, becoming part of a
one-couple melting pot. An unforgettable story
of identity, discovery, and the power of family
love, Funny in Farsi will leave us all laughing
-- without an accent."
Salisbury University was graced with the author's
presence at the 2005 Fall Convocation.
One of your first duties as an SU student is to
read the book Funny in Farsi and come prepared to
discuss it on August 26. As the title indicates, the
book is an often hilarious, yet poignant, memoir of
an Iranian immigrant family. As you read the book,
keep the following questions in mind:
- When Firoozeh's family first arrived in
America, what did they think it meant to be an
American? How did this change over time?
- What were the biggest challenges the family
faced in adapting to their new country?
- What challenges do Firoozeh and her family
face that might be comparable to challenges that
you as a first-year college student might face?
- In the chapter "The Ham Amendment," Firoozeh
describes a discussion with her father that
stayed with her for the rest of her life. She
writes, "I was six years old and I knew that I
had just been made privy to something very big
and important, something far larger than the
jewels in the Shah's crown, something larger
than my little life in Abadan (p. 87)." What was
her big revelation? Do you agree with her
- How did the Iranian Revolution affect
Firoozeh's family, both in America and in Iran?
- "Without my relatives, I am but a thread;
together, we form a colorful and elaborate
Persian carpet (p.103)." What did Firoozeh mean
- What is your favorite chapter in the book?
Why did you pick this one?
You will be expected to engage in a discussion
session with faculty and staff members on Friday,
August 26th. Please see schedule for times.