Daughter of Persia
By: Sattareh Farman-Farmaian
Genre: Autobiography, Biography
Description: "The daughter of a once-powerful and wealthy shazdeh, or prince, Sattareh was raised in the 1920s and '30s in a Persian harem compound in Tehran with numerous mothers, more than thirty brothers and sisters, and nearly a thousand servants. Here, the despotic, but enlightened Shazdeh educated his daughters as well as his sons, preparing them for the political turmoil he feared would arise when he was gone. As a young woman, Sattareh broke with stern Moslem tradition to journey alone across Iran, India, and the Pacific in wartime to reach America, where she became the first Persian to study at the University of Southern California, and earned an advanced degree in social work. Fired by a vision of lifting her people out of backwardness and poverty, she returned to Iran and founded the Tehran School of Social Work. For twenty years, Sattareh, her students, and her graduates waged a heroic war on poverty, disease, and overcrowding that made her famous. Then, soon after the collapse of the Shah's regime, she found herself at Ayatollah Khomeini's headquarters, arrested as a "counter-revolutionary" and facing possible execution. This remarkable recounting of her compelling story and final flight from her homeland opens a dramatic window on Iran's journey through the twentieth century."