Category: Articles

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Feb 06
2015

Every Nation is Many Nations

Feb 06, 2015

I’m sitting with three other people in a narrow booth in a bustling cafe in Manhattan. It’s the week of snowstorms and icy weather that most Angelenos dread but that I like so much, even if it does hurt to breathe outdoors, the cold air stabbing the brainstem like the sharp tip of an icicle.

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Nov 12
2014

From Tehran to Tel Aviv

Nov 12, 2014

So there we were, two Israelis, an Iranian Jew and an Iranian Muslim, all writers, sitting on a stage at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman building. The occasion for the gathering was the publication of two anthologies of short stories, “Tehran Noir” and “Tel Aviv Noir,” featuring contemporary writers from each city.

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Nov 04
2014

How Iranian Jews Shaped Modern Los Angeles: A Tale of Culture Clashes And Revitalization

Nov 04, 2014

In no time at all, we went from being unknown to notorious. When I moved to Los Angeles in August 1977, perfectly intelligent, well-meaning Americans would ask me if we had roads and automobiles in Tehran, or if I had taken a camel to elementary school every day. The ones who did know Iran wanted to talk only about the ruins in Persepolis or Queen Farah’s jewels. Most people just couldn’t tell Iran from Iraq, Arab from Iranian, Shiite from Sunni. And they certainly couldn’t fathom such a t

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Oct 08
2014

Excerpt from: “The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.”

Oct 08, 2014

That word, aabehroo, is one of those for which no equivalent exists in the English language. It alludes to the impression that others hold of an individual’s virtue and respectability. To have aabehroo means that the world regards a person in high esteem. To lose it — or, more literally, to have it leave the person — means he will live in shame unless he somehow manages to get his aabehroo back.

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Oct 01
2014

Coming to Terms with ‘Need’ This Yom Kippur

Oct 01, 2014

It’s not that I’m greedy and want too much, there’s just a whole lot out there that I need, for myself and my family and even for the dog, Gus, that my kids brought home last year because they needed a dog, so they rescued him from the animal shelter in Van Nuys, for $650, and when I asked why they had to pay so much money for a rescue dog, they said this one was especially cute and the shelter auctioned him and we had to outbid everyone else because we felt Gus needed to be ours.

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Sep 22
2014

Mommy Dearest

Sep 22, 2014

Yeah, I didn’t know it either. I only found out 10 years ago when a friend who lived in Iran came to L.A. for a visit. Just like I didn’t know, till I was in my mid-20s, that I’m not Iranian. I found that out from a random caller to a Persian-language television program produced in Northridge. Like most others of its kind, the program was anti-regime. The host spent a good deal of time enumerating the crimes of the Islamic Republic, among them its stance toward Israel and the arrest and

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