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Red Olive: One Woman's Account of Survival, Revolution and War

Translated from the Persian with an Introduction by M. R. Ghanoonparvar

Availability: In stock
Published: 2016
Page #: x + 160
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: ISBN 13:978-1568592947
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$11.99

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Quick Overview

Published in a series of books intended to record the oral histories of Iranian women and their experiences in the Iran-Iraq War, not only does "Red Olive" chronicle the war years and the aftermath of that war, but it is also an account of the involvement of a young woman, a dissident political activist, in the efforts and events that resulted in the revolutionary upheavals that overthrew the government of the Shah.

"Red Olive" is a rather unusual autobiography; it is the memoir of Nahid Yusefian, a nuclear scientist and one of seven daughters of an ordinary Iranian railroad worker. What is remarkable about her is that she comes from a very unremarkable, humble background. Like everyone else in the working class in Iran, the main concern of Nahid’s parents during her formative years is economic survival, and their persistence eventually pays off, to the point that all seven daughters receive higher educations. Nahid’s formative years are in some ways typical of the times in Iran, and furthermore, her years in college, her gradual interest in anti-government political issues, her interest in almost parrot-like imitation of leftist activists, and her reading and becoming influenced by radical propaganda literature are also all typical of a significant segment of her generation. In the wake of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, all of Nahid’s sisters and her parents immigrate to the United States; but Nahid herself is determined to remain in Iran with her husband, a decision that costs her dearly, with the loss of her husband, the maiming of her son, and the ill-effects on the health of her daughter and herself. In the course of her eventful life, however, she develops a sense of her “self,” a sense of her identity as a woman, an Iranian, a scientist, and above all, a devoted mother. Her adulthood for the most part coincides with the tumultuous years of the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War and she proves, similar to millions of others, to be a survivor. What characterizes her memoir is her honesty in telling her story, even when she has violated the law or ethical standards.

Nahid Yousefian

Nahid Yusefian was born in the city of Arak in 1952 to a working class family. After finishing her high-school education in her small hometown, she studied physics at Ahvaz Jondishpur University, where she received her B.S. in 1975. A year later, she married her college sweetheart, Ali Amini, with whom she had two children, and in the same year, she was admitted to the University of Tehran, where she studied nuclear physics and simultaneously worked for several major companies. After her graduation in 1978, Ms. Yusefian was employed by Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency. When the Iran-Iraq War began, she lived with her family in Ahvaz, where a car bomb incident resulted in the death of her husband and severe injury to herself, her son, and her unborn daughter in 1981. In 1984, she married her late husband’s brother, Mohammad Amini. Ms. Yusefian now lives in the United States.

Preface

Introduction

1.
My God is a Very Kind God

2.
Until I was Five Years Old...

3.
I was Six Years Old...

4.
From the Third Grade in Elementary School.

5.
I was Quite a Nuisance in High School.

6.
The Boys in the Neighborhood were Afraid of Me.

7.
It was Early October 1971.

8.
After Ali and I Got our Bachelor's Degrees.

9.
I was in Tehran in Late August of 1978.

10.
It was Late September when Ali and His Friends Returned to Iran.

11.
After the Victory of the Revolution...

12.
In Ahvaz...

13.
In Early February when Ali Came Back.

14.
The Next Morning...

15.
Ruzbeh's Legs Still Needed Care.

16.
It was in Mid Summer...

17.
Before Delivering Laleh.

18.
Not One Year had Passed...

19.
In the Same Year, 1984.

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