MM Books, Dec 2009, $18.00
In 1978, teenager Omid Mottahedeh and her three best friends distribute anti Shah Literature at school. The Savak catch one of them in the act and take her away. Her mom, University of Tehran Professor Azar Parham, knows her daughter is in trouble so over the objection of Omid arranges for her to live with her father Habib, his wife Carol and their twin sons in Wolcott, Connecticut. Shortly after that Ayatollah Khomeini overthrows the Shah to the elation of Omid who expects freedom and the despair of Habib who expects religious tyranny. As her mother vanishes, Omid knows her father is proven right by deadly events in Iraq.
In 2009 in Litchfield, Connecticut, Omid understands why her mom sent her away as she worries about her two daughters Hannah and Sayeh; more so the latter who is studying in Cairo. Unbeknownst to Omid or her spouse John, Sayeh has traveled to Tehran as the election for president occurs.
This is a super profound look at Iran through a sandwich generation expatriate whose mother dies for freedom in 1978 and three decades later her daughter is caught up with the cries for freedom. Readers will be spellbound with Omid’s struggles as she knows first hand the cost in blood for human rights. Hichkass Hamekass is a pseudonym that represents every mother, sister, and daughter who fight for their family yet also mindful of Ayatollah Khomeini declaring a fatwa on Salmon Rushdie. Although obviously with a human rights political agenda, fans will fully appreciate this strong family drama as Omid knows grief with what happened to her mom and their cause, and fears history is repeating itself.