Parsa's Bride

A life in six scenes


Parsa's Bride
by Nazy Kaviani

From the "Kissing All The Frogs" Series

Scene 1: We have known each other through our childhood and college years, and as each of us has started working in a professional field, we have kept in touch, visiting each other once a month at a small marina café. It is our time to be that which defines our identity, so drastically different from that of our parents', and still very different from non-Iranians. We are the odd Iranian American bunch of our metropolitan city. One of us is a graphics artist, another a dental student, a third one a psychologist interning with the prison system, and there are two software engineers, a teacher, and a bartender in our midst. I am still attending law school.

Every first Sunday of the month, we get together at the corner table of the noisy Café Roma, where we have breakfast and catch up with each other.

On this particular Sunday, as we are sitting around chatting, Parsa announces: “Hey, I’m going to Iran next month!” We are so happy for him. Our parents have always made the effort to go to Iran at least once every other year. When we were children, they used to take us, too, and we have so many good memories of the fun and loving times we had there.

With our lives becoming more complicated, though, and with travel to Iran being so expensive, most of us don’t even consider going there for a visit any more. Vacations are a lot cheaper and let’s face it, a lot more fun when we go to Mexico or other places! But we all feel happy for Parsa who is going. Parsa has been doing well at the major software company where he works, growing more prosperous than the rest of us a lot faster, driving a nice car, and wearing nice clothes. It’s true, he isn’t that tall or handsome, but he is funny and smart and sweet, and we just love having him around. So, we’ll miss seeing him next month. We’ll catch up with him in October!

Scene 2: We are all sitting around and chatting, excited to see Parsa after his return from Iran. He looks so happy. Wait, is that a wedding band on his left hand?!! He tells us that he met the most gorgeous woman and got married in Tehran! “Just like that?!!” we ask him. “Just like that!” he says! “Where is she?” we ask, and he tells us that she will join him soon, after he does the paperwork. We are shocked and a little worried for Parsa. How could he make such a big decision in just three weeks! We disperse a little too quietly and quickly this time.

Scene 3: We are at the coffee shop, waiting for Parsa who had emailed to say he was showing up this time after having missed our gathering last month. Before he arrives we are whispering our fears and reservations about Parsa’s quickie wedding and his phantom bride, the one he has been waiting to arrive for close to 8 months. The little bells on the door of the coffee shop jingle and we look up. There at the shop’s threshold stand Parsa and the most gorgeous woman we have ever seen! They start walking toward us and we are having a hard time keeping our jaws where they were a few minutes ago! He introduces her to us. Negin is tall, sexy, and gorgeous. Her beautiful long curly hair is falling in cascades all around that beautiful face. She looks and walks and acts like a supermodel, not like a girl out of an Islamic country. She shakes our hands and flashes us a most charming smile with her perfect teeth. Though nobody minds Negin’s awesome beauty, especially the guys who are a little jealous, everybody feels a little strange seeing her next to our casual group and particularly our cherished friend, Parsa, who is clearly excited and beside himself with joy, if a little lost, a little dimmed next to his wife’s beauty and charm. We start talking and the ice melts soon.

Scene 4: We are at the coffee shop and Parsa is there without Negin. We don’t mind since nobody else brings their boyfriends or girlfriends to the gathering, and Parsa is the only one married among us. We ask him how Negin is and what she’s up to these days and he tells us that she is in college, continuing her disrupted education. Parsa looks good and happy. He is wearing an expensive suede jacket and he is growing his hair longer than normal; it becomes him.

Scene 5: When we arrive the coffee shop, Parsa is already there. His hair looks disheveled and his clothes look like he slept in them the night before. We take our seats and say nothing but the casual chit-chat of greetings. Soon we fall silent and look to Parsa to ask him how he is. He starts sobbing openly. He tells us that he and Negin had been fighting for a while, because he wanted them to start working on a family and she wouldn’t hear of it until she finished her degree. Once she had finished her two years to complete her degree, she had said she wanted to get a job. The sales job she had led to a meteoric rise for her at her work which has made her drag her feet even more. He says during their last fight two weeks ago, she announced that she wanted a divorce and had promptly moved out to a girlfriend’s house. Parsa says no matter what he has done and how hard he has tried, he hasn’t been able to bring Negin back. She refuses to talk to him and is adamant about a divorce. We all reach to hug Parsa and pat him on the back, telling him that things will work out. He is inconsolable. We are all thinking it but nobody says it at first, until Nima asks him whether Negin’s green card has arrived, and he says yes, last month. We all look at each other miserably and then at Parsa who is completely oblivious to the silence and shame around the table.

Scene 6: We are at the café and Parsa looks better than he has in a whole year. He is back to his old self, joking, and sharing funny stories about his work and his life. It feels so good to see him finished with that painful time in his life. Since his divorce, we don’t bring up Negin and he never talks about her. We do know that he had to sell their apartment and share the equity with her, but not much more.

Parsa looks excited as he tells us that he wants to tell us something great, and we are happy to tune in. He says he is going back to Iran for a visit. We all look at each other and at Parsa in silence. One of us tells him kiddingly “I hope you don’t plan on getting married in 3 weeks again!” And the rest of us laugh uncomfortably. Parsa looks a little uncomfortable, too, but he says: “I might!” And all of us lay into him demanding to know whether he is serious! We are reminding him about his state of mind and emotion not too long ago, where he was telling us how he was sure Negin had agreed to marry him so that she could leave Iran, graduate from an American college, get her green card, and sweep his bank account.

Parsa takes all of this in and looks at us with determined and playful eyes. He is driving us mad! He finally says: “Yeah, that’s true! I think I was Negin’s ticket out of Iran. Yes, she did break my heart and clean me out financially. And yes, the next girl I might marry may also do the same thing, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take! Maybe she won’t leave me; maybe she’ll stay and give it a go!” All of us start on him again when he says: “You see, for the few years that she was my wife, I felt the happiest I had ever felt in my life, feeling proud and special to be living with and loving that gorgeous creature. That is a feeling I miss. That is a feeling I’d like to have again. The way everyone looked at us when we arrived anywhere together, the way I felt walking down the street with her. So, if I find another gorgeous girl I like and who likes me, I’ll get married in three weeks and bring her here!”

None of us can believe what we’ve just heard.

* Names, places, and other identifying attributes of this series' characters are made-up and a work of fiction. The relationship and the dilemma at the heart of each story is true and that's all that is true.

Part [1], Part [2], Part [3], Part [4], Part [5], Part [6], Part [7], Part [8], Part [9], Part [10], Part [11]



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more from Nazy Kaviani

Need to marry

by MassoudR on

I guess there comes a time in every person's life when they have the urge to marry and start a family. For many of us Iranians it is hard to commit to a someone of a different culture even if you have lived outside Iran for 20 or more years. You will look for an Iranian man/woman, or at least most do.

This lends itself to a great risk. I know of an Iranian man who went back to Iran and married a distant relative. The families had known each other for many years, but soon after the wedding problems started and the man now stands to lose the mehrieh which runs into millions of toman. He is afraid to go to Iran to visit his elderly parents for precisely this reason. I have also known couples who were together for many years but as soon as they were married many problems reared their heads and they soon divorced. 

I guess what I am saying is that you never know what can happen as marriage is a complete unknown quantity and one can never predict the future. 

I have to say though, anyone outside Iran thinking of marrying an Iranian woman from inside Iran, you should refuse the Mehrieh point blank. Forget the bullshit talk of 'orf' etc. Don't be fooled by these customs. What you are getting her is a passport and lots of freedom and you are risking a great deal. Don't agree to a hefty mehrieh as well.

Nazy Kaviani

Your Majesty

by Nazy Kaviani on

I leave this comment out of order because I know you are going on your trip in a few hours. I'm glad this article put the fear of God in you! Now you will keep your eyes open and be careful! Still, you should keep them open and keep looking until you find her, the love of your life, wherever she might be. Have a safe trip and enjoy your family Ala Jan. Merry Christmas!

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on




Parsa's story

by Monda on

Over the years I have heard different motivations for importing brides or grooms from Iran, and I have heard different outcomes. Not all negative. Some men like your friend, find the experience so satisfying that they are willing to try their luck again; it's like hitting the jackpot once and trying for the same high. 

Most of these marriages are disolved within 4-5 years, based on what I have heard and seen. Usually the girl is settled in the new environment by learning the language, completing some type of job training and/or making social contact within the community. Unless she is taken to some remote town in Dakotas!

On the other hand, I heard from a college friend who imported a groom and after about 7 years now, they're so well adjusted that neither one can imagine life without the other. They adopted a child together around this time last year and are very happy. She was an established engineer who during a short trip to Tehran was introduced to a younger  man, good looking and educated who wanted to leave the country. They kept in touch and met few times a year on her short vacations in Iran, Turkey and Greece.  So this couple had good common sense about them, they were resourceful in terms of their education and accomplishments; best of all they were honest about their intensions in their relationship. And they were willing to work hard on this mutual commitment.

On the other hand, I heard about this beautiful 20 something virgin imported by some much older man, who was kept in the house in remote town in South Dakota. The husband wanting her all to himself would not let her enroll in any classes or local events. This woman watched TV every day while she cooked and cleaned for him when he was at work. Finally after couple years, with the help of a dictionary and saving little money, escaped him by moving to CA. Again, it takes good common sense and courage to improve one's life condition.

So there are some impressive stories out there.

However, I have this cousin who fell madly in love within 2 weeks during his trip to Tehran one year, married her 3 months later in another trip and experienced a similar situation as Parsa, with his gorgeous imported bride. In fact I was sad to hear that they're still awaiting the sale of all his properties for her to take half of, after 5 years of marriage! I had a long phone conversation with him the other day, when confessed if given another chance (meaning another smart beauty like his ex), of course in a few years, he will try another marriage with a younger woman from Iran. When I expressed my surprise, considering his personal resources (good looks, job security, great friends, healthy attitude, strong family values, etc), he opened up about his disappointing experiences with the Iranian women outside of Iran who caused in him the illusion that some young beautiful woman inside Iran is more virtuous and respectable in comparison. To be honest, I could sense a flaw in his reasoning but I could not argue with him. Because I believe we are entitled to our experiences, until we learn a different lesson before too late or if we become aware of other outlets for our disatisfactions.  

My cousin admits he took a gamble. He also admits having met some Iranian couples in his part of the world who ound their wives in Iran, who are happily married for years. Some met through websites outside of Iran and some through relatives in Iran. 

So for men like my cousin, marriage is a gamble like any. The rush is definitely worth the try. Parsa reminds me of him.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Flying Solo

by Nazy Kaviani on

Welcome back! Heeh! It's a good thing these stories are just sketches, or I wouldn't be able to pass the validity scrutiny at all!

As I mentioned elsewhere, the brides and grooms in this particular type of relationship could each act so unpredictably, the other would be stunned! In a case closer to me, the 21-year-old bride who had married a 37-year-old man put up with a lot of heartbreak for two whole years and left the marriage without a green card. Her marriage was as real (and surreal) as it could get, but no cigar.

I tend to agree with your notion of people getting what they deserve in most cases. I mean, a guy goes shopping for a bride, tags her, marries her, and brings her here in a very short period of time, without really knowing her. And the girl somehow thinks this is what? An opportunity of a lifetime? She disrupts her life, leaves her friends and family behind, and follows a perfect stranger into a strange land. And while everyone in Tehran is talking about how well she and her family did, she is here, learning for the first time that the guy is stingy (let's go easy on him), for example. One woman told me the first month she was here, her husband took her grocery shopping twice, and most of the time their refrigerator and cupboards were empty of food. Jeez!

As for Mehrieh, that's another thing I have seen imported brides use against the hapless groom. Islamic laws stipulate Mehrieh to be in return for the wedding vows, not for divorce. In essence, women can claim their Mehrieh while they are still married, because it isn't a divorce settlement. We know that women never claim their Mehrieh if they want to stay married to the guy. I have known of people who received a divorce settlement here AND put paperwork forward to demand their Mehrieh in Iran. While the court subpoenaed the man, he was restricted from leaving Iran (mamnoo-ol-khorooj). He had to pay both in the end in order to be able to travel to Iran again.

It's a sad tale all around!

Loved the "Googling silly" business. You know, you are lucky to write with a fictitious name. Those of us who use our real and professional names, expose every single piece of silly writing, down to the silly comments we leave on threads here, for our suitors and potential employers to see. Frankly, I don't mind the potential employers, but to think that someone can google me and find out all kinds of things about me before I know anything about him could get creepy a times.

Thanks again and please come back if anything tickles your fancy! You're great!

Alahazrat Hajagha

good advice

by Alahazrat Hajagha on

this is really good, now I know when I am in Iran make sure NOT get married there ;-)


My experience

by KouroshS (not verified) on

nazzy jaan.

I kid you not. I have seen and heard of many cases. Who knows what the real reasons are, but i bet you that good looks has a lot to do with it. I know of married men who broke their vows and went for the younger gal. The impression i have got from US men, Most of them,is that they have such short fuses and look for comfort in romance, and don't want to bother much with all the serious issues that come up in a marriage or even a relationship. So naturally when things get tough, they hit the road.


Blogger Wow. what a genius

by KouroshS (not verified) on


Wow. what a genius you are, You are correct.Busted! As naive as i maybe, at least i am not as overly negative and a naysayer as you are, and i am advocating for an effort to be exerted, instead of looking for the perfect package, who is not only most compatible but brings us the best kind of companionship.
I am not saying that "you have to continously explain youself" to your bed mate, and FYI compatibility does not just grow on some tree. You have to discover the degree to which you are compatible by doing things together and finding out about one another. And that does not just happen by spending time talking and walking on the beach.

You say it doesn't and i say it does. You subscribe to the american mentality, that everything needs to as close to perfection as possible or to hell with it, ain't worth it. That is why we have a great number of people who have married a billion times, and still don't know what they want and look for in a potential partner. Some people just want to look at someone and if they feel they heart rate going up, that is an indication of Love to them! Once the hit a rough patch, they throw it all out the window and it is on to a new adventure..
Thanks very much for the smart advice. I will definitely consider adopting a child and i may even send you postcards keeping you updated. how about that?:)

To me, Those are some factors, among others that make an impact on the strenght of the marriage. This is not about teaching someone the basics, but it is about helping one another understand each other and create real love on that basis.
Of course, your marriage will fail if you don't make the effort and take the time to see where the problem areas are and how you can fix them. How else can you improve your connection to your spouse, if you don't engage with one another's cultures and background?

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Kourosh

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thanks so much for coming back my friend! I so like hearing you talk about love! That is so refreshing and I never grow tired of it, (signed--"The Incurable Romantic!").

But, do you honestly believe that American men are more obsessed with dating/marrying a younger woman than Iranian men? I just don't see that around myself! I see many American men married to women their own age, or slightly younger, or slightly older. I don't have any proof of what you said there. On the other hand, all around me, I only know of my two sisters who are married to Iranian men their own age. Help me along here! Is it true?

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Helaleh

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you so much for commenting on the issue. Aside from your completely relevant and important points, you draw attention to a very interesting point, something we should probably come back to visit later, because it would distract us from our current discussion now.

It has to do with this: As we all know, laws in Iran are discriminatory towards women. Yet those laws have been successfully implemented and utilized over the past 30 years. How much of the violations of women's rights in Iran is a result of the Sharia laws and a theocratic rule, and how much of that whole condition is Iranian men's approach and thinking about women's rights? I know of at least two Iranian men who were educated citizens of US and went back to Iran to do worse to their wives and their rights than we would expect of an uneducated Taliban man.

Like I said, this is an interesting topic and if I can find a way of including it in the series, I will. Otherwise I will write about it separately and you should promise to come back and help the dialogue!

For now, Helaleh Jan, please stay with the imported bride discussion and help us along!



by Margarite (not verified) on

You can be funny!


Reply to Koroush

by blogger (not verified) on

The problem with these types of arrangements is that it is not based on love. They seem not to be open and completely truthful with one another because after all they're trying to sell a deal to the other party. But why feel sorry for either party, they get what they bargained for.

Now, I take it you've not married because your notion of marriage is naive. People marry for companionship and you need compatibility to make it work. If you have to continuoulsy explain yourself to your bed mate it is a bad marriage; if you want to call it a marriage at all.

"Working together to overcome barriers" (such as language, culture) between the two doesn't make the relationship stronger. Those are the reasons (1) people don't marry in the first place, or (2) divorce because they don't have the necessary connection. If you want to hold the person's hand and walk them thru the basics, I suggest you adopt a child.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on



Parsa vs IRI women:)

by KouroshS (not verified) on

Blogger jaan

Nobody can really and truly know and have control over where and how he or she could find love, and there really is no time limit on how long you are supposed to date someone. 6 months or a year are standard limits to be sure, but how many failures have come out of cases where couples could not really grasp the reality of one another and who they really are, in such a SHORT time period?

What parsa is doing is to at least keep his options open. I agree with the fact that statistically speakinghis chances of finding a "match" are higher and odds are more in favore for him in iran. Sure. He could still try doing the same in US as well, if all fails in vatan.
Think about what i said towards the end. Even if you or your potential mate, don't or can't communicate as desired, Working together to overcome barriers between the two helps a big deal. Being together and for each other through every step of learning the new culture or language, and in your case just brushing up on your farsi, makes for a meaningful connection and strenghtens your bond, hence reducing the probablity of divorce or separation and fighths in the future.

And nazzy jan.

I really think that the chances are pretty much equal that he could get hurt either way, if it is meant to happen, you know! So i don't see any major risks involved. There are issues that need to be worked out, whether the mates have lived in US all their lives or In iran.
I believe the notion of men, iranian men, wanting and looking for younger brides, is so archaic and overrated:)

Nazy Kaviani

Toofan and Mnonymous

by Nazy Kaviani on

Dear Toofan The Once Great and Anonymous Mnonymous:

Thank you for your remarks. As I mentioned in my opening comment, this is just one story. There are many more tales of success, and tales of failure and abuse.

I know of couples who married this way a long time ago and have stayed married and loving to each other after all these years. They have wonderful children and grandchildren.

Though Parsa seems to have bounced back from the financial and emotional loss of his divorce (I would argue the latter), overall loss in this breakup seems minimal.

I happen to know of horrific living conditions for a couple of these brides, forcing them to leave in the middle of the night to seek refuge with the police. One of them had to stay in a battered women shelter in Minnesota before she got her divorce and returned to Iran.

The stories Mnonymous tells are in the category of horror stories. This brings me back to why people would want to take such a grave chance with their life, when they know so many things could go wrong with it?


Reason for mail order brides

by blogger (not verified) on

Maybe the reason men turn to mail order brides or quick marriages is because it happens quickly. If they were to have that person here and date her like they dated any other girl for 6 months or a year, they would get picky and break it up. The attraction is they get it over with in a few weeks. They should try that here. Date a person and get married in 2 to 3 weeks.

As to Koroush's comment about finding love. Parsa doesn't need to go to Iran to find love. He can find it here. He just thinks his purchasing power (younger, prettier wife) is greater in Iran. Don't know but I've been raised here from a young age and know Farsi well and all the Iranian traditions but I can't understand the Farsi of the new comers let alone imagine being married to one and being able to communicate effectively.


Nazy in America Iranian men

by Ajab Rajab (not verified) on

Nazy in America Iranian men and women talk past each other. Many Iranian men think Iranian women "have changed" in America and Iranian women think Iranian men "have changed" in America.

They both have points but their "points" prevents them from being able to find a mate here in America. So eventually they'll turn to Iran for a mate. Iranian women eventually turn to foreign men for a mate. Bottom line, they want a mate!

You ask why do these men take a risk, that is a bit like what is the meaning of life. Kinda broad subject. As I said these men want a mate so they go where they can find one whether it is in America or Iran. They can't wait for ever.

This subject is not exclusive to Iranians. More and more American's turn to women from other countries. I saw this movie "mail order wife", here's the link:


It was categorized as a comedy but it isn't that funny or funny at all. Maybe some pieces but perhaps still good to see it just for the sake of this discussion.

The reason I bring this movie up is because there are many men (Iranians or otherwise) who look for mates in other countries and are not normal.

We are talking about normal Iranian men who go to Iran to find a wife. Those who are screwed up in the head are going to screw up no matter what. We can talk about these failures but you have to look at the people involved and if they were there for the wrong reasons from the beginning.

When I bring up Ahmadinejad el presidente, I'm talking about a normal guy who is otherwise not Tom Cruise. He may even be good in other areas but can't get women to look past his el presidency. So for him after trying a lot and knowing about himself and a vision and goal of what he wants to do with his life going to Iran and finding a wife is the right choice.

He will not be looking for cultural differences, he'll look for similarities. He will not be looking for differences in general, he'll look for similarities. These are the kind of people I consider accomplished and confident. Regardless of their financial or social status. They can only get better.

For men who go to Iran looking for virgins and lingerie models, f**k'em! I just feel sorry for the women but at least they can get a green card out of it and a pre agreed upon settlement, if not more. I couldn't care less about these men, much less comment about them or discuss them here in this discussion.


It is all about Love:)

by KouroshS (not verified) on

Nazzy khanoom

Once again, you have managed to get a group of us engaged in a very productive discussion, and to spill our guts out on love and love related issues:)
I see so many different theories and hypotheses here and although they are all interesting in their own right and merit consideration, some either miss the point or put too much emphasis on one side of the issue.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with getting married in iran and living with someone who has lived in a different environment. This is a question of adaptability between the couple and how willing the incoming new person, man or woman is willing to adjust to the new country. I could not agree with the idea that men would necessarily search for the youngest and most gorgeous female out there.
That may have been true in the 70's or even the 80's.
Also, if we want to talk about marrying based on physical attractiveness and attributes, Let us not forget, that if there is one category of men who ALWAYS thinks they deserve the youngest of the bunch, that would be the Americans and sometimes europeans. I even think they were the first ones to have introduced the concept to the world!

I think parsa makes a lot of sense at least on one point, that even he failed the first time around , he still should give LOVE:) another try, who knows, Though this time He could take his time and really get to know the woman, and instead of signing a nonsensical contract or a prenup One thing that may help the situation would be for a couple to travel back and forth, in order to better understand each other and the circumstances surrounding their lives. Having more phone conversations...If coming to america or canada is not that easy, meet up in different other countries, The point is to gauge each other and find out about one another in various situations.

We judge such unions harshly, based on all the negativity that it is generally associated with it and all the stories about how they will turn out. There are so many ways to make it work, if they decide to give it a good try over the long run, working and showing the willingness to resolve all the cultural and language barriers together. That brings mutual trust into their lives,one big factor in prventing future misunderstandings and problems.

Nazy Kaviani

Watch this clip

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thanks guys! You are fabulous! I really want to reply to all the comments, but I don't want this post to have too many comments from me! I will come back and write again a little later.

For now, please look at the following video clip. I can't embed it here because embedding on it has been disabled. It's a documentary called "Jews Undercover." Though a very interesting documentary, most of it has nothing to do with our discussion. But if you go to minutes 6:09-9:00, you will meet an Iranian man, 44, who has returned to Iran to find and marry a young woman. Listen to what those young girls are saying about this "catch!"


P.S. In the interest of staying with the subject, I would appreciate everyone's continuing to talk about the imported bride phenomenon. For a change, this post is not about Muslims and Jews. Thank you.


If these men who go to Iran

by blogger (not verified) on

If these men who go to Iran to find their mate, were to live in Iran for a year they would run back to the States with the understanding of the difference in thinking between people raised in Iran and those raised in the States. Further, they would not even think about marrying someone who was raised there. I have a good friend who was raised in the States go to Iran and got engaged. Luckily,the engagement got called off because the father of the bride to be wanted a house in the girl's name first. This friend ended up moving to Iran because of family wealth. He comes to the States 3 to 4 times a year. The last time I spoke to him he said he plans to come back and he would never consider marrying anyone from there. For him the mystery is over and he sees that the marriage would never survive not to mention he is not happy with those women (except for the sex part which seems to be great!) FOr those who think the girls in Iran are "cheshmoo goosh basteh", think twice. They are more sexually active from a younger age than the girls here. At least the girls here do it because of love and are open about it. The girls there are into for the money and the designer glasses and then sew it up when the time comes for aghd.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Bajenagh:

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you so much for your thoughts. Heeh, you are so funny! I had heard the "thinking with their penis" statement before, but never from a man!

Yes, there are quite a few first-class choices for all Iranian men and women who live here, but there are difficultlies associated with their relationships, too. One young man who had lived in this country for seven years told me that during his time here, he could never date Iranian-American women successfully. He said they don't understand him and he doesn't understand them. He said they look Iranian and have Iranian names, but that's about it! Talking to my nieces and other young Iranian women who were born and raised here, they tell me about the cultural differences they feel with a man who has lived most of his life in Iran.

One young woman told me that no matter how much she tried to get the attention of one of these men, he was really hung up on the concept of marrying an "innocent" girl from Iran.

I think Iranian men's thinking about physical characteristics have a lot to do with this phenomenon. For one thing, Iranian men think they "deserve" a younger woman as a spouse. This does not bode well with the growing notion among Iranian women who wish to get together with men their own age or even younger. For another, Iranian men much like many other men are attracted to beauty and beautiful bodies, mostly available only among younger women. And the last matter here is that Iranian families (and particularly mothers) believe that the social freedoms of US somehow diminish from a woman who will be their daughter-in-law and mother of their grandchildren. Therefore they become instrumental in supporting a man to go to Iran and pick a wife from the "innocent" and "cheshm-o-goosh basteh" pool.

That's what I think, but I may be wrong.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Blogger:

by Nazy Kaviani on

You bring up a good point! My friend says no matter how much we try, we have become a different people than other Iranians inside Iran. She believes though the similarities in tradition and culture are numerous, certain things about our approaches to issues change as a result of our long time away from Iran. I see your comment in that light.

Even so, Blogger Jan, some men still feel sufficiently attached to Iran to think that a woman born and raised there can come here and make a successful union with them.

I always tell the young men around me to stay away from that option, because the outcome is most unpredictable. The more cynical people think it is predictable and it leads to disaster.

You say these marriages are doomed to failure. Some people think all marriages are doomed to failure! Heeh! What's funny is that if we give all marriages a 50-50 chance of success, peopole who believe in this type of marriage give it a 75% chance of success! The reason is beyond me!

Thank you for participating and please come back.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Rajab

by Nazy Kaviani on

Yes, I remember that comment quite well. Heeh! I am even writing a piece JUST FOR YOU, around the subject of Ahmadinejad-esque suitors and "lengeh kafsh kohneh dar biyaban ghanimat ast!" or is it?!! But for now, my question is what moves these guys (and gals) to play Russian Roulette or "Gol ya Pooch" with their lives?

Thank you pal! Stay in the discussion if you can, please.


To import or not to import, that is the question

by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

I've written about this before but I don't know where and when, so here it is again, some of the things I've seen from my friends and their imported brides.

One of my friends married a dentist Iranian woman from back home, as gorgeous as Negin. Within three month of her arrival here she wanted to go and visit her relatives in another State. Soon he found out that back in Iran while she was going to dental school she was in love with a medical student, but after a short lived relationship with him he had rejected her. It turned out that he had migrated to the USA, living in the same city that she had gone to visit her family. After further investigation he found out that she had approached this man, that now was a practicing surgeon, and he had rejected her advances once more. So, while she was still visiting her family he went ahead and filed for divorce. I once asked him if there was any way that they could've reconciled their marriage. He told me there might have been, but if he would have done such a thing he would lost his honor forever.

Another one about one of my scrupulous college acquaintances, when he arrived in this country three decades ago he was penniless, but over the years by hard work and breaking a lot of rules, and cheating all the time, he managed to accumulate some wealth and eventually married an educated wealthy Iranian-American girl. Soon after they had their second son their marriage fell apart as expected. I have no problem believing living with such a man would be impossible for any woman. Fortunately this woman, being raised here, was smart enough to get half of their community assets, even the ones that he was trying to hide from the court. Having learned from this, a few years later he went back to Iran and married (read purchased) a girl several years younger than him, with a prenuptial agreement.

To be honest to the discussion at hand, I know of three other imported brides that their marriages seem to be working perfectly fine so far. Of interest to know is that all three women in these marriages are perfectly happy in their rolls as being traditional housewives, and this statement is just a personal observation, not a social commentary on how women should behave.

Another interest point about this subject, recent archeological discoveries in Egypt show that prenuptial agreements have existed among humans and huwomans for thousands of years, long before Islamic concept of the idea.

Helaleh F.

Nazy Joon

by Helaleh F. on

Thank you for your post.  You are pointing out to quite a social epidemic issue in Iranian community. As your story reveals, regardless of the high frequency of the failure, people still keep doing it even without being at least cautious.

It reminds me of this famous Einstein saying,  "Stupidity is repeating doing the same thing and expecting a different result!".

Yet,  there is a cultural gap between Iranian immigrant society in between men and women.  Basically women let go of the traditional culture sooner and more easily since it's not to their benefit and men stick with it since it is, even you can observe this among the second generation, even among those who hardly speak Farsi!  This can also contribute to the fact that many men feel encouraged to go back home and find a wife within that (double)standards context. And the urge is strong enough that prevents them from taking a lesson. Just an opinion! Again thanks for shedding light on this issue.  Your story had it all covered.


For all you guys know

by Toofantheoncesogreat (not verified) on

between those scenes, your friend beat the crap out of her or did something outrageous, or she might have had serious psycopathic issues, coming to the US just triggered it off. The picture might be completly different than what presented around a coffe table..

And Ajab Rajab, I understand, but disagree with your supply demand theory. Iranian based men or women abroad usually hump whatever they can hump and which will hump them back like any other normal people. It depends if your fishing for an Iranian or not, which you should'nt because the odds are against you.

40 year old Iranian men, just like 40 year old british or scottish men can easily get a mail order bride from Russia, Thailand etc and have the same problem. Its not a basic "Iranian" problem.

All middle aged overweight little confident software developers would love to fall into traps like this over and over again until they find happiness. If you live in the US, walk to a bar/pub late at night and talk to some happy campers, its a common phenomenon in western culture as well.

bajenaghe naghi

nazy jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

I really like the way you have told us this story in six little scenes spanning  over many months.

this is a very sad story. i have heard of these kinds of marriages before and i get upset every time i hear a new version of the same story. the older i get the more i believe the saying that mens brain is in their penis and not in their head. no matter how many times we hear this type of story or as in this story it actually happens to parsa and he wants to go ahead and do it again exactly like the previous failed attempt. i have seen ads from some of these girls who are in iran and say very clearly in their advertising (single ads) that only citizens or green card holders need apply. at least these women are more honest than negin and women like her who enter into marriage knowing very well from the start that their union is a sham and she is in it only to get her green card from the us government and hopefully lots of green bills from her poor and gullible husband. 

how can a man ask a woman to marry him after a few weeks and expect it to be a true love (if there is such a thing to begin with) and expect a long and lasting relationship specially if his decision of the marriage rests mainly  on how pretty or gorgeous the woman is. 

i have also seen iranian women change one hundred and eighty degrees after being in this country for just a few months. they have this great ability to pick up all the negative sides of this culture and conveniently forget all the positives ones that they brought with them from iran.

i personally do not recommend any man to go to iran to bring a iranian wife to this country when there are so many thousands of first class women here already who have passed the culture shock and know the language and the ways of living here and probably have a green card or citizenship. i think the man who goes there to bring a wife here takes too many more unnecessary risks on top of the already risky business of marriage.


Marriages between Iranians in the West and those in Iran

by blogger (not verified) on

Marriages between Iranians raised in the West and Iranians raised in Iran will ultimately fail. Why? Because each has been raised differently with different experiences, values, and way of thinking.

There is attraction at first (especially for the Iranian men in the West) because (1) these women are different than the ones they have met in the past (talk different, "naz" different), and(2)they come across submissive yet sexual(they don't talk back at first). Men love feeling in power and taking care of these women in need and these women give them that feeling. The first few years, everything is new and he is intrigued. He is holding her hand like a child and showing her around. How the ATM machine works, where the restaurants are, Costco, etc... It's easier to impress these women who haven't seen much than a girl whose been raised in the same town and been to al the good restaurants and hangout places.Then, that wears off and soon they don't have a point of connection. They don't udnerstand each other. He can't relate to her high school experience and vice versa. She gains confidence and half his assets, so she no longer is submissive. Her family starts showing up and wanting to be taken care of. He is stuck. If he divorces, he needs to hand over half. If he stays he has to put up with agha joon and khanoom as well as a wife who doesn't get him and sees him as an ATM machine. She stays because it is comfortable and there are no other options, or if he doesn't have much she finds someone else before she jumps ship.


Nazy if a man is going to

by Ajab Rajab (not verified) on

Nazy if a man is going to bring a wife from Iran and the wife does not have any money or worse she is really looking for a man as a ticket out of Iran, then yes prenup is a good idea. Don't sign one and then see how quickly she can find a persian espeaking divorce lawyer! Besides these brides don't have to sign a cheap prenup. They can sign something like what Kevin Federline signed!

Same goes for woman. I also know of men who have married women for green card. Women can sign a prenup with their imported grooms too.

As for the discussion about going to Iran and finding wives, I talked in great detail in one of these stories, forgot which one. But I said if women don't show any interest in Ahmadinejad el Presidente, then they go to Iran and come back with some Golshifteh Farahani.

It is a simple formula of supply and demand. The supply (Iranian women in diaspora) is low because Iranian women in diaspora think they can do better The demand (Iranian men in diaspora) is high because they've learned Iranian women in disapora are not interested in them. So they go to where the supply (Iranian women) is high! The supply in Iran is much more than the worldwide demand and then some!

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Rajab

by Nazy Kaviani on

A prenuptial agreement?!! That's really interesting. I want to come back and talk about money and assets and things and prenuptial agreements a little later. Certainly, money is an important factor in marriages and divorces and people's motives in a marriage or divorce could be driven or at least affected by it.

But for now, I want to know why so many men find it interesting or practical to engage in importing a wife. I'll share what I know about the subject: Some people do it because they honestly believe that they can find a "dokhtar-e khoob," a "zan-e zendegi" in Iran. I have heard that reasoning. Som men have told me that they would feel more supported by their families when the marriage happens in Iran. Some men, like Parsa, think they can find a gorgeous wife in Tehran, something they may not think they can do easily outside of Iran. And a whole group of men are looking for virgin wives, girls who have never been touched before (by aftaab-mahtaab).

Do you know why some men take such a great risk? Why won't they look for their future wives in the countries in which they live?