Firoozeh Dumas

Criticizes American media's overly negative representation of Muslims

FORA.TV: "Often lost in the rhetoric of debate about the United States' immigration policy is this: although each immigrant's country of origin and reason for leaving are widely diverse, the experience of being an immigrant in the United States crosses all cultural divides. For the past five years, Firoozeh Dumas has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences ... and doing so with humor. In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Firoozeh Dumas decided to write down her family stories as a gift for her two children. Those stories became the book Funny in Farsi, a San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller and a finalist for the PEN/USA award and for an Audie Award for best audio book (She lost to Bob Dylan). She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor (she lost to Jon Stewart), and is the first Middle Eastern woman ever to be considered for this honor. Dumas's latest book, entitled Laughing Without an Accent, was published in May 2008 - Grace Cathedral."


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Old Iranian Song from Afat

by razasyed on


Watch this song of Afat and enjoy. //


Reply to Firoozeh

by eroonman on

Sorry for the blunt comment, keep in mind, you're that good, to deserve one from me. Also I don't do or get facebook really, I keep getting teddybears that someone has apparently bought for me, invitations to pillow fights, and "flirts" from people I am pretty sure aren't my wife!

I personally believe that the words, "Secular Moslem" have BECOME an oxyoron, not that it is actually one. Yes, you are right, those who call themselves secular absolutely don't go for the craziness. But then again i find it curiously puzzling that neither do they seem to speak out when a bad moslem goes, well bad. Scared, shivering, silence it seems, is the only all too common response by "secular" moslems of today. And it is a total chickensh*t cop out in my book. Correction, not oxymoronic, but full moronic.

But thanks to, as you very correctly illustrated, the media, eslam has been successfully portrayed as a backward and highly flawed dimwit religion, highly susceptible to the worst kinds of interpretive romantic/arabic/poetic mistranslations, and worse, acting on those. By the most zealous of it's followers. Since we already know secular moslems don't dare speak out against this modern day inquisition of sorts, out of very real fear, it plays right into the hands of those who can easily call out eslam from the false safety of feigned superior christianity.

christianity (and I am no big fan by any means, just look at how I lower cased it!) on the contrary, is highly structured and in fact very exact in it's current day implementation. You can be any one of a myriad of Christian; catholic, lutheran, baptist, methodist, calvinist, etc. You can even be a gay christian! eslam on the other hand, including it's weakest seculars, hasn't even found time to reform the consumption of refrigerated (and deliciously safe!) pork, never mind their continued ridiculous insistant position on women's rights!

Until the day when seculars call out eslam on it's fundamental (sorry) lack of modernity, and lack of any answers for a modern internet capable world, it's going to continue to look arcanely foolish.

I mean come on! A woman has to wear this thingey, then pull it down so it covers that, then turn it around here, tuck it in there, et voila! Congratulations! You're now a Bona Fide moslem woman? Really! show me where it says that in the ghoran? And if it does, why aren't all hejabs the exact same design?

Meanwhile the new pope just announced very matter of factly, "Yes? The universe and the big bang theory? Why of course it's all true, and God created all of that too!"

Woop, there it is!


Firoozeh you must be new and

by Derakhshandeh (not verified) on

Firoozeh you must be new and thinking you can say something normal without being attacked! There are a gourp of Iranians whose hatred for Iranian Govt and war and destruction to "remove" this regime extends to any Iranian who doesn't think so. So unless you are for Iraq style regime change your arguments will fall on not only deaf ears but ears that get only that much more agitated! So leave them alone they are not worthy.

You are great and Iranian community is very proud of you. Hope to see more novels and more from you. Hopefully Funny in Farsi will become a movie.


That was great

by antiIRI (not verified) on

I am proud of her, she is funny, humorous and very intelligent.

I enjoyed the clip.


reply to eroonman

by Firoozeh (not verified) on

You bring up some interesting points and I appreciate the food for thought.
One question: Why do you think secular Moslem is an oxymoron? Don't you think there are people who hold on to some aspects of the religion and don't buy into the rest, the same way that there are different degrees of being Christian?
(We can continue this conversation on Facebook. You should friend me...just let me know it's you somehow.)


Focus on your work, not bitterness

by eroonman on

FD, you are a genius. But this interview, while typically quaint and charming, only illustrates that there is obviously a lot of bitterness at not being more successful with your books and message. The problem as I see it, is that there is no market for your message. You are absolutely correct in your observations on US media. But you'd think you'd come up with one of the many textbook and obvious PR tactics available to you, to get past it. Either write and sit and wait for them to come to you, or do something to take it to their fat faces! Whining about how you keep coming up short to Dylan or Stewart does not make you a winner. It reminds us of how good they are.

Also stop apologizing for secular Moslems. Secular Moslem in this day and age is an oxymoron. Put it away, you are Iranian. Defending and defining that is hard enough, trying to pull an entire uncivilized, half-baked (women don't have rights? Really? In this day and age?), religion along with you, is virtually impossible. Certainly more than your "I left Iran before the Revolution" perspective can handle.

I have bought, and will continue to buy every single book you write and will continue to tell my American friends, "read this, it will explain everything". But please, just focus on your message of being Iranian in America. Leave the rest of it to God. Maybe she'll actually show up and do something about it, one of these days.


Enjoyed listening to Firoozeh

by Mine_The_Gold (not verified) on

She is just delightful, easy to listen to and a smart lady. Loved her analogies and her wisdom. I agree with her perspective and understand everything she went through because I also experienced them as an immigrant.

It is always refreshing to me to hear descriptions of the experiences I went through in life from someone else who is a total stranger to me but had the same experience and reactions and described them eloquently and precisely as I experienced them.

Thanks for sharing this lovely interview!


Response to Anonymous8888

by Response to Anonymous8888 (not verified) on

She might not have been to iran lately but her knowledge (facts and information) she is providing is very accurate. You've got to watch the whole segment:

Thank you for introducing her to us!


what if 100% of terrorists were not Muslims?? hmmm

by Anonymous on

If 100% of terrorists were not Muslims, the media could have been able to show the different size of Muslim.

But it's up to us, to get more involved, call the media, write to them and be involved to change that perception, it's not the medias job. When the good news coming out of from Muslims countries outnumbers bad news, then media will follow.


from Firoozeh Dumas

by Firoozeh Dumas (not verified) on

First of all, THANK YOU for all the kind comments. I really appreciate them!
TO address some of the criticisms: It's not easy being an Iranian in the media because no matter what one says, there's always an attack from somewhere. Why is this? It's pretty obvious that I am sharing my own perspective and that my goal is to paint a human side of a culture that is demonized in the American media. You may not agree with everything I say, and I would not expect you to, but before you write a negative comment, ask yourself what YOU are doing to address the problem. There will never be ONE Iranian or ONE Muslim that represents us all. I'm just one voice telling my story.

Maryam Hojjat

Pride of Iranians!

by Maryam Hojjat on

I love her, such an intelligent, delightful and funny woman.  I really enjoyed this vedio.

Thanks Party girl!


Grow up all pessimists and "good for nothing" living things!

by Ye Irani (not verified) on

When are you going to stop cursing everything that moves! Get on with your life and do something constructive. You are not only Irani but also using Irani brand to hide your lost soul behind it if uou can not stop blaming everything that goes wrong with your life on others.

Peace on eart and love for humanity;



by Anonymous8888 (not verified) on

she hasn't been to iran lately..the iran she's talking about doesn't exist anymore.


[Iran Simorgh Azadeh] - No Irani Is

by Iran parast (not verified) on

mosalman No mosalman can be Irani even If they think they are - get it - been killing destroying for 1400 don't work never well Iran's enemy [no-1]is islam.


Very nice and wonderful

by Namaki (not verified) on

What a delightful and smart lady is Firoozeh. Enjoyed her thoughts.


did i get this right

by Anonymousqreeos (not verified) on

Did I just hear her say, secular moslems are the ones that dont practice moslem?
She is saying she cant be a moslem and be secular at the same time or if she is secular then she is not a practicing moslem or somn lyhdat


Firouzeh is....

by ahvazi on

is smart, articulate and ofcourse funny. With an Ahvazi dad what do you expect :-)


I Love Firoozeh!

by IRANdokht on

Firoozeh is cool, very funny and so smart. I love how she's trying to destroy the western media stereotype of Iranians. Great story-teller and a beautiful soul...

Thanks PG!


American Wife

great article

by American Wife on

and great books.  I can't wait to see something new from her.



by Anonymou9s (not verified) on

she must be an agent of the islamic republic!



by Anonymouser (not verified) on

Firoozeh for California Governor!


I love her!

by Monda on

She's smart, funny and soulful. Thank you PG for sharing this.