Without My Daughter (1)

The other side of 'Not Without My Daughter'

PART 1 [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4] [PART 5] [PART 6]

Intro on YouTube: "The the real Mahmoody behind the backwards like and violent Mahmoody character in the 90's movie 'Not Without My Daughter'. He is still in search of his beloved daughter, Mahtob Mahmoody.

"Sayed Mahmoody (70) is a medical doctor who trained in the UK and the USA. He lived and worked in America for more than twenty years where he established a successful practice as an anaesthetist and consultant in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT). OMT is a holistic treatment that deals with the patient as a whole being. OMT practitioners use their hands to apply pressure on muscles, nerves and joints to relieve pain, stiffness and tension in the whole body.

"He is an aristocratic Iranian by birth. Sayed's mother and father died by the time he was eight-years-old, and he was raised by his sister. Although a strict Muslim, he is no way fanatical and believes that Islam is a religion of tolerance, enlightenment and peace.

"Sayed returned to Iran with his wife, Betty and daughter, Mahtob with the aim of using his medical knowledge to help treat the victims of the Iran-Iraq war. Days after his green-card expired, Betty left Terhan without warning, taking Mahtob with her on a Swissair Flight to the US. She then divorced Sayed in a US court where he had no voice, so gaining control of all the family's assets, including substantial properties and savings. The court case and subsequent publication of his wife's book, Not Without My Daughter, made him persona non grata in the USA.

"Sayed has never remarried and continues to work full-time as an OMT practitioner, anaesthetist and university lecturer in Tehran."


Recently by ebi amirhosseiniCommentsDate
Simin Daneshvar: Influential author has died
Mar 08, 2012
ایران 1973
Oct 18, 2011
Oct 12, 2011
more from ebi amirhosseini


by The Truth (not verified) on

Cry me a river people and then get over it!

The fact is, Iran has been governed by a fanatic, backwards thinking, barbaric Islamic Republic since the Iranian Revolution!

You will never hear me defend the Shah or US involvement politically, BUT, fundamental Islam, in practice, BELONGS TO HISTORY. IT IS BARBARIC, ANIMALISTIC, EVIL, DISGUSTING, OPPRESSIVE, AND AMORAL. Any man who uses GOD to dominate women and children will rot it hell. Anyone who believes otherwise has been misled by wicked defilers who seek to gain power, position, status, and glory where THEY HAVE NOT EARNED IT. WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIGHT.


mahtob should speak up

by scarletcarson (not verified) on

i think the truth lies with mahtob. there are so many things two formerly married and estranged couples would do to their children that i find both movie and this documentary hard to believe. the daughter should take her own stand as well. i've read news articles and interviews about her but who knows, what she said could have been all scripted because of blackmail and other things like that.


Okay you did not post my last two comments!

by Concerned Iranian (not verified) on

Nevertheless, who is this lady in the clip (with red hair and white scarf)? She is probably the least believable of them all. Her pretentious ways is so typical. I do not why she thinks she can pass for an American. But it does not take much to now what she is: her cheap looks, her accent, and the sneaky way she talks gives it away that she is a newly rich Iranian.She, along with Dr. Mahmoudi are hypocrites who Tazahor. They are tryng to keep both IRI and the West happy. Well, they failed on both counts: They are fake Moslems and cheap takes on the Western culture.

American Wife

I'm trying to be objective about this...

by American Wife on

not blind.  I understand the sensitivity you feel about this movie.  I truly do.  But what exactly is so repulsively racist.  To those who know me, you know how sincere I am.  To those who don't and try to portray ME as racist, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.  But I think you're in a serious case of denial here.

What part is so grossly exaggerated or not true?

A husband beating his wife.... ah, don't think so.  Escaping Iran on foot... only a slight variation of how so many exiles left Iran.  Fanatic Islamic family... no comment there either. 

Much has been made about the fact that most of the cast was Jewish.  So... there you go.  The anti-semitics must be happy.  Like there are so many Iranian actors in the US.  Another Jewish conspiracy.

So the woman wrote a book and that book became a movie.  Perhaps she simply considered it an issue that many people should be aware of.  Have you been to a book store lately?  There are books on how to blow your nose for God's sake. 

Trust me people... I've been on the receiving end of movies made about ignorant redneck Southerners.  I know how you feel.  But I don't think a blanket denial is fair either.  If you feel so strongly about this, do a little research.  Check out the link I provided.  I do feel for him but... I don't buy his story 100% any more than I do hers.


Iran bashing without shame!!

by AnonymousFish (not verified) on

I agree with those who said she should change her name. But she won't($$).

Heck, she is living in the house where Dr. Mahmoody purchased it in 1980s.

I believe Dr. Mahmoody is stupid for keeping quiet for so long and not coming to the U.S. to claim his properties including several Persian rugs.

Yes, I knew about two other children from previous marriage and her psychological problems. Have you noticed that no one brought these issues up in the media?

Iran bashing without shame!


Betty Mahmoody was no "young kid"

by KT (not verified) on

By the way Betty Mahmoody was no "young kid" when she went to Iran with her daughter, she was 39 almost 40 years old, already had 2 sons from a prior marriage, was living a life of luxury with her 3 kids and her doctor husband in the US, and size-wise she was bigger than Mahmoody himself - nothing like the actor in the movie!
I am not defending the husband, not at all, because no one knows the truth and the nuances of the whole
situation except for the 2 of them, but a lot seems very far fetched and "Hollywoodized"in the movie and the book.

If I were Betty or Mahtob, the first thing I'd do --because of all the hate I'd have towards
"that horrible horrible man and the country(!) " would be to change my name Mahmoody, and If I were Mahtob I'd change my Iranian name given to me by my ------father to Mandy, Maya or even Marlo or any other name in the book just to forget the alleged horrible unforgiveable past and father!

Any reason they have not??
Anything else involved?$?

Of course I don't blame the child since she was very young and obviously under her mother's influence and naturally believed whatever she was told.

But Betty how much was really fact and what percentage fiction?

In fact I have the same question for Mahmoody himself too!


Shamefull for USA

by Anonymous8756 (not verified) on

It is a very sad to see that Americans do everything for money from killing, genocide, slavery to making such a racist movie. Do they have no shame? What is the difference between an animal and such people? Just remember what they did to Shah who actually was their servant? They were about making a deal with Mullas for returning Shah and his family to Iran in order to free their Spies from Iran.



by Ayatoilet (not verified) on

The film "Not Without My Daughter" is a repulsively racist portrayal and was exploited by continuous repeat shows on network TV. In my opinion it was the downfall of the otherwise very talented Sally Fields. The film mirrors a cheap B rated late twentieth century knockoff of DW Frifith's "The Birth of a Nation"

Kaveh Nouraee

I just read it

by Kaveh Nouraee on

You're right, we don't know what she went through. But definitely that wasn't objective in the least.

A small school aged child, seeing her schoolmates with their fathers....it's bound to raise questions in the child's mind.

So the child asks with that natural curiosity they have. "Where's my daddy? Why does so-n-so live with their daddy and we don't?"

If Mommy says "because Daddy lives in Iran because he can't come here", a child will naturally say, "can I talk to him? can I write a letter?"

Then what? "No you can't because he's a sadistic ass who wants to kill us".

Like that's not going to screw with a child's mind. The incidents she's talked about even as an adult shows she has issues stemming from this. It's truly sad.


Zan Amrikai

Toofantheoncesogreat and More

by Zan Amrikai on

Toofanjoon, OH MY GOD! I am dying laughing at your comment. I saw you had posted, and I was saying to myself, "OK, let me see how he brings sex into this one..." and then I read your comment about how Alfred Molina's character dying in Spiderman caused you to orgasm!  Only you...HILARIOUS.

On a side note, when my son was in 8th grade, a teacher played NWMD as a film for Social Studies.  No permission slip given to parents.  It was presented as the way Iranian culture was.  I should have (could have) sued the school district.  Instead, I got in their face about it big time and let them know how VERY inappropriate it was and asked them what they thought would happen if there had been an anti-semitic movie (not that there were many Jewish people in that very WASPy area) or if it had been derogatory toward Blacks...I wonder how much of a case could have been made.

As for the dynamics of the situation, I think there are always bastards regardless of nationality.  I had a neighbor years ago when we lived on the east coast.  She was American.  Had a Middle Eastern husband (not Iranian) and two children: a 7 year old son, I think, and a 3-4 year old daughter.  He told her he was taking the son to Disneyworld.  He took him to Jordan or wherever he was from; he called the wife/mother.  "Say goodbye to your son," he told her, "You will never see him again."    NO, this is not made up.  I witnessed it.


Certainly Americans (or anyone on earth for that matter) can "abduct" their child.  We know that most "missing children" cases are because the non-custodial parent took off with the child.  This is due to many reasons.  I think in the NWMD case, there were very difficult cultural clashes that could not be mended. It is a shame, but sometimes this shit happens.

Midoonid che migam?

American Wife

ok...I see what you're saying

by American Wife on

I agree to an extent.  But I don't think this is a simple matter of a mother keeping her child distant from her father.  I did a little research and found an article by Mahtob herself.  Now... I will say right off the bat that I'm sure it's not 100% objective.  There is NO question that her views would have been influenced by her mother.  But this 29 year old woman is absolutely resistant to any contact.  She herself describes the abusive behavior by her father.  And according to this article, she feels threatened.  I don't know.  It's a fine line.  I would just rather the harsh language towards her be softened somewhat.  You have no idea what she went through, nor do I.  But that child (woman now) describes some pretty horrific circumstances. 


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I certainly make no judgments concerning Betty's view of her marriage. I have no doubts that she was not happy in Iran and wanted to leave. Her marriage to him was obviously a mistake and like so many other couples, they part ways. And I don't think she flew out of Tehran on a commercial flight either, unless she managed to get a third country to secure a false passport for her to leave that way, which I doubt.

My point is about the parental alienation. There are way too many women who use children like some kind of bargaining chip or a tool. Their marriage failed, they're unhappy, so they project their misery upon others. Who better than the one person who is a constant reminder of the onetime "beloved spouse" who is now so reviled and hated, that being your own child?

Even at the age of 6, being able to formulate your own opinions, there's a very strong pull between a little girl and her daddy. Daddy is a little girl's first love.

There's not a reason on this earth why any woman who calls herself a mother would prevent their children from communicating with their fathers. Children who are deliberately alienated from either parent grow up with huge issues that affect their personal relationships and their interaction with general society.

Again, I'm not defending the man as a husband or as a person. The guy could be a total ass as a human being. But that ass is still her one and only father.

I've seen what parental alienation does to children. Both to a boy and a girl. And more than one case, too, I'm sorry to say. Tell a child that their mother or father is a POS and keep them apart (not just physically but emotionally as well) and eventually the child will take it to be the gospel truth.



by Iranie (not verified) on

Az yek taraf delam mige haghe in mard haye iranie ke lazem midoonam o zane kharejie migiran hamine! vali fekram mige, zan vaghti ke talagh migiran o ghotrat(yanie hagho hooghogh bahashoon bashe) bad joor sue'estefade mikonan!! Inja faghad bache hast ke misuze!!

American Wife

for someone who says that there are 3 sides,

by American Wife on

you're pretty outspoken against Betty.  How old was the child when they left Iran?  6?  At that age she IS going to have memories of her own.  It would be interesting to hear what she has to say.  You're pretty quick to jump to the conclusion that her mother is keeping her away from him.  What exactly are the advantages to that for Betty?  I also thought they were living under assumed names... so how can she still be using his name?  To go to such extremes seems a bit strange if none of it is true.  I'm not for a second discounting the media bias but it seems like there is a whole lot of smoke coming from what his side is saying is a little flame. 

Under most conditions, I'd agree about the child having contact.  But as a mother, if I was abused or I was concerned that my child would be spirited off back to Iran, you can be assured that I would do everything in my power to keep my child from him.  Certainly you can't deny the fact of custody laws in Iran.  Someone here mentioned that she took a flight out of Iran.  I can hardly believe that since she didn't have a passport.  So again, you have media bias and the bias of Iranians in general to make HER look as bad as they can.  It's a painful situation... for everyone.

So, as I said before, the truth is probably some where in the middle.  I'm not going to judge either one of them.  But alot of people are making judgements based on clear suppositions.  I guess it's one of those no-win situations for anyone.


Very well said, Kaveh!

by Princess on

Exactly my point as well.

Kaveh Nouraee

There are 3 Sides to Every Argument

by Kaveh Nouraee on

His side, her side, and the truth. 

Regardless of the true nature of the relationship between Mahmoody and Betty, the fact is that Mahtob has been alienated against her father by her mother. That is the greatest crime of all.

Any woman who calls herself a mother, who prevents contact between her child and that chiild's father...whether by phone, e-mail, webcam, or whatever......is a miserable low life snake who isn't worthy of an ounce of respect.

This man may be a saint, or he may be the biggest piece of garbage there is. That's not the point. That's his daughter and he should be able to have contact with her. It should be up to Mahtob to decide what kind of relationship, if any she will have with him. But unfortunately, her judgment has been clouded by her mother's issues with him. That makes Betty a thief in my book. She loathes the guy but still uses his last name in order to further her agenda.

Not a very credible person, that woman.



Let's be fair:

by bachehtehroon (not verified) on

I have seen the movie at least three times and the movie is an honest portrayal of the events that happend to Ms. Mahmoudi and the Iranian society, and the frame mind of a man who had very little regard for human rights. Even Ayatolah Montazery or Tahery and others have distanced themselves from this regime but Mr. Mahmoudyand is still a part of this regime and well suported by the regime. .
Thousands of Iranians are willing leave Iran and come to the West because they know they and their children will be better off in the West and will be treated with respect and dignity in the West.
Therefore Ms. Betty Mahmoudy had all the rights to leave Iran. When the son of Mohsen Rezaee(a top Commandar of IRGC) deffects to America, and while so many Iranians of all political incilnations(Hezbalahees, Devot moslems,and so on...)love staying in American, to me it seems natural that Ms. Betty Mahmoudy decided to bring his daughter to America.
Mr. Mahmoudy was not and is not a decent man from what I have heard from people who know him closely.
Mr. Mahmoudy's daughter is in America the place so many of us love and cherish. His daughter will not be treaded as a second class citizen in America, and she will enjoy a country who has chosen a black man as the presedent. If some people care so much about feelings of Mr. mahmmoudy, how about so many Iranian parents whose childern were excuted for absolutely nothing? Why not to talk about Akbar Mohamadi's father whose son was murdered in Evin prison?
You guys care about somebody's duaghter??? How about
Zahra Kazemi? How about a female doctor who was arrested in Hamadan and was murdered (her name is Dr. Bane...Please help me with her name)? How about so many female Iranians who got raped and murdered in Iranian prisons? I want to remind everybody here that all female victims of the Islamic regime have fathers and mothers. If so many Iranians love being in America and so many Iranians are willing to leave their motherland and come to America, then it is unfair and (Riakaraneh)to question what Ms. Betty Mahmoudy did. Ms. betty Mahmoudy loved and cared about her daugher and I admire her for taking such a risk and bringing her daugher to the land of free. If I was in her situation I would have done exactly the same. Ms. Betty Mahmoudi is a courageous woman who cared about the rights of her daughter and herself as a woman. Just ask yourself this question:
How many Iranian girls and boys in Iran want to come to the West? When you answer it honestly, then you will understand that what Ms. Betty mahmoudi did was right and just.



Speak sooner?

by Curious (not verified) on

Why didn't Dr Mahmoodi speak sooner? I mean it's been a long time. I can't imagine Betty leaving Iran thru the airport. In the Islamic Iran, Betty had to have her husband's written permission to leave the country. Did he admit to giving her that? If he can produce a copy of her Ejazeh Khorooj eh Hamsar, then he's got himself a great case!


Thanks Ebi jan

by IRANdokht on

I found that movie to be exaggerated, biased and very anti-Iranian.
I know there are a lot of backwards thinking men with their families back in Iran, but it is so easy to discriminate against Iranians that I always gave Dr Mahmoody the benefit of the doubt.

I saw the movie once and that was more than enough... this poor man seems to have watched it a number of times. I can't imagine the pain he goes through.
Thanks for posting this, I hope he gets to clear his name and reputation.


Daniel M Pourkesali

One could write a book on

by Daniel M Pourkesali on

One could write a book on all the anti-Iranian bias in the west which contrary to popular belief goes back long before the 1979 revolution. In 1991, Hollywood looked to cash in once more on that long established and accepted sentiment by producing such despicable, one-sided and maliciously spiteful movie. It has never missed an opportunity to stereotype 'Persians' (Iranians) as cruel and barbaric beings as portrayed in last year's blood-fest movie '300'. No doubt, making such films about any other group or ethnicity would be immediately denounced as racist, bigoted, and intolerant.

American Wife

so I think it's fair to say

by American Wife on

that the truth is somewhere in the middle.  Neither version is likely to be 100% objective. 

Mohammad Ala

Thanks ebi jaan for posting

by Mohammad Ala on

Thanks ebi jaan for posting these videos.


Once again, too many people are hiding to express their views.  Poor fish!!  JJ please change fish to chicken.  It is more appropriate for these people.

 Media never said that Mrs. Mahmoody was married before and had two children from her previous marriage and she had psychological problems.  There are evidences that she flew out of Iran (LTH flight crew) with the daughter. I believe after Mrs. Mahmoody is passed away, the daughter will speakup (similar to de-classifying CIA documents where the damage is done). God help the country and its citizens which are going to be the nextsubject of Hoffer's book. Dr. Mahmoody should apply for a visa through American visa section(s) in Turkey or UAE and go to the U.S. to claim his properties andhopefully meet his daughter.  Why did he go to Finland which does not

have a visa section for Iranians?


RE: Jamshid

by Toofantheoncesogreat (not verified) on

Thats another way of looking at it, true, you have links and such one could read more about what you just said?

Great documentary either way, the filmmakers did a nice job, if you see not without my daughter, you have to see this as well.

I saw part 6, the part with the judge, it was a shocking eye opener, what a complete #%#¤.


Dr. Mahmoody is a good for nothing doctor

by Jamshid Niavarani (not verified) on

In Iran they call this guy a fraud.
He is the worst physician since the dawn of time.
He knows nothing about medicine.
He is not religious.
Every person in the world has been duped.
Both the movie was off base and so was the view that this Dr. Mahmoody is religious.
We have all been taken for a ride.
Dr. Mahmoody has been propped up economically by the Islamic Republic and his ex-wife was given a government job by the U.S.

Do you people know that the hospital that employed Dr. Mahmoody was forced to employ him by the Iranian Government.

Dr. Mahmoody and former foreign minister Dr. Velayati are the worst doctors in Iran.

Both of them deserve to starve in a fair and just society.
"Moft Khori ham yek hadi daareh"...
Freeloading also has its limits!


I never liked that movie

by Toofantheoncesogreat (not verified) on

It was cliche from the beginning to end, especially the ending when she carries the child towards a graffiti covered wall of the US flag that appears on the horizon. Alfred Molina, I get sick each time I see his Spanish face in other films, heck I even almost got an orgasm watching him drown in Spiderman, lol

To bring up another topic, why do American Hollywood insist on showing our country and people like barbarians and wildmen, while Iranians adore, or almost relish american culture in Iran? I dont mind, for a second, and American film portraying the IRI as such, but when they attack our culture, our hospitality, our people, what kind of sick sadistic pleasure do these liars get out of it??



by Princess on

It is so wrong for the whole world to be implicated in what essentially should have been a simple divorce and child custody case. I dare say the one person Betty Mahmoody hurt most will always be the daughter she claims to love. Very sad!

Thanks for posting this, Mr. Amirhosseini!


In late 1980's I was intern

by kns (not verified) on

In late 1980's I was intern in Taleghani hospital in north Tehran when Dr. Mahmody came. He had a DO (not MD) degree and had to do a year of residency to be recognized as specialist by Iran's health department. We spent many nights on call and became work friends. He was very funny and nice to everybody. He was twice our age but was hard working and very pleasant. We used to check the call schedule to see if he is on call and work the night! I don’t know much about his personal life. Last week he was on Jame Jam TV. It is sad that he has not seen his daughter for over 20 years.


glad he finally voiced his side

by kleidoscope (not verified) on

It's wonderful that Dr. Mahmoody speaks out; a little late, yet still effective. Thank you for posting it here. It should teach the propagandizing media that they can not just hijack stories and mold it in a way that accuses Middle Easterners of barbarism and backwardness every single time.