Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Firoozeh Dumas in the News

Firoozeh Dumas does not seem to be a controversial person. The Iranian-born, Southern California-raised author (Funny in Farsi, Laughing Without an Accent>) specializes in humorous and touching stories about her childhood, youth, and her extended family (but especially her parents). So why did someone make bomb threats at a book discussion she held at a California University?

On March 24, Dumas spoke about her books at the University of Southern California. Her talk followed the screening of the animated film, "Persepolis," which is based on a graphic novel about an independent girl's upbringing in Iran after the revolution. The events were subjected to increased security, including searches and scans of attendees, according to the USC student newspaper, the Daily Trojan. Luckily, the evening took place as planned.

The Trojan reports that the police didn't know anything specific about the threats, which apparently weren't aimed at any specific individual or building. Was it someone who was upset that two Iran-themed events took place on the campus? Or was it someone who was upset that the two events both featured independent Iranian (or Iranian-American) women?

We may never know the answer to that. But we will be hearing more about Dumas' family, thanks to ABC TV. A situation comedy pilot is in the works for that network; if it passes muster, a regular series will be in our future.

Until that time, you can get a taste of Dumas' humor and her message by watching the video below. Dumas spoke to The Commonwealth Club's Silicon Valley audiences on May 5, 2008, about the "Adventures of an Iranian American."

Dumas also moderated the audience question and answer session at the end of travel host Rick Steves' January 26, 2009, Commonwealth Club program about his recent travel to Iran. You can see that video here.


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