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Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,336 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
An intimate and honest chronicle of the everyday life of Iranian women over the past century

“A lesson about the value of personal freedom and what happens to a nation when its people are denied the right to direct their own destiny. This is a book Americans should read.” —Washington Post

The fifteenth of thirty-six children, Sattareh Farman Farmaian was born in Iran in 1921
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 1992)
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Leslie yes.it really gives you a personal glimpse into an "innocent bystander's" life during a tumultuous time.When change is going all around them and there…moreyes.it really gives you a personal glimpse into an "innocent bystander's" life during a tumultuous time.When change is going all around them and there is nothing to do but have an experience because there is nothing she could have done.Maybe her being a woman in that country at that time had something to do with that fact.It is not propaganda;just an experience.(less)

Community Reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution, Sattareh Farman Farmaian
Sattāreh Farmānfarmā'iān (December 23, 1921 – May 23, 2012), also Sattareh Farman-Farmaian, was one of the daughters of Persian nobleman Abdol Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma of the Qajar dynasty. Tells a fascinating tale of growing up in the 1930s in a Persian harem compound in Tehran. Breaking with Muslim tradition, she became an independent woman and found herself arrested as a coun
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Aubrey
“You know that isn’t right,” I screamed. “If you and your men are God-fearing and religious, you have to help the weak, regardless of what those poor women do for a living! You’re supposed to protect people in danger, no matter who the government is!”
Tomorrow begins the first batch of the classes that need finishing before I return to UCLA. Thus far, only one has made its required reading explicit, and with a title such as 46A British Writers: Medieval to Renaissance, it is obvious which physi
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FeReSHte
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to FeReSHte by: Jennifer Jacobs
کتاب خیلی خیلی خیلی خوبیه و برای همه علاقمندان به خوندن اتوبیوگرافی ها و یا تاریخ معاصر ایران یه انتخاب عالی می تونه باشه
عبدالحسین میرزا فرمانفرما که خودش صرفنظر از پست های ریز و درشتی که تو دوره قاجار عهده دار بود صدراعظم ایران در زمان احمد شاه بود که از نزدیک به هفت ازدواج خودش صاحب 24 پسر و 12 دختر شد .از این بین تعداد زیادیشون مدارج بالای تحصیلی رو طی و نقش های مهمی رو در ایران ایفا کردند

مریم فیروز موسس سازمان زنان حزب توده، فیروز میرزا نصرت الدوله وزیر رضا شاه، منوچهر مدیر فروش شرکت ملی ن
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رؤیا (Roya)
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: بیوگرافی
دختر ایران خاطرات ستاره فرمانفرماییان پانزدهمین فرزند از سی و شش فرزند شاه زاده عبدالحسین میرزای فرمانفرما با زن سومش معصومه میباشد. دختری از خاندان قاجار با زندگی پرفراز و نشیب در سه دوره از حکومتهای بلاتشبیه در ایران, قاجاریه, پهلوی و جمهوری اسلامی با لقب مادر مددکار اجتماعی و بنیانگذار اولین مدرسه به همین نام در ایران. کتابی روان و پرماجرا که خواننده را با خود به دنیای یک خانواده اشرافی و زندگی خصوصی و حرفه ای دختری با آرزوهای بزرگ و روحیه ای سنت شکن و استقامتی قابل تقدیر میکشاند. کتاب با همر ...more
Naele
به نظرم هیچ کتابی از دودمان پهلوی و قاجار ارزش خواندن ندارند. هر کدام با پول های به ارث رسیده از پدربزرگانشان که مملکت را چاپیده اند به تحصیلات و زندگی های خواستنی رسیده اند و بعد هم یک کتاب خاطره نویسی تنگش زده اند که از خود و عقاید خود (که هیچ و پوچ است و صرفا احساسات شخصی)و املاک اعیانی که نصف مملکت را به نام خود زده بودند و حق خود می دانند دفاع کنند. مابقی هم اراجیف و خاله زنکی های سلطنتی و درباری.
Masumeh

یکبار در وبلاگی این جمله از این کتاب را خواندم :((افسوس زندگي گذشته رانمي خورم. اگر دوباره جوان شوم همين راه را خواهم پيمود. من نمي خواستم در اندروني باقي بمانم، حتي اگر كسي به هر پنج انگشت دست من يك انگشتري الماس مي كردند))و من از همان زمان دلم می خواست از این زن بیشتر بدانم و امروز چقدر خوشحالم از خواندن داستان زندگی ستاره. زنی که نماد مدرنیته و انسانیت شد برایم و حتی نفرت قدیمی ام از شازده ها را کمی تعدیل کرد. لحن نوشتاری داستان ساده و صمیمی بودو تو ستاره را نه مادر مددکاری ایران که یک دوست د
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Maryam
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persian
جزو کتابهایی بود که دوستش داشتم، خیلی وقت پیش خوندمش اما دید منصفانه و خوبی از حوادث اوائل انقلاب داشت و روایتی دلنشین داشت. همراهش زندگی می کردی. ...more
Ann
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a LOT about the culture and 20th century history of Iran. This book clarified my formerly vague understanding of how the CIA's meddling in Iran contributed to our current dismal non-relationship. Sattareh Farman Farmaian is an amazing woman! Born into a (pre-Reza Pahlavi) aristocratic family, she comes to the U.S. for college and then decides to establish the field of social work in her own country, which she does almost single-handedly. Her family's extensive connections help her to b ...more
Shahr Baran
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
این کتاب زندگی نامه ستاره فرمانفرماییان است که با همکاری خانوم دانا مانکرا در امریکا نوشته شده .ستاره فرمانفرماییان یکی از شاهزاده های قاجار بود .دختری از اندرون خانه فرمانفرماییان بزرگ یکی از با نفوذترین شاهزادگان قاجار .ستاره در این کتاب از بدو تولد خود تا رفتن به مدرسه //تحصیل در خارج از کشور همراه با تحولات سیاسی اجتماعی اواخر دوره قاجار واوایل دوره پهلوی صحبت کرده بعدها در زمان پهلوی دوم او به ایران بازگشت وبرای اولین بار موسسه مدد کاری اجتماعی را در زمان محمد رضا وبا همکاری فرح پهلوی ایجاد ...more
Jennifer Jacobs
A wonderful book!
No other words can describe the book other than those!It's a very beautifully written book by a lady from a very high ranking family of Iran!What makes this book so special is how the book describes life in Iran during 3 time periods,before 1979 under Shah,the chaos during 1979 and life after 1979!The chapter about how she met Ayatollah Khomeini's men was especially harrowing!And I luved that part of the book the most:)
The author is from a very well known family of Iran,her fath
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Maryam Shahriari
اين كتاب رو دوست داشتم چون خاطرات دختر فرمانفرماييان بود. آخه خيلي ها پدر من رو حاجي فرمانفرما صدا مي كنن. محل كار پدرم و همين طور خونه ي ما در محدوده اي هست كه در زمان رضا شاه خونه ي فرمانفرما بوده...
ستاره توي اين كتاب بيشتر به شرح حوادث سياسي اون زمان پرداخته.
Khparisa
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
bi nazireh
Jolene Monheim
May 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot about Iran... and of the courage and integrity of the woman who wrote this book. I found her and emailed her my appreciation of her work and I heard back from her! wow -
Sharon
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, quite frankly, one of the most fascinating memoirs I have ever read.

Sattareh Farman Farmaian was born the year Reza Shah (father of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the ousted Shah of Iran) came to power. Born into one of Iran's noble families, she led a privileged life. However, because of her family's beloved servants, Farmaian was exposed to the squalor in which the majority of her country lived. She became determined to do something to help.

After studying abroad to become a social worker, Fa
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Pari
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read my fair share of books about Iran, both fiction and non-fiction. After completing "Daughter of Persia," I have to rank this book in the top three books about Iran, right up there with "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and "Iran Awakening."

Ms. Farman Farmaian does an excellent job detailing the political events of Iran from pre-Mossadegh to the revolution from the point of view of someone who was moderate and fairly removed from politics. It is an interesting take on events in Iran, viewed f
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Cathyb
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
In this heartfelt autobiography, Ms. Farman-Farmaian provides us with a personal account of Persian history and culture. The book chronicles her life experiences – as a young girl born into an aristocratic Qajar family to an adult woman who founded social work in Iran and was then forced into exile in order to survive. The writing is clear, wonderfully descriptive and contains a smattering of the Farsi language. It is amazing that after all she has been through that she is able to provide a fair ...more
Sahar
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من بعد از خواندن این کتاب به عنوان یک دختر نوجوان که آینده خیلی امیدبخشی برای تغییر تو ایران با توجه به توانایی های خودم نمی دیدم به شدت انگیزه پیدا کردم و هنوز هم که هنوز هست از صحبت هاشون الهام می گیرم واقعا آموزنده بود
Jennifer Jacobs
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book!
No other words can describe the book other than those!It's a very beautifully written book by a lady from a very high ranking family of Iran!What makes this book so special is how the book describes life in Iran during 3 time periods,before 1979 under Shah,the chaos during 1979 and life after 1979!The chapter about how she met Ayatollah Khomeini's men was especially harrowing!And I luved that part of the book the most:)
The author is from a very well known family of Iran,her fath
...more
Alexander Polsky
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
A remarkable life -- Sattareh Farman-Farmaian (who died in 2012) was born into medieval feudalism, grew up with a modernizing despotism of the Shah, and fled the ferocious obscurantism of the Iranian Revolution.

Smart, well read, and with courage, her book makes one more than a little sad, its the "what Iran could have been"; however there is some bright side in that its what Iran still might be.

Its politically difficult for anyone to swallow, which makes me like the author all the more. She was
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Rebecca altman
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
What a fabulous book and insight into a new perspective. I got a hold of this book when my husband who is getting his masters in social work brought this home as the read for one of his classes. Of course I read it in a couple of days and wanted to discuss it in full with him. It is a great book about a womans journey in a land where women dont have voices. She goes to America and receives a degree in California as one of the first to do so and then goes home and starts an unbelievable program f ...more
Soormeh
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, women
کتاب خوبی بود که آدم رو با تاریخ ایران آشنا می کرد و با زنی که اگر می شد ایران بمونه و به کارهاش ادامه بده ما امروز خوشبخت تر بودیم.
http://soormeh.blogfa.com/post-319.aspx

http://www.magiran.com/npview.asp?ID=...
Niloo Farfar
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
روایتی دلنشین که همراه میشی باهاش.
یکی از کتابایی شد که همیشه پس ذهنم هستن.
Parmidaat
زنی که اندرونی را تحمل نکرد و مادر مددکاری اجتماعی ایران شد, زنی که سه حکومت را در زندگی خود تجربه کرد و در حقش بی انصافی شد...
قضاوت هایش درمورد شخصیت های موثر انقلاب برایم جالب بود.
Rana Heshmati
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rana by: آقاى شكوهى
از مدرسه كه برگشتم، مينويسم ريويوو اش را :دى
Charlotte
Fascinating first hand account of a woman raised by a political leader in Iran. Her relationship with her father, mother, and the rest of the harem. Also their personal upheavals during war and how she introduced social work to the country. Quite an interesting life.
Hamideh
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is no need to search into fairy tales to find an angle or a super-human. By looking around, you might find someone who sacrifices to boost humanity.
Usually, I don't like a biography. However, this one is something else. You can have an overview of the contemporary history of Iran from a civilian, well-educated, innovative, strong women's points of view.
She was raised in a very conservative family and society, in a chaotic and turbulent era; hence she managed to withdraw herself and many o
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Ev
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book, describing Satti's childhood, was an utter phantasmagoria of penmanship. I am admittedly infatuated with Persian and Levantine culture; it oozes out of the book's aura and pores. I found both the sophistication of her prose (translated by Dona Munker) incredibly intoxicating and sumptuous.

The book sometimes reads as the story of a woman writing her legacy and perhaps clearing her name to an extent, given the murky world and various shadows of political subversion ramp
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Simeon Kohlman Rabbani
This is a hauntingly beautiful account, not only of one woman's life story, but of the 20th-century history of Iran. It traces the rise and fall of Shahs, princes, and political movements, all as a tapestry through which the thread of Sattareh Farman Farmaian's remarkable life is woven. It is an absolutely essential background to understanding the current political turmoil in Iran and it gives powerful insights into Persian culture and the mindset and outlook of the Iranian people.

I only gave i
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Suzanne
Sep 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Having always been a fan of biographies and historical non-fiction, I especially enjoyed this book. Not only did I enjoy the main character, Sattareh Farman Farmaian, a fascinating person in her own right, having been raised by a father who was very forward thinking for his time, and pursuing a life that was unheard of in her country, but I learned a lot about the history of Iran(Persia) and the extent of American involvement in their politics. If nothing else, this book will give you insight in ...more
Catriona Macaulay
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iran
Fascinating history of before, during and after the Fall of the Shah by the "mother of social work" in Iran. The historical material on pre-Revolution Iran and her life as one of the many sons and daughters of a wealthy Persian patriarch is interesting but the account really comes into its own when the Shah's fall begins.
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Sattāreh Farmānfarmā'iān (1921 – 23 May 2012; Persian: ستاره فرمانفرمائیان) was one of the daughters of Persian nobleman Abdol Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma of the Qajar dynasty.

In addition to her autobiography, Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem through the Islamic Revolution (1992), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, she published "Social Work as Social Development:
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“From the day I was born I have always loved action more than words. But now only words are left.” 0 likes
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