Growing Up Irooni- Funny in Farsi 20 years later, with Firoozeh Dumas

Leyla Shams
April 11, 2023

I’m so excited to share with you today my interview with Firoozeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi. Funny in Farsi came out when I was in college, and it’s almost hard to remember what a huge huge deal it was at the time. Really, before that, we had zero mainstream representation of Iranians. The one thing we had that we could all point to was not without my daughter, and that was a horrifying depiction of what Iran and Iranians were. But then Firoozeh came out with her book, which is a delightful, funny, heartwarming memoir of what it’s like to grow up with an Iranian background in the USA. She touches on what it was like during the hostage crisis, and when Iranians were constantly negatively stereotyped in the media. But she also looked at the really lovely positive things that came from being an immigrant in this country. Iranians are often not allowed the levity of talking about their experiences in a way that say Greek people are in a movie like my big fat greek wedding. That movie was allowed to be funny and light and silly- and in a similar way, this book was the same, and really humanized Iranian Americans both for a western audience and for Iranians.It’s now been 20 years since the book came out, and so much has changed since then. It was such a delight and joy to be able to talk to Firoozeh about the context in which she wrote the book, and how things are different now. And what being Iranian meant to her then, what it means now.

Related Links: