While working in Washington, D.C. in 1984 as the Press Secretary for Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr. Pari Forood gets a phone call from her father. Her seventeen-year-old Iranian cousin has been drafted during the Iran/Iraq war. He must flee from Iran or face an almost certain death. Joining a cast of international characters that include Pakistani black market passport dealers, members of Francois Mitterrand’s inner political sanctum, influential committee members on Capitol Hill and INS agents here in the United States, Forood uses her ties in Washington to help extricate her young cousin whom she has not seen in fourteen years.
Ms. Forood, born to an immigrant Iranian father and a mother who can trace her heritage to early American settlers, writes a timely true-life novel inviting us to reflect on our own diverse nationalities while simultaneously understand what it means to be American. Through lighthearted yet accurately profound writing, Forood faces unapologetically her love affairs and back-door Congressional dealings to show that courage is rarely simple and can come at the most unexpected time. As she wrote in a speech for Congressman Fish, “We are all immigrants in this country, judged not by our ancestry but by our accomplishments.” She confirms that our ancestry can be our greatest asset and self-acceptance of identity our greatest redemptive achievement.
The Gates of Light is her love letter to America.
Pari Forood was born in San Francisco and attended school in Florida and New York. After graduating from Vassar she was the Press Secretary for Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr. in Washington, D.C. where she was inspired to write this book. She has a Masters in Public Administration and is the Executive Director of a breast cancer foundation. Her articles have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. This is her first book to be published.
“The Gates of Light is a thrilling, true story that will enlighten your heart and direct your mind to a better understanding of “unity in diversity” in the global world as well as the inner struggle of immigrants…I highly recommend the book to everyone, especially to Persians with multicultural backgrounds, or immigrants who have been uprooted from their country.”
–Noushin Ehsan, President of 2nd Opinion Design, former Adjunct Professor Harvard School of Design, American Iranian immigrant and former lead architect to Shah Pahlavi