Dear Mr. Graham, Let me Introduce you to Some Friends….

Dear Mr. Graham, I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine.  The first friend is Golnaz. Golnaz is a bright and beautiful young woman from Iran. My husband first met her while working on a project at Harvard University. It was an instant friendship and soon after he met her, he invited her … Continue reading Dear Mr. Graham, Let me Introduce you to Some Friends….

Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 4

As Cliff and I read comments on all three of his posts on Iran, we realized that there was a missing piece - that of more detail on the dialogue. There is only so much you can fit into a blog post before losing the attention of readers, so he has continued the series with … Continue reading Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 4

Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 3

Today ends the 3-part series on Iran. Thanks for reading these posts. One of the things that Cliff and I have said for years to people who spend time overseas is to make sure to process your time. Often that processing takes place through visiting with friends and writing in journals, and in this case … Continue reading Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 3

Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 2

Today is Part 2 of the series on Iran. If you missed yesterday's feel free to click here. MORE CHELO KEBAB? For those of you who have had the privilege to sample Iranian/Persian cuisine you are definitely in for a treat. Before I left my good Iranian friend, Payman, said, “You will be served more … Continue reading Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 2

Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 1

In January, my husband went to Iran, a place he dreamed of visiting for 30 years. I am delighted to have him guest post for Communicating Across Boundaries these next 3 days. Cliff writes from his short time there and it is interesting, insightful and humorous. Enjoy! ************* There is an old adage that says … Continue reading Behind the Persian Curtain: An American in Iran: Part 1

People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

When I first began dating my husband, I would joke that I dated him and 30 Iranians. Cliff had hundreds of friends. And most of them were International Students at the university he was attending. During those initial dates we would go to underground Marxist events, Nowruz parties, or sumptuous Wednesday night dinners of kebabs, … Continue reading People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

Sharing Bedrooms and Dialogue

"See! If more people shared a bedroom when they were juniors in high school, we would have better dialogue in this country!" This was my comment to a high school friend as we exchanged views on the strong reactive response to Chick-fil-A  last week. Tina and I were fast friends in high school. Although we … Continue reading Sharing Bedrooms and Dialogue

Language and Diplomacy (aka The Importance of Knowing Urdu)

The Iranian captain took a risk and used Urdu and the navy "just happened" to have an Urdu speaker on board - this is the story at the heart of the rescue of thirteen Iranian fisherman who were captured by Somali Pirates. And what a story it is! Iran is a country that is understood … Continue reading Language and Diplomacy (aka The Importance of Knowing Urdu)

Waking up to the Smell of Freedom

I woke up this morning to the strong smell of coffee freedom. Freedom was all around me. A light rain fell outside but inside was dry, light and safe. As I stretched in bed with my eyes becoming accustomed to being open and my body slowly waking up, I realized the day was ahead of me and … Continue reading Waking up to the Smell of Freedom

Guest Post: Free the Hikers – The Brother Behind the Scenes

Today's post is written by Cliff Gardner. If you have followed news on the hikers in Iran, or are just tuning in, take a look. I remember the first time I read the news about three American hikers who were imprisoned in Iran for crossing into Iranian territory and accused of being spies. To be … Continue reading Guest Post: Free the Hikers – The Brother Behind the Scenes

Nowruz: Tradition and the Cultural Divide

Happy Nowruz one day late! This long and beloved Persian festival would have escaped my attention had it not been for an opinion piece that my brother sent me from the New York Times. The holiday, observed after a long winter and coinciding with spring equinox, celebrates the Iranian New Year along with spring and … Continue reading Nowruz: Tradition and the Cultural Divide