Often lost in the rhetoric of debate about the United States' immigration policy is this: although each immigrant's country of origin and reason for leaving are widely diverse, the experience of being an immigrant in the United States crosses all cultural divides.
For the past five years, Firoozeh Dumas has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences ... and doing so with humor.
In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Firoozeh Dumas decided to write down her family stories as a gift for her two children. Those stories became the book Funny in Farsi, a San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller and a finalist for the PEN/USA award and for an Audie Award for best audio book (She lost to Bob Dylan).
She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor (she lost to Jon Stewart), and is the first Middle Eastern woman ever to be considered for this honor.
Dumas's latest book, entitled Laughing Without an Accent, was published in May 2008- Grace Cathedral
Firoozeh Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran and moved with her family to Whittier, California at the age of seven. After a two-year stay, she and her family moved back to Iran and lived in Ahvaz and Tehran. Two years later, they moved back to Whittier, then to Newport Beach. Firoozeh then attended UC Berkeley where she met and married a Frenchman.
Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life. In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Dumas decided to write her stories as a gift for her two children. Random House published these stories in 2003.
Funny in Farsi was on the SF Chronicle and LA Times bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and a finalist in 2005 for an Audie Award for best audio book (she lost to Bob Dylan). She is currently a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor. She is the first Middle Eastern woman ever to receive this honor.
Critics and readers of all ages have loved her stories. Jimmy Carter called Funny in Farsi, "A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love of family, country and heritage."
Rev. Alan Jones
Alan Jones, Ph.D., has been dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco since 1985.
Jones was formerly the director of the Center for Christian Spirituality and Stephen F. Bayne Professor of Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary in New York City. Born and educated in England, Jones was also on the staff of Trinity Institute of Wall Street's Trinity Church. He became a citizen of the United States in 1975.
Jones is the author of several books, most notably, Soul Making, The Desert Way of Spirituality, Passion for Pilgrimage and most recently, The Soul's Journey: Exploring the Three Passages of the Spiritual Life with Dante as a Guide. He is widely known as a gifted preacher and travels throughout the world preaching, lecturing, and leading retreats.