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My name is Saadia Khan. I am a social entrepreneur and the founder and host of Immigrantly. Immigrantly is a weekly podcast that deconstructs the archaic stereotypes of what it means to be an immigrant, a child of immigrants, a person of color, and everything in between. Each episode brings a fresh perspective on the issues we address. Our conversations are complex, challenging, and oftentimes messy. But I wouldn’t trade the messiness for anything, because what we have created instead is a new, ongoing dialogue full of rich nuances.

Apr 14, 2020

Our today’s guest is Parnaz Foroutan. She is someone who has lived through some of history’s most defining moments. Her early childhood took place in the heels of the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. She remembers attending school and swearing her allegiance to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhullah Khomeini and being encouraged by her teacher to report her parents if they did “bad things” like listening to music, drinking wine, and speaking poorly of Khomeini. 

But at the age of six, this course of life was altered when her family uprooted them to a suburb of Los Angeles. Reeling with culture shock and speaking no English, she had to learn to construct a new life and identity in this new country that was rapidly-changing to reflect the ideals of the Reagan administration. 

Nineteen years later, after a life-altering moment, she returned to Iran to rebuild her relationship with the culture and identity that was lost. A little while later, she wrote a memoir, “Home is a Stranger” to document her experiences. Parnaz shares her journey of self-discovery with us.