The Lori Forouzandeh Story
a book by Lori Forouzandeh
1st Edition published: November 15, 2006
3rd Edition published: March 25, 2009
Song Front Cover
for Lori's Song
On Mohammad Forouzandeh
From the Meeting to Shiraz
Two: Arriving in Shiraz to the End of the Business Road!
Chapter Three: Digressions
Song Front Cover
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The Lori Forouzandeh Story
Published: November 15, 2006
for "Lori's Song"
The true story
of an American woman held captive in Iran
Lori, an American married to an Iranian, had been working and
living as an ordinary member of Iranian society for almost 4 years
when she had heard rumors that the U.S. was going to be attacked.
That was on September 9, 2001. She tried and failed to call home
and give warning.
The news that
all those rumors were horribly true came on September 11th 2001.
That was when her husband suddenly announced that they had to
go back to the States in case there were repercussions.
12, 2001, Lori and her husband were at the Shiraz bus terminal
intending to catch a bus to Istanbul and from there to Heathrow
and home to the U.S.A. They were totally unprepared for the convoy
of troop carriers that suddenly drove up and the armed men who
came pouring out to take the hapless couple prisoner.
no explanation offered. The men took Lori's husband one direction
and she another, pushing them blindfolded into the back of the
troop carriers with other prisoners, mostly Iranian.
Who the armed
men were was anybody's guess but they took their prisoners to
POW camp in unfamiliar territory and there, Lori was held, tortured,
raped, and starved with them for over a month. Her husband was
not to be seen again.
Lori was rescued
with one of her fellow inmates by the girl's family and, after
riding a llama for 1-2 days over mountainous terrain; she arrived
at the Iran Immigration center. By then, she weighed in at only
70 pounds, was still suffering from the many injuries she'd received
at the hands of her torturers, and wanted badly to get home to
her family in the USA. Even then, she had to fight Iranian Islamic
bureaucracy to have permission to go, as the husband was unavailable
to grant it. In any Islamic country, unknown to many western women,
the husband or guardian's permission is always required for a
woman to travel anywhere.
Lori had been married to Mohammad for 9 years and thought she
could trust him but, since their arrival in Iran in 1998, his
personality and behavior had changed so radically as to make this
most recent nightmare highly suspicious.
told here are true. It was no coincidence that this American citizen
had been placed into a concentration camp. In fact, it raises
many questions and should be a caution to many.
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is a hazy character. This is what has been recorded on the Reformist
Mohammad Forouzandeh. If this Mohammad is Lori's Mohammad, then
this is what is known about him: Mohammad Forouzandeh led a dual
life. He moved back to Iran to join the Reform movement. In one
life he was a part time loving and part time brutal husband, and
in another, he was a high official in Seyed Mohammad Khatami's
cabinet and a member of the Reformist Fraction of the Islamic
Republic of Iran.
Head of the
Disinherited Foundation, former Minister of Defense, Governor
of Khuzestan and
Revolutionary Prosecutor of Abadan and Khoramshahr. He was pursued
for ordering commission of acts of torture against the inhabitants
of Abadan, Khoramshahr, Andimeshk and Ahvaz.
Later as the
new head of Iran's largest state-affiliated conglomerate pledged
to introduce sweeping changes to the multi-billion-dollar group
that has been beset by charges of inefficiency and allegations
of corruption. Mohammad Forouzandeh, named to head the Foundation
for the Deprived and War Disabled, said it planned to sell loss-making
businesses and take up more lucrative ventures.
or Bonyad-e Mostazafan va Janbazan, oversees extensive properties
confiscated from the former royal family and associates after
the 1979 Islamic revolution. It values its business holdings at
up to $3.5 billion. Set up as a charity to care for the poor,
it is one of Iran's revolutionary foundations that acts independently
of the government and answers only to supreme leader Ayatollah
Seyed Ali Khamenei.
firms are not making profits. They can be transferred (to the
private sector) and the money can be invested in more lucrative
areas," Forouzandeh, a former defense minister with impeccable
revolutionary credentials, said later on in his career.
precision and speed is my motto. Decisions will be made based
on logical and economic, not political grounds. We will make use
of those with merit. Meritocracy is the criteria," he said
at a ceremony.
a stronghold of conservative opponents of reformist President
Mohammad Khatami, has faced repeated charges in Iranian newspapers
of mismanagement and corruption. Much criticism followed the 1995
conviction of a brother of its former head Mohsen Rafiqdoust in
a large bank fraud case.
led Khamenei to appoint a board of trustees to curb Rafiqdoust's
hitherto absolute control and brought the foundation under parliamentary
scrutiny. The Bonyad has also come under attack for allegedly
failing to meet the needs of many disabled veterans of the 1980-88
Iran-Iraq war, held in high regard in the Islamic republic.
speaking at the ceremony, defended his performance.
is only so much that the Bonyad can do. We cannot do it alone.
Others who should have paid attention, did not and only paid lip
service," he said, in an apparent reference to government
He later told
journalists that the foundation's assets, excluding properties
not directly contributing to its business ventures, had risen
to 10.4 trillion rials, from 778 billion rials 10 years ago when
he took charge.
has about 300 companies under its wing, ranging from food processing
to construction and tourism. It owns 43 percent of Iran's hotels
and runs about half of Iran's tourism, its own statistics show.
has set up its own credit institution, which is not answerable
to the central bank, and engages in foreign deals and investments,
especially in the Middle East. It provides 123,000 war disabled
with homes, medical care, education and help to find jobs, and
assists many poor people unable to cope with Iran's growing economic
task has been to arrange expensive care for thousands of war veterans
suffering after Iraqi chemical attacks. Despite its wide responsibilities,
many complain the foundation is given more privileges than it
deserves. The foundation's firms enjoy tax breaks and preferential
government hard currency rates. It is also easier for them to
win state contracts.
held many positions in Khatami's cabinet including: Head of the
Disinherited Foundation, Minister of Defense, Governor of Khuzestan,
Revolutionary Prosecutor of Abadan and Khoramshahr, and finally
head of the Foundation for the Deprived and War Disabled.
Later on he
was pursued for ordering commission of acts of torture against
the inhabitants of Abadan, Khoramshahr, Andimeshk and Ahvaz. Once
Khatami and Reformists had lost the elections to Ahmadinejad and
Conservatives, and then had fallen from the power, so did Mohammad
Forouzandeh. The last reports show that he goes back and forth
between Iran and United States. His present situation and position
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The Lori Forouzandeh Story
Intro Update 2009
A Look into a Horrific Past: But a Glance into a Bright Future!
I was adopted at 6 months old into a family of two sisters and one brother. My foster parents that adopted me told me that I had been taken away from my birth parents due to being severely abused by them They told me that when the state brought me, I had cigarette burns all over my body, and that I hadn’t had a bath in weeks. That my diaper pins actually had rust on them. Apparently, I had been kept in a closet for the first six months of my life and only fed milk. Therefore, I got off to a rough start in life. But that is only the half of it.
I was the only adopted child in the family that I grew up in. My two sisters, Luci who was 11 years older than then Debbie was, 9 years older and my brother Ray who was 8 years older than me all were somewhat jealous of me. I guess the reasoning was that I was now the “baby” of the family; and came along at a time when our parents had more money so they were able to buy more things while I was growing up. My mother still favored my brother Ray, or Ray Ray which he was called because she let him get away with some awful acts….Mostly against me.
The most memorable one was when I was age 10. He started playing this game called “tickle”. It began with an agreement that if he tickled my foot while watching TV, then I would tickle his foot in return. This was fine since it was relaxing. Then it became more ….my bedroom was in our basement as was all of us kids bedrooms. The basement had been finished so that there was a poolroom (Pool table room) and my brother’s bed was there, since he was 18 and still living at home, as were my two sisters who kept beds downstairs as well. Now that I think back, the game might have actually started much earlier than 10 years old, because I remember my sisters yelling at my brother when he would insist that I “tickle” him, because they had to get up early to go to school. I say I cannot remember well when it started because it really is not the type of thing that you WANT TO REMEMBER….that is your brother using a game of tickle to molest you!
The first time it happened, he crawled in my bed and rather than asking me to play tickle, he TOLD me that we were going to play. I just said ok not thinking anything was odd, and then he grabbed my hand and wanted me to tickle an area that was not his foot. I jerked away and told him that was not his foot. He then told me that when you play in bed you do not tickle each other’s feet. I told him that I did not want to play because I was tired. He told me that if we did not he would tell our mom and she would ground me. My sisters were downstairs and within hearing distance so I believed what he was saying to be true. Therefore, I reluctantly did what he told me to do. Then he would tickle areas on me that were not my feet as well. This went on and on, and every night he would tell me that if I told mom she would get mad because she did not want to be bothered with these types of complaints, yet if I did not do it she would ground me for not listening to him. As I said my sisters were downstairs and listening, so I believed him. Moreover, my mother favored my brother so I did not want to make her angry with me.
His cruelty began then due to my resistance of his “tickle” games. He thought I should like it and want to reciprocate a little more willing than I was. He would do things: and these acts were while my mom was standing at the front door watching and laughing so this only validated his claims that she would have gotten mad had I said anything against him regarding his acts of molesting me with his “tickle” game. One time he asked me to hold the jumper cables of his motorcycle while he tried to start it. I was young and had no idea that I would be shocked when he would kick start it. As I said, my mother was standing at the front door watching and laughing as he did it. Then came the time when he called me out to the garage and had my pet bunny hanging upside down in his hand, I asked him what he was doing, he then hit it over the head and killed it! I began crying and yelling at him and his excuse was it was getting old so it had to be killed. That night we were eating dinner and I thought we were eating chicken, until my brother informed me at the supper table that we were eating rabbit and it was mine. My mother yelled at him but never denied the fact.
After these acts of cruelty, he would always crawl into my bed at night and tell me he was sorry and was going to make everything better by just “tickling” me that night. I would yell and tell him no. He would get mad sometimes, slap me, and tell me to shut up or he would have to go and get mom. I was scared since I was convinced that she knew what was going on.
How could a mother not know what was going on, after these “tickle” games started I was scared to death to be left alone in the house with him. Anytime my mom and dad had to leave to go somewhere I would start crying hysterically and beg to go with them. One time I was banging on the screen door so hard to get their attention that I ended up breaking it with my hand and cutting my hand so bad that it almost needed stitches. They still went out but only after my mom screamed at me for breaking the door.
My dad at the time had no idea what was going on, but I did not learn this until just recently in life. After my mother passed away in 2006, my father and I became close and he admitted to me that he never knew how to read or write and mom never shared anything with him. After she died, my brother took everything away from my dad including his house and any personal property he could take/steal. My mom left him everything without telling my dad. She always favored my brother and left my dad in the dark about everything. She would act like she spoiled me for appearances sake but when there was only her, my brother and I around she allowed him to be as blatantly cruel as he wanted, without openly molesting me. She stayed in denial about that. Every time I wanted to tell her, she would get mad and tell me she did not have time to talk right then. I told my father after she died and he believed me without question.
All the while I was growing up I was a straight A student, I would win school wide spelling bees and continually make the honor roll. The school would hold banquets in my honor yet my mother would never attend. She would always make the excuse that she did not have anyone to babysit; she had an adult foster care home the entire time I was growing up at home. Thus, you needed someone over the age of 18 at the house all the time. Come to find out my father was never aware of these banquets. My mother told him that I was a wild child who constantly was getting in trouble. This played in well since when I reached junior high school I had become wild since I did not care anymore and I would do anything to escape the house. I had a boyfriend whose mother would allow me to stay at their house all the time. This was wonderful because then I did not have to be around my brother. Who had graduated to far more than the tickle game by the time I reached 13. ..Which I will explain later. At 15, I married just to get out of the house and escape my brother for the last time. I found a man who was the age of approx; 23 and told my mother that if she didn’t allow me to get married I would get pregnant and go to Maryland where they would allow me to get married legally. She signed an emancipation proclamation and I went to Missouri and got married at age 15. Finally, I had escaped the hell of my brother!
Now I digress back to the age of 13 or 12 not that it matters. At age 12 or 13 I lost my virginity and this was really an unfortunate event for me at home. However, this was Ray Ray’s BIG GRADUATION so to speak…he had been waiting for this!
I came home on a Sunday night from being at my boyfriends all weekend, when my brother came over to my room (yes he was still living at home), and asked me how the week-end had went. I said fine. He then asked me if I had used condoms. I said that was none of his business, he then said he was concerned for me and that he had some if I needed them, I told him no that Tim had them when we thought we needed them. Then he smiled and said, “I KNEW IT!” I looked at him and wondered what the hell he was smiling about, he then began to tell me that now that I was no longer a virgin we could finally graduate from the tickle game. I was then terrified, and told him I was tired and that it was not right because we were brother and sister! He then began to explain that it was ok because I was adopted and mom had explained this all to him a while back. I just looked at him with disbelief at what I was hearing, but at the same time not doubting him, since my mother still allowed his bedroom to be in the basement next to mine even though she knew I had tried to tell her things and she knew how I acted when he was around.
The next thing I knew he had me on the floor and was telling me to keep my mouth shut that it wouldn’t’ take long and that I would enjoy it much more than I did with my pansy ass boyfriend. I just laid there and cried and he told me that the only reason I was crying was that I should have had him broken my cherry rather than Timmy…my boyfriend.
Needless to say these molestations went on every chance he got, until finally one night I began screaming and hitting him until I heard the basement door open. We both knew it was mom and rather than come all the way down the stairs she came half way down and just yelled at my brother and I remember her exact words: “Tell Lori Ann to keep it quiet or she will wake your Dad up!” I could not believe it, she never asked what was wrong, nor came all the way down the stairs to see if I was Ok! He just smiled and started walking towards with me with this belt in his hand, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, then he said bend over my knee because you heard mom, she said to keep you quiet, so that is what I’m supposed to do. I told him to go to hell and he grabbed me, put his hand over my mouth, and shoved me onto the bed and this was the night that ended it for a while for me, because what happened next I would never forget. He raped me and it was bad, I was bleeding and not just from the rape but from his nails that he had dug into my face trying to keep me from screaming. Afterwards I was crying so bad that I picked up the phone and was going to call Tim’s mom and have her come and get me and I was going to live there until I graduated from high school. He actually looked sorry for the first time in his life. I think he even had tears in his eyes. He told me that he loved me, and I could not believe it, I about died from shock. He told me that he just wanted me to know how much he loved me and this is how he showed it. He promised me that he would never do it again. I accepted his apology. I do not know why but I felt sorry for him. He went and got a cold washcloth from upstairs and washed the blood off my face and asked me to lie down next to him so that he knew I was all right. For whatever reason I did. And the next day I got up thinking that my life would be different with him.
The molestations ceased for a while and I actually did believe he was sorry, but then I came to find out why…he had a girlfriend, and her name was Lori too! One night I came home from Tim’s and my mom told me that Ray Ray had a girlfriend over and she warned me to be nice to her. I thought this was strange since I had never had a reason to be mean to any of his girlfriends before. But then again he had never brought any of them home either. When I came inside they were both standing at the sink and he was smiling like the Cheshire cat. He introduced me to her and I was polite and then excused myself and went to my room. I was ecstatic. Finally, he had someone that would keep him away from me. She was pretty but shy. While I was downstairs, Ray Ray came down and asked me why I was not upstairs getting to know her. I told him that I had homework to do. He insisted that I come up and talk to her. Therefore, I did. Big deal I thought a few minutes to shut him up. She was nice and polite but shy. She told me that she had heard a lot about me and that it all had been good. I just looked at her and for whatever reason got sarcastic and said well if you are going to be with him you cannot believe everything you hear. Then I walked away and went downstairs slamming the basement door. Boy was that the wrong thing to do.
That night after taking her home, he came downstairs and started yelling at me for telling her that, I was yelling back and then it happened all over again. Only this time I just let it happen. For whatever reason I did not care anymore. I told him go ahead get your kicks you will anyway. He did but I do not think he enjoyed it that much so it gave me some pleasure. The next day I met Mike my husband to be. About 6 months later I was about to be married. But not until I had, been molested a few more times. Once out of the house I told him if he ever touched me again I would have Mike beat his ass. But I never told Mike. I was too embarrassed. How could I tell the man that I was married to about sexual acts between a brother and sister? After all these were supposed to be “sick” unspoken acts. Things that only happened in “trashy” families. I could not admit to something like that. Not to mention how weak I felt for not stopping them in the first place. And for some reason Ray Ray always had a way of making me feel like he was the only one in the world who really cared about me, when he really was the only one who despised me and degraded me in every way possible. He is responsible for the way I interact with men today. He is responsible for the way my life started on its path of destruction. Sure I can’t put all the blame on him, I have to take some responsibility, but when you grow up once idolizing a brother who eventually does what he did to me, then afterwards he claims to have done it because he loved you; it leaves one totally confused and screwed up when it comes to relationships if not life in general.
My life began with him protecting me, then that protectiveness led to tickle games which I thought were for “MY BENEFIT AND PLEASURE” i.e. tickling my feet, then I became confused as to the meaning behind them. Then I was fooled into believing that I was making everyone happy by complying with him and his games because had I not complied I would have made my brother unhappy and my mother mad. Moreover, I believed these games were accepted by everyone since my sisters were in earshot and could hear what was going on. (To this day I can only succumb to the notion that they really did not care what was going on since they were jealous of me and never liked me anyway…we still do not speak to one another).
After all this, I was looking for anything that would take me far far away from the memories and horror of my childhood. Unfortunately, I found drugs. They not only numbed my feelings, but also gave me false confidence to do things that I normally would not think of doing.
However, later in life I also learned that I suffered from Bi-polar that also contributed to a lot of my bad decision-making and other behavior mechanisms that were not always on the positive side.
But to make a long story short after years of drug abuse to numb the memories and many bad decisions and relationships in search of Mr. Right to protect me from Mr. Wrong (my brother), I finally found peace of mind through a drug rehabilitation place called Brighton Hospital.
I have been on some substance trying to numb my feelings since age 15, but finally at age 42, I have become clean and sober thanks to Brighton Hospital and a drug called Suboxone.
I am finally dealing with my mental disorder of Bi-polar that I was diagnosed with in 2005, and have been clean now for about 3 months. I still suffer from PTSD, Bi-Polar, and will always suffer from drug abuse but now I do not have to suffer from its USE. I am seeing a therapist weekly and am sincerely trying to make my life a life that I can deal with without drugs. Sure, it is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. But with the help of God and my fiancé John, I think that I will finally succeed at living life and not just existing in it.
I apologize for the sarcastic way that you might interpret my usage of my past drug use. It is in no way to make light of it. It was the only way that I could get my point of TRUTH across for the moment of time that I was trying to depict at that stage of my life.
I thank all of you for reading my book and I want to encourage anyone out there who has suffered from bi-polar or has gone through the horror of being molested to SEEK HELP. It is not YOUR FAULT. The only way that you will be able to deal with yourself without the guilt or the fear of it ever happening again is by getting help. I lived a long time using drugs to numb not only the pain from the injuries that I suffered from childhood, mental and physical, but just using them as some sort of crutch to further my need as another excuse to use for help. For example, if I used drugs then I would have an excuse to seek help with drugs rather than seek help with the REAL PROBLEM behind the drug use, which was the molestation.
Once more, I thank you for reading my book and if it helps one person than it has helped me.
October 31, 2002
It had been
almost a year since I returned from Iran without my husband. Although
I will never forget 9/11, November was a more memorable month
for me in terms of nightmares, confusion, and the guilt! I had
been living in Iran, working and existing as a member of Persian
society for almost 4 years.... When I had heard on the news that
all those rumors I had been hearing about the USA being potentially
bombed came true. It was 9/11 and I had tried to call home since
the 9th of September to tell my family to take caution just in
case the rumors turned out to be fact. On September 12, 2001,
I became all too familiar with my own 9/11, only it was not in
the USA this time it was in a POW camp in the middle of somewhere,
They had taken my husband one way and I another and pushed us
blindfolded into the back of convoy style trucks, who "they"
were anybody's guess but I sure did not have a clue. 30-40 days
later after escaping the camp and riding a llama for 1-2 days
over mountainous terrain, I arrived at the Iran Immigration center.
I only weighed in at about 70 pounds then, had injuries, been
starved and raped for the past month and wanted to get home to
my family in the USA. However, was unsure that the govt. of Iran
would allow me to. I was American but was married to an Iranian,
which made me an Iranian citizen who needed my husband's permission
to exit the country. Although the authorities claimed to have
had his permission before flying me to the USA embassy in Dubai,
I knew they did not! This only increased my suspicion of the govt.
being all too involved in my apprehension or kidnapping on Sept
12. I had been with Mohammad for 9 years and thought I could trust
him, but despite the love that I thought we had, his personality
and behavior did a 360 degree turn upon entering Iran in 1998.
The events told here are true, and I've only shared what I know
to be true or suspect at best. What I do know is that it was no
coincidence that I an all-out American citizen had been placed
into a POW type camp right after the tragedy of 9/11 in America.
Moreover, I suggest to all, to thoroughly research any country
and culture before relocating to one headfirst. Even/especially
if your spouse is a native from that nation. I hope this will
help all understand the view of an American woman in a Middle
Eastern country, who not only lived there but became ingrained
into the culture but in the end only became another statistic
of the IRI. (I.e.Islamic Republic of Iran).
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From the Meeting to Shiraz
Jun 5, 2002
I met my husband
in 1993, while attending Northern Michigan University, at this
time he was in the UP visiting his children from a previous marriage,
to an Elizabeth Stewart, who was also attending college for her
CPA degree. Her two children's names are Farid (Sean), and Farah
(Shannon) Stewart. Now his ex wife had tried to warn me as to
why she had moved up to Marquette: With the help of authorities
and had undergone a complete name change, from her married and
maiden which was Fulco; she told me that Mohammed had been violent
and took her to Iran as well, she is a very intelligent woman,
who can speak and write Farsi, and knows a lot about the culture.
As I was saying one night when we both discovered how Mohammad
had been playing us, she came over (she lived next door on University
Campus Housing) and we got drunk and talked. She had told me about
how violent he was and how much he adores Iran but prefers living
here for undisclosed reasons and that in order to get her children
and herself away from him (i.e.Mohammad) that she had to move
somewhere where no one knew her and change her name, which she
did . The only problem is Mohammad managed to still capture her
heart and change her mind and she ended up telling him where she
was Why didn't I listen, because the reasons she gave were due
to him being an undercover cop informant for KVET an acronym for
"Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team" who are DEA agents
for Kalamazoo county (IN MICHIGAN) his partner was a guy named
Tim and she had told me that he had screwed too many drug addicts
over by buying drugs and then turning them in, while at the same
time also manipulating the authorities by bribing the addicts
and during any raid he would only turn in about half of what he
confiscated. So she was getting death threats so she took her
kids and relocated also I might add that she had said Mohammad
had a bad addiction to drugs as well. Did I listen? NOOOOOOOO!
I thought this was some jealous psycho who was trying to dissuade
me from what I deemed a very attractive and powerful man HA!
Ok so we eventually
moved in together got married in a Muslim wedding and relocated
to Saginaw upon my graduation, in Saginaw, Mohammad and his brother
Abbas whose family had bought his way out of Iran, rather than
him staying to serve his two years in the military, (I need to
add Mohammad did serve his two years during the IRAN/IRAQ war
and was stationed on the border of Turkey, and has many scars
from bullets as well). Also I'd like to add that all the time
during our dating he advocated his support of the Shah, and was
one of those students into politics in 1979, who came to the USA
to attend Western Michigan University where he obtained his Bachelors
in Automotive Engineering and I believe started working for Chrysler
to build a template for some new model of automobile Anyway also
in his past was a job that he did at James River in Kalamazoo
that ended in a big time lawsuit and he collected quite a bit
while with me that I never seen, he said it was spent but how
???? His arm was caught supposedly in a big roller used to flatten
large sheets of paper or cardboard and it was supposedly caught
accidentally by a glove he was wearing, it sucked his right arm
in and fed it into the two rollers up to his shoulder. In lieu
of this, they had to take his arm and insert metal rods into it
and reattach it, this is why airport security is very lax with
him, due to the internal metal, hmmm.
Saginaw things were going along, he was running auto dealerships,
and coaching soccer for appearance sakes with my son (from another
marriage that is now 19) he did everything right for a while.
If Doug (my son) wanted a birthday party Mohammad would go overboard
to show his wealth and rent a roller rink if that was Doug's wish.
I thought it was due to love boy was I sadly mistaken, I later
realized it was to collect some kind of donations for what ever
it was he was collecting for from the more elite in the neighborhood,
so appearances did count. Then he started disappearing for days
on end, and I thought it was his drug addiction, but now I beg
to differ, there were too many phone calls that were coherent
and I could tell the difference, not to mention the miles put
on the car.
a par excellent manipulator, they used to say that he could talk
you out of your raincoat in a hailstorm Anyway I was a nurse with
high aspirations at this time, of continuing my education and
having a successful life in Research. Well, not to excuse any
actions here but you want the truth so here goes became addicted
to the drug Vicodin, I was up to 60 pills a day, and had several
ways of either writing false Rx, or calling them in. Well, my
liver started to fail so I was admitted to the Mayo clinic, underwent
testing, and was told that my liver was in serious trouble, well
no shit I thought! But being the true professional that I was,
I could not tell the truth as to why it was failing In other words
give them a false medical history and let the so called experts
figure it out for themselves, was my justification. They could
not. It was at that time I lost a lot of respect for the Mayo
clinic! So upon returning home to Michigan from Minnesota (i.e.
where the Mayo clinic is located) I came clean with my supervisor
and requested an inpatient rehab. She then sent me to Healthsource
a rehab for Professionals (i.e. doctors and nurses) this rehab
which resembled the "The Dream Team", with Michael Keaton,
was worse than any I heard about, but hey I had to view it in
some manner in order to get through it! A lot had happened to
me in my past and humor was my escape, even if it was dry at best!
Well when I walked out of the rehab guess who had Vicodin waiting
for me, and you don't know how much I craved them at this point,
Going through Vicodin withdrawals is a hell of a lot worse than
heroine since for as long as I'd been taking it, it had absorbed
into the bone tissue, and to be honest when I got into a serious
car accident in 1992, and again no one thought I lived through
it, (Coming home drunk from the Casino in Sault.Ste.Marie my truck
went out of control on black ice, and rolled 4x, I had no seat
belt and got out after finding myself laying on the other side
under the dashboard, and had by boyfriend who was following me
at the time take me to the hospital, there were no visible injuries,
just a scraped knee) but this is where I ran into my first love
.. The Vicodin, Demerol and Morphine. So I knew what the effects
were so in all respect to me and my blame on Mohammad he didn't
need to do much convincing Anyway life went on and Lori was finally
caught for prescription fraud, and then there was Mohammad telling
me we could get away from this shitty legal thing, he again was
an undercover narcotics agent on the side for BAYNET; i.e. DEA
in Bay City and Saginaw so he got the judge to release me on personal
recognizance, and we left with his promises that nothing would
happen to me in Iran I could pursue my nursing degree, and work
without a problem, since I was his wife I was also an Iranian
citizen So boarding the plane at JFK, knowing that I had a warrant
out, and not knowing what his true intentions were here since
it all happened so fast, I swallowed about 10 Vicodin and boarded
the plane. Kay sirah Kay sirah.
in The IRI !!!!
On the plane
trip over to Iran, I could tell that Mohammad was changing with
each mile that we successfully traveled, it kind of struck me
as odd that when we got over Islamic territory that instead of
nicely telling me to don my hejab he more like barked it, this
is when I needed that parachute that I told everyone about that
they should carry in case of airline disasters, well SOS, I was
having one heyday of an airline disaster and it was called Loving
Hubby suddenly converts to Psychospouse as airplane flies over
border of Iran. We circled this lake I remember about a zillion
times prior to landing and I was becoming quite nervous since
I never liked Airplanes to begin with and when we boarded this
one in London it really didn't seem like the safest one that I
would of chose to ride on. A DC-9 which had electrical malfunctions
that kept making the lights flicker, not to mention that big bang
on takeoff in which the Captain finally came on once completely
airborne about 20 minutes after the boom and all the passengers
had already secured their standing by each exit, and said in quite
the nervous tone; "We hope your enjoying your flight in route
to Tehran Mehrab Airport, the noise you heard at the beginning
of the flight was nothing to concern yourself with this was just
the airplane letting off a little built up energy" I had
to laugh cause the last time I checked airplanes did not need
to release built up carbon, but hey I was willing to believe anything
just to get through this; but to note the fearless hubby upon
hearing this downed about 4 Vicodin and disappeared into the Bathroom
for about the next half hour and left me with 5 Vicodin and 3
Valium, so what a ride we had ..
in Tehran, the first thing I felt uncomfortable with was how they
immediately kept my passport, and not my husbands, I was an American
and was supposed to be independent and keep my belongings, but
Mohammad said this was standard procedure and not to worry we
would apply to get it back once arriving in Shiraz Okee dokee
I said The next instance was all these videos that I had brought
with us that customs was not going to allow us to keep Mohammad
told me to flirt with him and distract him so he could throw some
of our suitcases over to the "already been inspected pile"
Vs the "awaiting to be inspected pile" so I did as he
said, after all my fares was minimal and I needed my American
Movies, and it was quite odd that before we left he deemed it
necessary to buy 3 sets of American Tourist's that were exactly
alike, hmmm I guess that would be enough to screw up a busy guy
inspecting luggage at the airport while flirting with an American
.. Okee dokee So after finally getting a lot of videos and other
non admittable items released we were picked up by a friend of
his in Tehran, and by a very expensive car. This friend whom lived
in a very nice house in Tehran sure kept my husband busy the first
week-end we were there, and all this was quite strange since Mohammad
told me we'd be going straight to Shiraz, well needless to say,
I discovered that Mohammad was doing sniffable heroine with this
friend, and again this was by accident, well not really I was
a nosey (foozel) person and did manage to find things if given
enough time to look, which made Mohammad quite nervous about me,
but I say if your honest then you have nothing to hide or worry
about Anyway they had came back from a short trip on a Saturday,
and Mohammad had dropped off all of his stuff in the bedroom to
take a shower, so I started going through his pants and found
several wrapped papers of what looked like either A) a natural
herb or B) some very light chocolate powder or C) the inevitable
but didn't know the name of the inevitable at that time since
I only thought you could inject heroine at this stage in my life,
so when we went out that night on the streets of Tehran, Lori
being the confrontist that I am, asked him about it and talk about
the Marathon that was engaged upon there, good think I wasn't
wearing sandals, or I may have not gotten far enough to scream
"I didn't touch it this time you bastard" well that
settled him down long enough until he realized that his American
wife had just called him a bastard in public on the streets of
Tehran, which motivated him into yet another frenzy where Lori
could once again get far enough away to scream "Look nobody
here can probably understand English" and then added but
they will understand this "Pedar Sagh" so we were off
to the races again, this time Lori was in the lead by a Peykan
or two (taxis in Iran) but shit out of luck without any rials
or tomans to pay the man with, so when we arrived at the door
of his friends house in which I knew Mohammad would not display
his anger at, I kindly told the taxi driver, that my husband who
had just pulled up would pay the fare ..
So now, this
brings us to arriving at Shiraz airport
Back to top
Arriving in Shiraz to
the End of the Business Road!
Once we finally managed to get to Shiraz; the Forouzandeh family
greeted us, which to me was quite overwhelming. They had brought
flowers, a wrapped pkg. Which I was dying to open, but to my surprise
upon opening it was this thing that resembled a big black tent
wondered "Are we going to have to sleep outside until we
find independent housing". I all too soon realized that neither
was to be true; that is we would not sleep outside, or we ever
to acquire independent housing! To my observance I could swear
that I was receiving the so called "evil eye" while
my husband was receiving praise and adoration; all at the same
time receiving these unspoken questions of, "Why another
American wife", and "Why doesn't she know Farsi?"
Nevertheless, this could have been my pessimistic imagination
at work. After all, it had been a long plane ride. Once in the
car at the airport, my husband kindly instructed me as to how
to wear the big black tent! Then without options in his voice
had said for me to put it on ...NOW!
Ok we arrived
at what would soon become known as home sweet home, there was
a large crowd awaiting us complete with one slaughtered lamb for
Lori (the proverbial animal lover) to step over. I did as tradition
expects, and smiled while doing so. The first night at "modar
bozorg's house" i.e.mother in law, was quite the night to
remember and full of tears. We first sat and talked with the very
large family, or I should say my husband talked while I sat there
feeling stupid and probably to my imagination looking even stupider.
However, once dinner was under way I thought it would take some
stress off, boy was wrong. Dinner was full of pass this, and something
that I became all too familiar with named, "Toruf" which
was the Persians way of being overly polite and trying to make
you obese all at the same time. You could finish an eight course
meal and they would still be there offering you more, and insisting
that you eat it. I did this for about the first two months, then
I finally took a bold stand and at every meal would do the prayer
then add; "Allah wishes no other human being here with us
now, nor those who happen by after once beginning our meal to
offer Lori anymore food than what she bestows on her plate",
This was usually
good for a laugh and it got the point across, to this day though
I'm still unsure as to what they were laughing at; my method of
praying or the ending of the prayer. Therefore, Lori's waistline
and pant size was saved for a while anyway.
along fine for the first year, I acquired a teachers job as an
English teacher, and I was using my nursing skills to aide Mohammad's
mother in physical therapy that she required for being post stroke,
as well as doing daily checks on her blood pressure. This was
impressing the family and making them quite "tanbul"
i.e.lazy; since now they did not bother with those 3x weekly visits,
instead opting for telephone calls to replace their presence.
That was not the half of it either! Mommy dearest was becoming
quite the demanding and offensive mother in law that I thought
I had traded in when I decided to marry a Middle Easterner rather
than American made. She had made the mistake of thinking that
I knew nothing about the Farsi language. I always like to err
on the side of caution by telling people that I know very little
of their culture or language, this way I can always be open to
hear their versions of it, as well as not look like an idiot if
I do make a mistake. I always looked at it as if I know nothing
and speak I will look a whole lot smarter than if I claim to know
something and actually do know nothing. Well, at the end of the
second semester of teaching the girls (i.e.My students) threw
me a party at this girl, Nada Mahmadyzadk's house. They insisted
that I come and kept giving me gifts, the closer it got to the
end of the semester the more gifts I received from the students,
their parents and the Superintendent. The only pet peeve that
the super had was that I did smoke, which to me was a whole new
experience since I had not ever smoked in my life until arriving
in Shiraz. You move to a strange land, with a mother in law who
sits at the table doing crossword puzzles and muttering, "Burrow
gome shaw"; i.e. "Get lost and don't come back",
while staring at you to see your reaction, and lets see if you
don't start trying new things.
As I was saying
before I digressed, was that my students were wonderful, caring,
and very generous; not to mention tolerant and patient. We were
both learning a lot about the English language together and I
always looked forward to my classes. It didn't take long for me
to become the most requested instructor that had ever been in
demand in Shiraz, I was now getting outside contracts with companies
to teach their employees English as well as holding private classes
at home. The first company that contacted my supervisor was The
Agriculture Bank, which to my knowledge had offered to pay me
the sum of 9,500 Tomans/hour. My super only offered 4500/hour,
which was still quite more than what I was receiving but also
giving him the profit of the classes as well as my extra on the
side. I guess he thought he could get away with this since he
and my husband were old friends from Delta College back in 1979.
Needless to say upon my interview with the school prior to becoming
employed, the hubby and super hugged like lost loves, while Lori
sat there pondering the future at Zabanamoozan Language Institute,
since I didn't know if Bijan (i.e. the supers name) would hold
this for or against me. There have been people who were loving
and sentimental upon seeing Mohammad back in Shiraz, but then
once our backs were turned I would hear Mohammad on the phone
telling someone to "fuck this guy where it hurt him the most",
so I was always in a fog. To affairs of the long lost friends
or foes of Mohammad Forouzandeh. Now as a footnote here, I spell
Forouzandeh here with a "u" and not two "O's"
due to this is the original spelling per the Iranian birth certificate
(shenas). But then again, so is March 5, 1955 documented as being
his original birth date too? However, back home in America after
Mohammad received his naturalized citizenship he also changed
his name to, "Nick" to sound more American. Moreover,
he also acquired two more birth dates as well as social security
numbers; one was Feb. 22, 1955, while the other was Feb. 20, 1955.
He received his second social security number after receiving
the name change court order. He conveniently went to the SS office
and told them he had lost his social security card, and then wrote
on the application that this was a new application and "slipped"
with the birth date change thing. I did not understand this at
that time, since he had excellent credit and was not wanted by
the authorities...To my Knowledge...ha!
went on, Lori taught and had to build an addition to the house
just to store her gifts from student's families. If they were
not giving me something then their parents were inviting us over
for dinner. Moreover, there is a custom whereas if someone invites
you to his or her house, it is your duty to reciprocate with an
invite as well. So we kept quite busy that first year or two.
Sure Mohammad was making several trips to Tehran and some neighboring
countries e.g.Pakistan, Iraq, and Turkey. But Lori just thought
they were trips to present business ventures to people, since
I knew that his goal was to begin some type of independent business
whereas his brother Abbas, could then return from the USA with
his wife and be able to live a comfortable life in Shiraz. I must
note here that Mohammad and his brother were very close by appearance
sake. Now Abbas only has negative things to say on his close brother's
behalf. Interesting if you ask me, since had it not been for that
close brother and yours truly filling out the immigration petitions
for him he never would of obtained his wife's approval for status.
This is when it hit me at about the two year mark in Shiraz, I
had been seeing all these ads for Immigration Consultants and
heard of these people paying big bucks to employ one to assist
them with the paperwork and mock interviews to expedite them getting
approved for status. Therefore, I started using the Internet Cafe
and learning computers. I then started searching for information
re: Immigration Consulting. I then learned one didn't require
licensing and anyone who employed the services of a Consultant
did so at their own risks and there was no action of recourse
to follow if the consultant.... Screwed up. Well, I could handle
this, especially the screwing up part. However, seriously I made
copies of every thing I found and Mohammad would usually either
send a car, or come to the cafe and pick me up. Which usually
if he did the latter it was a cause of celebration on the employees
behalf since they idolized his humor, and knowledge as to whatever
they talked about and it didn't hurt either that 2/3 of the employees
were women. While he BS'd, I would take advantage of that time
to further the PC usage and try to look aptly involved in whatever
I was searching for and try not to notice the kisses that they
threw him when he entered the kitchenette inside. Then they would
curtly look my way and blush. I was not quite so popular there.
Can you imagine why?
acquiring enough information to convince the spouse that we could
do this business and become rather independently wealthy in the
process, he bought or should I say exchanged our Immigration consulting
services for one very new and very expensive PC. A Pentium 3 with
a laser color printer and 17-inch monitor, top of the line brands
i.e.Canon, Samsung, and Intel. So Lori was off on her learning
of PC's, this was a self taught course in humility as well as
"pissing Mohammad off at all hours of the night" to
inform him that I had in fact crashed it again. So Mohammad did
what any respecting hubby would do, he employed the 24/7 services
of a computer programmer named Babak. Now Babak was to run to
my aide be it any time of the day or night, anything to keep Mohammad
from being disturbed from his slumber. I used to stay up at night
and work since this was the only time the house was quiet, and
without a million relatives or friends there to interrupt me.
It also gave me an excuse to sleep in the daytime when these well
wishers of Mohammads would be present. I pretty much learned all
the immigration laws, how to interview, and what TOEFL scores
were needed for student visas, I also found that we could charge
a whole lot more for K-1 Visas to the USA which were business
visas, and the clients were willing TO PAY THE HIGH COST TOO!
Talk about impressing your hubby! I had it down to a fine art,
the client would call Lori would schedule the interview to determine
their eligibility, and then we would get the applications together,
Lori would collect the clients info. Needed and fill out all the
necessary forms, if needed I would also consult with some immigration
attorneys that I had retained online for those questions I could
not find answers to. All of our client's applications were sent
to Damascus, Syria, which was the main processing center. Once
we mailed their application via DHL, then we would receive a letter
with their file #. In order to get their file number they had
to pay us the remainder of the bill. Moreover, Lori being the
good businesswoman, well I learned to be, made a mission statement
and contracts for "L&M CANCONSULTS". I thought up
this name in relation to the first initials of our first names
and since we were mainly doing Canadian Immigration app's. I figured
that CAN would be the equivalency of Canada and the ability to
do something; "we CAN do it" and then the consults.
I still do not know if anyone understood the concept of the name.
But again my skills that I acquired in doing this business was
impressing and both intimidating Mohammad, since he hated computers
and needed my help to talk on AOL IM to his son in the USA. All
in all, we had quite the successful business going. I had ordered
business cards, pens, and envelopes for the clients to store their
paperwork in and everyone likes gifts, so it helped with PR. Then
of course there were those student visas that were becoming quite
popular, so guess what Lori found yet another way to make a profit,
start teaching TOEFL classes. This stands for the Test of English
Fluency Language. In addition, my students proud to say passed
with no lower than a 85% ranking. Then I started adding additional
costs to the Immigration Pkg.'s by promoting Resume pkg.'s complete
with online job searches through Monster.ca. This got Mohammad
wired. We were making American dollars in an economy that was
suffering greatly, yet our income surpassed that of any doctor
in Iran. Mohammad was continuously amazed at the ideas I would
come up with to implement for profit.... Lori was too.... All
the while finding more and more information re: those business
trips Mohammad had been making. I had learned how to check flight
schedules and passenger lists. This was fine until one day I had
left this up on the screen and hubby viewed it and got quite nervous,
I had told him that I was checking into fares to the USA, and
he didn't buy it. He knew his wife and her foozelness so to speak,
and after that, the profits went up while the relationship went
downhill. Mo., thought I knew more than I did, and allowed him
to continue believing so. This was to my advantage I thought...
Back to top
go any, further I would like to elucidate as to certain incidents
that had happened when I first arrived in Iran. These events may
have had an impact as to how I was viewed, or how Mohammad was.
Or just in general, what a nutcase people may have seen his wife
One of the
first incidents that happened was at a wedding party, which was
one in the society of wealth. Where etiquette, as well as custom
is seen as very apropos if not demanded. As I said before that
I was a proverbial animal lover, and loved all animals...Well
at this wedding when we were walking up to the house, I noticed
this quite young lamb tied out by the vehicles and looked very
frightened. Therefore, I had asked Mohammad if we could go just
look at it, Mohammad wanting to sate his wife with niceness so
there would not be any scenes here, obliged. Upon seeing the fear
in his eyes the first thing I did while Mohammad was over talking
to some people telling them I'm sure about how his ditzy wife
liked animals. So I first fed the lamb some of the salad that
we had brought to the wedding, this was bought but I had plastic-ware
in my purse and just dipped out a little to feed him, upon watching
him eat it, I had this growing sadness of why should such a young
innocent animal be sacrificed for the sake of some superstition
that two people be happy for the rest of their lives. Now keep
in mind that I was still new to Iran and did not necessarily understand
the justifications behind all these animal sacrifices. I still
felt guilty for the one that was sacrificed upon my arrival to
Iran. So I untied it very coyly and immediately kicked it in the
ass and yelled run Bambi run...Well needless to say the people
that were gathered around Mohammad and Mohammad himself had looks
on their faces as if the lamb had just got up and danced in front
of them so to speak, pure horror, astonishment and amazement.
Well pretty soon everyone had heard and lucky for me the bride
understood my compassion so we were not banned! Nevertheless,
I could not help my urge to release this poor lost soul from his
or her bondage and the feeling of impending doom that I had thought
the lamb probably felt. Now that I look back, maybe I was just
transferring my feelings onto the lamb...hmmm.
incident was one that had gained us notoriety or popularity amongst
our neighbors on Afifabad Street. Whichever adjective be applied
we were not to be forgotten on that street. In Iran cats are as
common as soosk (i.e.cockroaches) and liked about as well too.
Nevertheless, Lori is a definite cat lover; I always admired them
above dogs due to their craftiness, their stubbornness not to
submit to training, as well as their ability to be drawn to me.
Well when we first arrived, I was in seventh heaven due to all
these cats I would see wandering the streets. We would take walks
at night, and it was my personal goal to attract as many as I
could, so I would always take food to drop behind me or throw
in their direction. I did manage to coerce a few home with me,
get them in the bathtub, and entice them to eat as much tuna as
they could devour. Mohammad allowed this little hobby of mine
for a while, until one of them tore up our leather furniture and
I blamed it on his nephew who was a holy terror rather than LORI'S
cat who I was sure wouldn't betray her loyalty. But even while
trying to justify it, I knew in the back of my head that it was
the cat that had done it. So no cats were allowed near the Forouzandeh
household for a while. Well this particular cat that tore up our
nice new leather sofa, also was responsible for terrorizing Mohammad's
mother which satisfied me too to a degree. Since she was now aware
that Lori knew what "Burrow gome shaw" meant and had
related the stories of her stating this to me in Mohammad's absence
she was not too happy with her new daughter-in-law. The cat in
turn would go into her room where she was watching TV and would
crawl on the bed and look at her food. She would then try to shoo
him away and he would hiss at her; and Lori would watch this from
the kitchen and roll on the floor laughing until she would shout,
"Lori Jan burrow pesci"; i.e Lori dear make the cat
to that effect. I would then do my proverbial "here kitty
kitty, grandma don't like you in her room" this statement
would always be followed by her gritting her teeth and calling
me a pedarsuckte. All in all, I think she really liked the cat,
it was the only entity giving her stubbornness a run for its money.
Eventually after this cat's check in time had expired and he was
out on the street again, I had found some kittens and convinced
Mohammad that if I were to raise a cat from childhood so to speak
then I could teach it not to claw the furniture. Since there are
not many vets that are willing to even see cats let alone de-claw
them. Cats are not seen as pets in Iran. They are seen more like
vultures and pests. Nevertheless, I was allowed to keep this project
so to speak and try to train a Persian kitten into becoming a
respectable member of the society on Afifabad Street. Well, this
kitten was "KHELI SHAITAN" and this is coming from me!
Nevertheless, it was adorable, just very foozel, and very gharm;
i.e warm, to the right individual holding any type of meat in
their hand. He would snuggle up to your leg and ever so impolitely
grab the meat out of your hand, off your plate, or anywhere else
in the vicinity that it was then run like hell to my bedroom where
it knew it would be safe...Needless to say our Norooze goldfish
that had been in the family for 3 years disappeared within one
week after "Kitty" moved in. Eventually Lori got him
calmed down and he became somewhat respectable within the household.
However, outside was another story. I used to take him on walks
with us and carry him under my montou like a baby, when he got
too big for carrying; he would ride around my neck. Which Mohammad
was not too keen on? So I decided to leash train him. And yes
this took a lot of daytime walks without hubby to accomplish,
but lots of attention by storeowners who must of thought at times
that I was treating him like an Iranian woman who had disobeyed
her husband. That is sometimes I would be dragging him down the
street since he refused the leash, and other times I would spend
almost an hour talking to him about how it would be ok if he'd
just listen. This would always bring well wishers or foozel store
shop owners wondering..."What is this crazy American doing
with this cat everyday outside during lunch time dragging it up
and down the streets". Nevertheless, my determination did
not diminish, and sadly, to say his stubbornness did not either.
In the end though it paid off and within a month, Lori was able
to proudly walk her cat at night attached to a leash, with Mohammad
on my left and "kitty" on my right. Mohammad scoffed
at this when we embarked on our first walk out with the cat, at
first he didn't think it would ever happen, but upon the 4th night
out for a walk, he realized there is no shaking this obsession
I had to take the cat. I thought of him as my soul-mate, a poor
lost soul in a strange land, and I the only one to care for him
and talk to him in a language he wasn't familiar with. I had more
things in common with the "kitty". Than I did with hubby.
Which is probably why Mohammad eventually got rid of it one day
when I was teaching, he said it bit his Mom for slapping him out
of the room. And since I never hit an animal, since I don't believe
this is the way to discipline them, her slap was probably a rude
awakening for it, and thus reacted violently. Something I had
always wanted to do with her as well, and I always wondered if
I would get as lucky as the cat...i.e. biting her hard before
being booted out....
incident that had changed everyone's opinion on Afifabad Street
about that strange little American woman who had inhabited the
Foroozandeh household, led to almost all Shirazians to adore the
term "Cat". One day I was out buying rice for dinner,
when I saw this teenager throwing rocks up into this tree. I immediately
became engrossed and determined to find out why he was doing this...All
too soon I heard this sickening cry and a little ball of fur fell
out of the tree. I rushed over to it just as this kid was getting
ready to smash its head with a rock. I immediately grabbed the
kid's hand and yelled all those vulgar Farsi words that Mohammad
had decided to teach me first as major language components. The
kid just looked at me blankly, at first not believing that, I
had grabbed him, and secondly as to why anyone would want to defend
a cat. But this was not a cat, it was a baby kitten that had done
nothing wrong and barely had its eyes open so how it got up in
the tree was a mystery to me. But in due time, I had managed to
persuade him with the comparison of Lori smashing his newborn
baby brothers head with a rock, what was the purpose, I explained,
it had done nothing wrong to you, it was not a doz, i.e. thief,
nor was it acting violently or sickly. The boy had said this was
just what he and his friends did to kittens so that they would
not get the chance to see "cat-hood", which would allow
more freedom on the streets! Freedom for what I had asked for
more men to parade their wives down and hit them in the face if
they happened to walk to closely and not the standard 5 steps
behind them. Or the freedom for more soldiers to patrol the streets
with machine guns, and on and on I went. The kid eventually promised
never to hurt an innocent kitten again, but said if a cat got
out of hand then it was dead. So we compromised and all was settled....
Or so I thought. That night came a knock on our door, in which
the kid's father was behind. He was there to settle this matter
with my husband. Men settle differences between their wives between
men, and apparently to my astonishment men also settled differences
that women had with their children in the same manner. As they
were talking, I could not resist the urge to go defend myself
and explain, in which I did ever so matter of factly. At the end
of my 15-minute spiel on animal rights, the man got up and looked
at hubby and me quizzically, then stormed out yelling some of
those vulgar Farsi words that I told you about earlier. Ha, I
thought, I had made my point and he could not refute the argument
so I thought. Well, after he left, Mohammad filled me in as to
the man's stature within Shiraz, as well as on our street as well.
Apparently he was involved in some type of politics, which at
the time to me didn't really mean a whole lot, and NOONE would
touch or mutter angry words at any child of his without paying
dearly for it. So Mohammad explained the consequences, and Lori
arranged a petition in Farsi for all storeowners to agree not
to harm any "pescis" unless they were threatening, sickly,
or unjustifiably and inexcusably committing erroneous acts of
thievery. Well, for whatever reason, I had originally done it
to piss people off, especially the man who had the unruly cat-hater
child. But it backfired in my face but more so in hubbies. The
storeowners had come to affectionately refer to me as the American
who should have been Persian and with the heart of "gold".
So they all signed this petition and presented it to hubby with
all sorts of remarks of adoration. Apparently, they had seen me
more than I cared to notice them watching. They had related stories
to my husband about buying babies clothing on the streets when
I happened to notice a homeless mother asking for handouts. I
also bought them food too but they did not mention this. They
related other stories but out of modesty, I will not divulge these.
But all in all, it led to a total reform on Afifabad, and I swear
throughout the city on how cats were treated in Shiraz. Sometimes
people would stop us on the street to talk, and then say "oh
so your the one married to the American cat-woman of Shiraz!".
Which would in turn get a disgusting look passed my way, compliments
of hubby, who did not appreciate the popularity I was attaining
amongst HIS people. There were other incidents as well, but these
are a few that led to my newfound fame.... So now that you know
a little about Lori, on with Ch. 4!
in Part Two
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