As the world grapples with the news of a civilian airliner being unintentionally shot down by Iranian missiles, killing all 176 onboard, a Penticton resident whose second cousin was on the flight hopes her story helps change people’s perspective of her home country.
Mehrnaz Massoudi, an emotional healing coach and top-five bestselling author on Amazon, remembers the moment she knew she had to share her story of growing up in Iran before, during and after the revolution.
“I took English Literature in Iran, before the revolution,” she said. “I’m a storyteller. My friends always told me I should write my memoir, and I was like, ‘Nah, everyone should write their memoir.’ But in 2015, I was doing a dream board, and there was this voice, like this energy, (saying) ‘Write your memoir.’”
After attempts at finding a ghost writer, Massoudi said, she was approached by writer who encouraged her to write her memoir herself.
So she began writing, and couldn’t stop.
It was published last summer and has received glowing reviews.
“My memoir follows two paths: one is my inner journey … and two, the life in Iran … before the revolution, during the Regime of Shah.”
Massoudi said she takes readers through the streets of Iran’s capital, Tehran, to the cafes and dance clubs, delving into the world of Persian food so deeply, she says, readers will be able to taste it.
And it’s profoundly honest, discussing the challenges women in Iran face but also the turmoil her family experienced at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards.
It shows a completely different side of Iran, a country Massoudi says is depicted in media to be a “desert country.”
“I’ve been in Canada for 36 years, but my beloved home of Iran … I am just (hoping) people will sit and read, so they get the perspective of Iranian (people), and they don’t judge (Iran) of what they see on the main media.
“We have not been justified fairly.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a regime of dictatorship,” she explained.
“Two months ago, there was a huge demonstration in the streets of Iran against the government. I can say a majority of Iranian people are against this regime. Although they’re Muslim, they do not believe in …the law of Islam.”
With a bachelor of science degree and years of research, Massoudi her journey to become an emotional healing coach in 2000 shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She later became certified.
She teaches workshops in the South Okanagan, helping others find the inner peace she has after facing a life full of family love, challenges and immigrating to Canada.