Regine M. Tessone

Monavar’s Journey

On February 1, 1979, Regine Monavar Tessone recalls running through the Mehrabad airport with her parents and three brothers to board the last flight out of Tehran on the eve of the Islamic Revolution. The pilot announced as they entered the aircraft, “You are the lucky ones! The airport is now closed and the Ayatollah Khomeini has arrived.”

In this intimate memoir, Monavar (a Farsi name meaning light) recreates the life of her Persian Jewish family before they fled Iran and her own adventures in their new home in America. Always buoyant (her maiden name Omid means hope), she describes reuniting with her mother’s family in Brooklyn, visiting Israel and serving as a volunteer, falling in love with a non-Persian Jew, and becoming a successful fashion designer. Her story, at once personal and paradigmatic, reflects her nostalgia for the homeland of her youth and her embrace of the opportunities of her adopted homeland in the United States as a successful Iranian-Jewish immigrant.


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