Embracing the Infidel by Behzad Yaghmaian

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Synopsis

An eye-opening personal account of an epic human drama, Embracing the Infidel takes us on an astounding journey along a modern-day underground railroad that stretches from Istanbul to Paris.  In this groundbreaking book, Iranian-American Behzad Yaghmaian has done what no other writer has managed to do–as he enters the world of Muslim migrants and tells their extraordinary stories of hope for a new life in the West.
 
In a tent city in Greece, they huddle together. Men and women from Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, and other countries. Most have survived war and brutal imprisonment, political and social persecution. Some have faced each other in battle, and all share a powerful desire for freedom. Behzad Yaghmaian lived among them, listened to their hopes, dreams, and fears–and now he weaves together dozens of their stories of yearning, persecution, and unwavering faith. We meet Uncle Suleiman, an Iraqi veteran of the Iran-Iraq war; once imprisoned by Saddam Hussein, he is now a respected elder of a ramshackle tent city in Athens, offering comfort and community to his fellow travelers…Purya, who fled Iran only to fall into the clutches of human smugglers and survive beatings and torture in Bulgaria…and Shahroukh Khan, an Afghan teenager whose world at home was shattered twice–once by the Taliban and again by American bombs–but whose story turns on a single moment of awakening and love in the courtyard of a Turkish mosque.

A chronicle of husbands separated from wives, children from parents, Embracing the Infidel is a portrait of men and women moving toward a promised land they may never reach–and away from a world to which they cannot return. It is an unforgettable tale of heartbreak and prejudice, courage, heroism, and hope.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Behzad Yaghmaian

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Behzad Yaghmaian is Professor of Political Economy at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has taught in the United States, Iran and Turkey. He is author of Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on Journey West and Social Change in Iran: An Eyewitness Account of Dissent, Defiance, and Movements for Rights.
 
Published November 29, 2005 by Delacorte Press. 368 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Yaghmaian's second book is an eye-opening account of Muslim immigrants traveling from Africa or the Middle East to the West, where they hope to find opportunities not available in their homelands.

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Born in Iran of Armenian descent, and now a US Citizen with a respected position as a professor of economics and political science in a small New Jersey college, the author traveled extensively in the Middle East and Asia in the years after he received his US citizenship.

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