In the summer of 1962, a handsome yet broken young man left Tabriz, having lost all his money and hopes. His parents and four younger siblings had left a few years earlier to the Holy Land, Israel, leaving him in charge of the family property and debts. He now set out for Tehran, on his way to reunite with them.
At the same time, a bright yet sad young girl came from Hamburg to Tehran. She had left Tehran with her parents and siblings nine years before, at the age of 5. This was her ﬁrst (and last) visit to Iran since then. All the other girls in her class had boyfriends, and teased her saying that she didn’t because she was fat and ugly. She believed them, but that was not the reason she was single: her parents would not let her socialize with boys. At 14, her mother took her to Iran to ﬁnd her a nice Jewish husband from her family’s native city, preferably from the family.
The girl had high hopes and dreams. She didn’t want to get married so soon. The young man fell madly in love with her at ﬁrst sight. He couldn’t wait to get married. She knew she would at least have to get engaged, and hoped it would be to the young man, her second cousin.
The road was long and winding. It took us through Europe, North America, the Eastern bloc, the Far East, and the Middle East. It was rocky at times, completely crazy at others, sometimes foggy. There were times we prayed for a more boring life. But we’ve traveled through it hand-in-hand, raised three children and ﬁve beautiful grandchildren, and left our mark on the world.
Memory can be elusive, misleading at times. Different people may have different, sometimes contradictory memories of one and the same event. Even siblings growing up in the same family can experience it in completely different ways, as we realized while working on the book.
57 years after that summer, having ﬁnally found our peace in life, we’re presenting you with our life story. In the following pages you will read our memories as well as those of dear people — family and friends — whose lives were intertwined with ours. We hope you ﬁnd it worth your while.
Dedicated with love to you, the reader