Immigrants are a special breed. Whether migrating because of political, economic, or other circumstances or simply because of a desire for change, an immigrant is thought to be uprooted from one culture and transplanted into another. However, neither the uprooting nor the transplantation is usually
after Agha Shahid Ali’s “Arabic” At springtime—Persian new year—we circle around the warmth of bonfires to chant, Give me your color, take back my sickly pallor. There is rebirth in this language. A groom exchanges vows with his Persian bride in a foreign tongue.
Sakeen the housemaid was rarely free to play with us, even at parties. She had to prepare dinner, serve it to the guests, and clean up. Shahnaz, my uncle’s wife, liked to throw big parties to outplay our mothers in a game between them known
I must have been about ten when my mother and I were called into a cubicle at the American embassy in India, where we had traveled from Iran as part of our visa application, and in light of the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran
Roja Chamankar’s Dying in a Mother Tongue is a poetry collection on the brink of loss, violence, coming into language, adulthood, and emigration. First written in 2009 (in Persian), when Chamankar was about to leave Tehran for France, Dying in a Mother Tongue is first