“Not Without My Daughter” by Betty Mahmoody.
The Pulitzer-Prize nominated, internationally best-selling book, “Not Without My Daughter,” written by Betty Mahmoody after her miraculous escape along with her daughter, recounts the horrors of eighteen months of their unimaginable journey to freedom. “Not Without My Daughter” was made into a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner, Sally Field and Alfred Molina.
Betty Mahmoody born June 9, 1945 in Alma, Michigan, is an American author and public speaker best known for her book, Not Without My Daughter.
Her book, Not Without My Daughter, is an account of her experiences in 1984–86, when she left Alpena, Michigan to go to Iran with her husband and daughter for what she was promised would be a short visit. Once there, she and her daughter were held against their will.
According to the book, she and her husband, Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody, and her daughter, Mahtob, traveled to Iran in August 1984 for what her husband said would be a two-week visit with his family in Tehran. Once the two weeks were over, however, he refused to allow his wife and child to leave. Mahmoody became trapped in a nation that was hostile to Americans, a family hostile to her, and an abusive husband. According to the book, Mahmoody’s husband separated her from her daughter for weeks on end. He also assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she tried to leave.
She eventually fled with her daughter. The book details her 500 mi (800 km) escape to Turkey and the help she received from many Iranians. Upon returning to America in 1986, Betty filed for divorce in US court, whereas, Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody had no voice since he was not present in the US.
Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody
Alexis Kouros collaborated with Mahmoody’s ex-husband to create a documentary, Without My Daughter, to counter the claims in Betty’s book.
On August 23, 2009, Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody died in Tehran, Iran, aged 70. The state news agency IRNA quoted his nephew, Majid Ghodsi, as reporting that he died in a hospital from kidney problems and other complications.
Mahtob Mahmoody, on her own, and in tandem with her mom, has spent much of her life sharing her message of hope and inspiration with audiences throughout the world. She is a harbinger of peace not hatred, of forgiveness not bitterness, of celebrating the good AND the bad experiences in life that mold our character. Drawing the best from her Iranian and her American heritage, Mahtob employs anecdotes from her life to illustrate the beauty of a multi-cultural existence.
The once painfully shy child is silent no longer. Now her voice manifests itself anew as she recounts the experiences of her life in her debut book “The Needful Threads”.
So readers, this is it. A true tearing story! Hope you appreciate my efforts in bringing this story to you.
-xoxo, Quirky Girl.
“You are here for the rest of your life. Do you understand? You are not leaving Iran. You are here until you die.”
– Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody, Not Without My Daughter.