Diary in Farsi

My grandfather, Dr. Sion Soleymani, was born in 1926 in Shiraz, Iran. His family of twelve children resided in what he called the, “Jewish Ghetto.” He relays the constant struggle to support each child financially. Yet, my grandfather overcame the setback of an impoverished childhood and utilized his steadfast work ethic, unabated optimism, and spiritual mentality to immigrate to America on his own, become a successful surgeon, and eventually subsidize the immigration of several other family members. In his late twenties, he did not bring much along with him to America, expecting to return home soon to bring money and help support his family. Yet, he prioritized bringing his diary, which he writes in from the time he finishes high school through several years after immigrating to America. Knowing barely any English, he documents daily struggles and experiences in his native language of Farsi.  Though his diary has only been translated through to the years preceding his migration to America, this “prologue” offers an understanding of the ideals and experiences that helped him become successful in America.   His writing evokes several values, such as charity, education, work ethic, spirituality, and kindness, which I remember him emphasizing to my siblings and me as children. He was a man devoted to faith, both in G-d and himself. Although my grandfather is no longer living, his legacy will remain through the poetic narration of his life story in this diary.

Place(s): Iran
Year: 1956

– Aliza Amsellem

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant