Leaving Iran: A Glimpse Into The Persian Mind

Leaving Iran, by Isaac Yomtovian, is a collection of nonfiction short stories detailing the daily realities of life in Iran before and after the 1979 revolution. Torn between his love of Iran—the land where his family’s roots have existed for over 2,500 years—and his desire for religious and political freedom, Yomtovian takes readers on a captivating, humorous, and emotional journey through his childhood in Tehran to his eventual immigration to America. Throughout this memoir, Yomtovian weaves his recollections with deep insights into Iranian culture and history, the current Islamic regime, and U.S.-Iran relations.

Leaving Iran intimately depicts a paradoxical society that is both friendly and intolerant, modern and religious, and theocratic and rooted in democracy. For anyone who has ever wanted to understand what lies beneath the veil of superficial observations, exaggerated stereotypes, and media imagery, Isaac Yomtovian's book offers a clear, inside perspective of a country in conflict.


"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Iran. Isaac Yomtovian is a master story-teller who weaves humor and poetry into his factual accounts of life in Iran from his perspective. He gives us our first look at this country and its amazing cultural history, so little known. What an enjoyable yet frightening experience!"

—Dr. Mark Lewine, Professor of Anthropology, Sociology and Urban Studies, Cuyahoga Community College

"This book is a gem. It is a must-read for all who have an interest in a glimpse into the Persian mind through the eyes of a young Jewish boy coming of age in Iran. Through Yomtovian’s documented short stories, the reader will learn about the Persian Jewish and Muslim cultures, convictions and world view."

—Dr. Alan S. Rosenbaum, Professor of Philosophy, Cleveland State University

"The vivid descriptions of the life in Iran took me back to my childhood experiences. Isaac brilliantly presents the colorful tapestry of the Iranian culture and its diversity. In reading this book the reader is faced with the ugliness of prejudice that is woven in the fabric of every culture and the beauty of love and peaceful coexistence of people from different social and religious backgrounds. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning about the Iranian culture and its many facets. As a non-Jewish Iranian, I strongly recommend it for all religious and cultural groups."

—Dr. Farshid Afsarifard, Forensic Psychologist

About the Author

Isaac Yomtovian lived his childhood, through his seventeenth year in Iran, homeland of his family for 2,500 years. His perspectives on Jews in Iran, Iranian culture and civilization, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979 have been featured in a wide variety of media outlets, including The Chagrin Valley Times, The Cleveland Jewish News, and The Sun Newspapers. Yomtovian is a frequent guest lecturer for various educational and religious groups in the Cleveland Metropolitan Area. He has also been invited to speak at a number of institutions in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

Born in Tehran, Yomtovian was raised in a Jewish neighborhood a stone’s throw from the Marble Palace of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Following his high school graduation, he emigrated to Israel, volunteered in the 1967 Six Day War, and subsequently attended the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. In 1971, Yomtovian began coursework in the Department of Water Resources Research at the University of Nebraska, where he ultimately obtained a Master of Science degree. In 1974, he attended Cornell University, where he conducted post graduate work in Agricultural Engineering and Operations Research. After moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1986, Yomtovian opened his first engineering firm, Enviroscience, and married Roslyn Kaplan, MD. In 1988, he and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1990, Yomtovian obtained a Master of Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management. In addition to writing and lecturing on topics related to Iran, Yomtovian is a land developer active in both residential and commercial real estate in New York and Ohio.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

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For any questions, or to order a book, please contact Isaac Yomtovian directly at Yomtovian@yahoo.com

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