On Tuesday night, Dr. Hamid Dabashi spoke in Philips Library to West Chester University students about his new book, “Iran: A People Interrupted.” The Contemporary Issues Advisory Board, the History Department and the Political Science Department welcomed Dr. Dabashi to a panel to discuss matters of foreign policy and international relations, in conjunction with the release of his new book.
Students were also encouraged to view the movie Babel prior to his presentation.
Iran: A People Interrupted relays the importance of trying to bridge the gap between two different worlds of which he knows so well.
He described it as being a love letter, written with deep conviction, for the two counties to which he belongs.
His book is written in the narrative style much like the works of John Steinbeck, whom he referred to multiple times throughout his presentation.
It is his contention that through this use of diction, people of Iranian and American descent will be able to relate and understand each other more distinctly.
“People know too much of the wrong sort of information,” said Dr. Dabashi, in reference to the people of both cultures. Most Americans categorize Iranians as whole entity and not as a diverse community, just as most Iranians see Americans as “Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld” supporters.
In Dr. Dabashi’s book, his goal is to refute these generalizations.
Babel interconnected the stories of four internationally different groups of people through one life-changing event.
Through his presentation, he succeeded in capturing the attention of several West Chester students. Dan Sczweck, a senior history major and member of the Contemporary Issues Advisory Board, said, “after meeting Dr. Dabashi and having spent time with him in discussing a wide variety of topics, I found it was his ability to portray us all as equals which inspired me the most. He made me realize that we are all human beings first, a nationality second. I thoroughly look forward to reading his narrative.”
Dr. Dabashi spent the first half of his life in his native Iran, completing his undergraduate college studies in Tehran.
Over the last three decades, he has received his dual Ph. D. in sociology of culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, written 14 books, edited four and contributed to other works. As an award-winning author, his books have been translated into many other languages; including Japanese, German, Polish, Italian and Spanish.
He is very proud of his latest publication, Iran: A People Interrupted. He wrote this book in exactly three months. It is his complete personal and public narrative.
He is a man of great passion about bridging the gap between eastern and western cultures. With this book, he hopes people will take the first steps towards accomplishing this goal.