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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:396
  • eBook ISBN:9781620959640

Zehbel: The Clever One

An American Family's Adventures in Iran

by Michael Roman

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Zehbel: The Clever One is the story of an ordinary family in extraordinary circumstances and how one clever man survived a decade of intrigue to bring his family home again. I have described Zehbel: The Clever One as coming from an American perspective. It would be far more accurate to describe the Roman family as one so enmeshed in Iranian culture during their ten years in Iran, that they took some of Iran itself, it’s generous, warm-hearted people, food and customs with them on their return to Pennsylvania. Certainly it is true, as Mike, Lucretia and their seven children have declared, they will never forget Iran. It was a place they had to leave, but Iran never left them. In that sense, it will always be home.
Why did I write this book? Because we abandoned the people of Iran. Jimmy the C. (former President Jimmy Carter) changed U.S. policy with absolutely no regard for how this would affect the people of Iran. Iranian friends asked me, ‘Why has your country abandoned us? You have signed our death warrants!’ And in truth, many of my dear friends died before firing squads. Americans were no longer trusted; we had betrayed our friends.” Abandoning the Shah and his people altered the course of history in the Middle East, and the world. This book shows the real Iran. Ordinary people were attracted to the freedom and higher standard of living enjoyed by Americans in their country. Unfortunately, these generous, family-oriented people were controlled and deeply influenced by the mullahs who used centuries-old traditions to keep Iranians from gaining control over their own lives. It also shows how drastic changes in America’s foreign policy endangered Americans living in Iran, in the years leading up to the Revolution.
About the author
Michael Roman worked as a RADAR, Navigational Aid and Communication Specialist for the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA/USAF) in the United States, Pakistan and Iran, then as a mercenary/advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics and Meteorology in the Imperial Iranian Air Force – the highest position held by an American working for the IIAF. Michael and his family - his wife, Lucretia, and their seven children -- spent ten years in Iran, from 1967 to 1976, and witnessed the corruption, greed and betrayal that led up to the Iranian Revolution. When they returned to the States, they carried the memories, language and customs of Iranian culture into a new life in southeast Pennsylvania. When Michael retired from the FAA in 2007, he sat down to write the story of their years abroad. Zehbel: The Clever One is the result. Iranians referred to Michael as Zehbel, the clever man who could solve any problem. But many resented his intelligence and the powerful position he held. You see, in addition to designing surface radar surveillance equipment for air force bases all over Iran, Michael controlled the approval of contracts for the Imperial Iranian Air Force. When Michael’s wife and children read his stories, they were shocked at the sheer number of assassination attempts he had escaped. He kept most of these incidents from his family, while they enjoyed a comfortable life in Teheran, attending the Teheran American School, scout camp, typical American activities alongside a thorough immersion into Iranian life. In recent years, Michael has spoken to civic groups and local universities about his experiences. He is an engaging speaker, at ease with his audience. He is active in his community and church, and a dedicated patriarch to his expanding family of seven children, twenty-six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. You can find out more about Michael’s experiences on his blog.
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