A love letter to America

November 1st, 2015 by Bita Milanian - Leave a Comment

Pari2Pari Forood is the first generation Iranian-American author of the true-life novel, The Gates of Light, published in May 2015.

After graduating from Vassar College, she was the Press Secretary to Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr. in Washington, D.C. where she was inspired to write her book about the issue of immigration, both as a policy statement and a personal account, relating her family’s story.  While working in Washington, D.C., Pari receives a phone call from her father about her seventeen-year-old cousin in Iran who had been drafted during the Iran-Iraq war.  The family comes together to help him flee from Iran or face an almost certain death.  Joining a cast of international characters that include Pakistani black market passport dealers, members of Francois Mitterrand’s inner political sanctum, influential committee members on Capitol Hill and INS agents here in the United States, Ms. Forood uses her ties in Washington to help extricate her young cousin whom she had not seen in fourteen years.

Pari was born to an immigrant Iranian father and a mother who can trace her lineage back to this country’s early American settlers.  She writes a timely true-life novel inviting us to reflect on our own diverse nationalities, while simultaneously understand what it means to be American.  Through lighthearted, yet accurately profound writing, Pari faces unapologetically her love affairs and back-door Congressional dealings to show that courage is rarely simple and can come at the most unexpected time.  As she wrote in a speech for Congressman Fish, “We are all immigrants in this country, judged not by our ancestry, but by our accomplishments.”  She confirms that our ancestry can be our greatest asset and self-acceptance of identity our greatest redemptive achievement.

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The Gates of Light is Pari Forood’s love letter to America.

Click here for a Marshall Miles Interview on NPR with Pari Forood on Oct 10, 2015
‘The Gates of Light,’ Reading and Conversation

Pari has been the Executive Director of the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation since its inception in 2004.  To-date, the Foundation has donated over $1.5 million in support services, education and outreach of individuals affected by breast cancer, within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley, NY.  She oversees all foundation activities, events and publicity and has written articles for magazines, newspapers and hospital publications.  She has a BA from Vassar College and a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-profit Management.

The Foundation, its founders and Pari have been honored by Hudson Valley Magazine, Marist College, The Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County Economic Council, NYS Association of Development Officers, New York State Association of Occupational Therapists, the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Centers, the Junior League, the Dutchess County Health Department, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and BMW.

Prior to running Miles of Hope, Pari served as the Campaign Manager for various NYS political campaigns, including Senator Steve Saland and as the Women’s Issues Coordinator for U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio.  She was the VP of Operations for two radio stations and is a voice over talent for radio and television commercials and industry films.  She serves on various non-profit boards of directors in Connecticut and New York.


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