Fleeing the Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape from Iran by Sima GoelFleeing the Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape from Iran by Sima Goel

Fleeing the Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape from Iran

bySima Goel

Paperback | March 6, 2015

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A true account of Sima Goel, the Iranian teenager who crossed the most dangerous desert in the world rather than accept the restrictions of life in Iran of the early1980s. Her quest for freedom is a thrilling, timely inspiration for people longing to create a life of meaning.It was the last straw! ThThe Ayatollah Khomeini had decreed that all women in Iran must wear the hijab, whether they were Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Baha'i. Thirteen-year-old Sima had gone out into the streets of Shiraz to demonstrate for freedom under the Shah's oppressive rule, and now that he had fled the country, this was the result: a new regime, and a much more repressive rule.The changes Khomeini's regime forced on the population were totally incompatible with Sima's ambitions and sense of personal freedom. Blacklisted by her school, unable to continue her studies, mourning the murders of innocent family members and friends, and forced to wear the hijab, she realized she had to leave her beloved birthplace and find a country where she could be free to follow her dreams.Fleeing the Hijab is a vivid portrait of a dangerous journey made by two teenaged girls through the Iranian desert to Pakistan, where, as homeless refugees, they struggled desperately to find some way to escape to the West. It is a story that needs to be heard and remembered.
Title:Fleeing the Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape from IranFormat:PaperbackDimensions:362 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.81 inPublished:March 6, 2015Publisher:Decarie Square Wellness CenterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0994053606

ISBN - 13:9780994053602

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from def on my list of books to be cremated with words cannot describe this book nor give it justice, you need to experience it , read it, treasure it, re-read it live it . it is simply amazing . the minute you hold it in your hands you will become part of Sima's family and experiences.. what a wonderful beautiful story.
Date published: 2016-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Filled with a life story, history, and intrigue FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of Fleeing the Hajib from the author via iRead Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine. Fleeing the Hajib by Sima Goel is at once a memoir and a history book. While sharing her personal story, Goel details the historical events taking place in her homeland, Iran, during the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini. Interwoven through her life story and her country's history are Goel's love of family and the beautiful childhood she experienced before her childhood was cut short. Although written almost three decades after her flight from Iran, Goel's memory recall is detailed and specific. As life changes around her, I can sense her fear, anger, and determination rising like steam from a boiling pot. Her desire is not only escape for herself but also for her family and the people of Iran. In so doing, Goel took great risks but could not deny the liberation she wanted for all Iranians. I presumed having watched news during this same time period I would have little to learn from the historical facts and details. However, having an inside view from Goel's life showed me I should never presume such again. Who knew that a woman wearing the hijab and the chador (forced into rule by the Ayatollah) left women with only one hand free. The wearing of these garments required the women to hold them in place with one hand, severely limitation their ability to do anything requiring more than one hand. Goel's cast of characters is quite large, and I feared I would lose track of who did what and when. Yet, her writing is so definitive in every respect this was not a problem at all. In every scene change or new chapter, Goel does not leave her reader behind. Instead, she carries you through the desperate journey she took decades ago. If you are a history buff or reader of memoirs, I highly recommend Fleeing the Hijab. There is much to be learned from the inside of Sima Goel's story of her flight from Iran. Co-mingled with her life story and the story of Iran is a quasi-thriller, filled with suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
Date published: 2015-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A BOOK YOU WILL NEVER FORGET! Fleeing the Hijab by Sima Goel is a compelling memoir that offers both an eye-opening revelation into life in Iran during that era, as well as into the very extraordinary personal journey of the author. It is a book that you won’t want to put down. The author describes the divisive laws imposed on all Iranians, women and men, under the rule of the Ayatollah Khomeini which extends into society, schools, and stifles one`s personal freedom to learn and live, not only for Jews but also for those of the Baha’i faith and other minorities. How her family and friends are affected is fascinating as well as often heart-wrenching. Life was becoming more and more unbearable resulting in a courageous escape through dangerous terrain and circumstances. The details of which are described so well, that you would think that you, the reader, are right in the moment. I highly recommend this book and have bought a number of copies to give as gifts. I think that Fleeing the Hijab should be read by anyone who wants to know the truth about a subject that most people unfortunately know so little about. Thank you Sima for sharing your story!
Date published: 2015-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating and exciting memoir: sure to engage teens and adults, both Fleeing the Hijab by Dr. Sima Goel is a jewel of a book. Goel's memoir of her life in, and subsequent escape from Iran reflects her belief in people of all faiths. The book speaks to the universal need for self-expression and love. As a curious teenager, Sima's interest in the greater world innocently provoked the new Iranian regime, resulting in her eventual flight across the most dangerous desert in the world and eventual journey to the west. Both teens and adults will be fascinated by her independent spirit and love for tradition, family and culture. Her memoir will motivate the reader to welcome life's challenges, and create a life "well-lived".
Date published: 2015-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ!! An unbelievably true story of one woman's determination to be true to herself. As suspenseful as any fiction, I was unable to put it down.
Date published: 2015-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing true story of determination and courage I enjoyed reading the story of Sima and her family fleeing the unbearable dictatorship of the ayatollas. A very touching and intimate description of her perillous adventure from hell to Canada. Sima tells her story with humour and passion along her life and escape from the bats of the dark Ayattolas and getting inspired by what could wait for her outside in a free world. Personally I found this book much more delicious than ''Not without my daughter'' made famous by the movie.
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read for teenagers and Adults I want to thank the writer for sharing her story. Within the book she shows us that life under religious extremism is very similar to living under the prewar Nazi regime. The Western world should never take what we have for granted. We must stand up against extremists and intolerance and stand up for minority rights and what we know is wrong. I believe this book is a must read for all teenagers and should be introduced into the school curriculum. Well done Sima.
Date published: 2014-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking, definitely a MUST read! It is truly an inspiring book. This story illustrates the struggle and difficulty of which Dr.Goel and her sister went through to get to freedom. She brilliantly captures the reader?s attention and draws them into her life in Iran. As you keep reading, you get hooked! You just won?t put the book down till you know Dr.Goel and her sister have made it out of oppression and into the land of freedom. It is a well-written book; you feel the emotions of the girls and you can visualize the settings vividly as the details are impeccable. Reading this book makes you realize that we have the luxury of freedom. We are so fortunate to live in a free country, to be heard, to be able to stand up for ourselves, to BE ourselves and we take it for granted. Stories like this one really makes you think long after you?re done reading it. I applaud Dr.Goel for writing and sharing her story with us. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone. You will not regret it!
Date published: 2014-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding! I read Fleeing the Hijab! It was a spellbinding , enthralling, nail-biting, tear jerking and very moving story. Before I read the book - I knew you and loved you for who you are. I respect you as an accomplished woman, a friend and also in a professional capacity. Now that I have read the book - my regard for you has been hit out of the stratosphere! Reading a book by someone you love and admire as an individual - makes it even more incredible to read. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in putting pen to paper.
Date published: 2014-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ!!! From the first page I was drawn in to the lives of Sima and her family. Her descriptive writing made the scent of flowers and fruit trees come alive. I felt as if I was there with her feeling all that she felt. In August of 1978, life in Shiraz, Iran took a change for the worse which led to Sima's incredible journey to freedom. Her Story takes you on a ride of emotions. It brings to light the horrors and challenges her and her family faced; and while at times your heart is breaking you are also filled with hope from her strength and courage! This story will surely make you thankful for all your blessings!
Date published: 2014-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Full of tension! An empowering account of a woman's dangerous voyage to freedom! A love letter to Shiraz! This is a wonderful account of how a young Iranian girl risked all for freedom. Spontaneous and passionate, Sima Goel was forced into hiding when she stood up for a Baha'i classmate. Unable to further her education, she had to be smuggled across the desert into Pakistan where she was basically a homeless refugee, with neither money, contacts nor friends. Goel struggled through terror and defeat to come to Canada, where she was able to go to school and fulfill her dreams. Her story is inspiring and should be read by every young girl and woman!
Date published: 2014-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A dose of perspective that will make you appreciate your freedom Sima Goel's story about her journey from an oppressed existence in Iran to a life of freedom in Canada is both harrowing and inspiring. I was struck, not only by the hardships that she was forced to endure, but also by her resilience and resolve. I admire her courage and bravery and will think of her story when faced with my own life challenges.
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to put down! I recently finished reading this book and I was completely moved and inspired. Not only was the story amazing and compelling, but it was also very well-written. I was totally consumed by the book while reading it, and I still find myself thinking about Sima's story long after the book is over. I look forward to sharing this book with my friends and family.
Date published: 2014-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring! An inspiring book written by a very brave woman. This story takes you on a journey - a journey into the lives of Sima and her family, the traditions and the culture of life in Iran for a Jewish person. It is a rich and comes alive for the reader. It is a story of perseverance and fighting for what you believe is right. It is also a lesson in using the trials in life as motivation to get to a better place. Sima has used her ordeal in a positive way - to guide her in her willingness to help others and to appreciate what she fought so hard to get. Freedom! Great Job!
Date published: 2014-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Story This book was hard to put down. Sima writes about the events of her life and is very descriptive about her family, her beautiful Shiraz, the love of her country and the struggles she went through for her treasured freedom. The book captures you all the way through giving you a sense of reality of how many people live in this world without their basic freedom and rights. Congratulations Sima for being so honest and for sharing your life with the world.
Date published: 2014-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST-READ,! I just finished this book about the courage and strength of a 17 year old girl who just wanted to go to school and who just wanted to be free!!! How many of us would go through such a life or death situation for freedom!! Considering the alternative, Sima Goel knew she would be killed or spend her life hiding if she stayed in her beloved Shiraz in Iran. This is a story of a young girl and her sister's journey to escape the oppression during the Iran war to be free to live a life of their choosing. Leaving her parents and siblings behind, her story of her escape will haunt you for days! You are right along side her during her frightening journey across the desert. You feel her blisters and her pain, her hunger and her thirst, her desperation, her fear and her pleas for help!! You will laugh with her and you will cry with her but you will admire her strength and hope though it all and be her cheerleader until the very end!! A MUST READ!!
Date published: 2014-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fleeing The Hijab This is the most riveting novel that I have read. It was impossible to put this book down. The story of a very loving mother who would do anything for her children. The story begins with a very happy childhood in Shiraz and a good life for the whole family. Then it turns into a really unhappy place for all. Not wanting to give too much away, the story continues to show how brave a mother and children are to do what they have to do to save their lives and obtain their freedom. This novel is a must read for all to appreciate what freedom means and not take life for granted.
Date published: 2014-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a riveting novel about freedom, a life's journey painstakingly told by a survivor, it will have you on the edge of your seat! Many people cross our paths throughout our lives, but only a few inspire us the way Dr. Sima Goel does. Upon meeting her, you can't help but be drawn in to her aura, and feel a certain peace that ebbs away the chaos of life. How does she do it? How does she always seem to find and emanate that calm and serenity that escapes many of us? Her story begins in Shiraz, Iran, in a utopian setting filled with scents of orange blossoms and fragrant flowers. The safety of her family, the security of an education and the sweet comforts of home is how every childhood should be spent. Then the unforeseen happens! The once young and boisterous girl suddenly has to grow up and learn how to survive or be persecuted! Forced to wear the constricting hijab and chador, forced to pray to a different religion, blacklisted in her schools for speaking out, young Sima must decide if she will stay in her beloved Shiraz, and conform to this enslaved life, or fight for her freedom! This story follows two very brave and determined sisters on a journey that many have undertaken, but few have survived; from treks across the unforgiving deserts, to hiding out in tiny rooms in stifling, polluted cities like fugitives, to a harrowing and nerve wracking exit out of slavery and into freedom. I recommend this book for everyone! In an electronic age where the world cannot seem to survive without their gadgets and electronic ‘toys’, these two sisters had to survive using only their wit and instincts. Young Sima Goel found it within herself to go against the grain and fight all odds to become a survivor, a winner, and a teacher for all generations, teaching us that we cannot, must not, take anything for granted - not the books we read, nor the food we eat, nor the clothes we wear. But most of all, she teaches us to never lose our faith and hope, to be thankful of all our blessings, for all we have, and all we don't have. To trust in ourselves and in God. For it could be worse.
Date published: 2014-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a story! Wow, what a story! It is a window into a major historical event and a very personal story from the point of view of a young Jewish girl victimized by the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The author describes her childhood in the city of Shiraz in the 1960s and 70s. She reveals fascinating details I had never heard of, about the culture and traditions of both Iranian Jews and Iranians, as well as the relationship between people of the two religions. We learn about the opposition to the reign of the Shah, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the events of the Revolution itself through Sima’s eyes as a teenager. We are distressed at how her outspoken sense of justice results in her having to hide to save her life. Now comes the story of her escape. She reveals the wild range of emotions she and her family experience in preparing and facilitating the escape. The crossing from Iran to Pakistan via the desert is hair-raising, dangerous, thrilling. She describes every terrifying detail. And then she becomes a refugee in a foreign country. She is not afraid to tell it like it was, a time of depression, elation, hope, desperation, as she and her sisters try to get out of Pakistan. I have known refugees, but none so forthcoming about their experiences. It is an eye-opener. There is never a dull moment from the moment you open the book. It’s an emotional ride. You are learning about new things; you are enthralled by the action; you are overcome by emotions. And at the heart of it is a woman who dared to look back to an incredibly traumatic part of her life, to analyse her experiences and to understand them and the effect they had on her. It must have been a very difficult task to do, but we are all richer because she cared enough to share this with us.
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpiece!!! A true story of a beautiful close knit family that supported and encouraged each other, through the good times and especially through the bad times. I admired the mother of the author, she gave unconditional love to her family and the huge sacrifices she made for their benefit. This story will leave you feeling uplifted and truly inspired. Follow their amazing and sometimes horrific life journey. You will truly enjoy this one!!!
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book written by an amazing lady who is a beacon to freedom I just finished reading your wonderful book last night. What a story! Your indomitable courage and bravery in the face of such evil and horrific events are to be admired! Your constant faith in achieving freedom and ridding yourself of the shackles of bondage are exemplary! What came to my mind when I read your book was Passover, the celebration of ridding ourselves of the straits and constraints that obstruct us from becoming the persons we really are. There are challenges that cause a state of psychological exile in which we remain stuck in a quagmire of torment, paralysis and hoplessness, never discovering our inner calling and potential. You have exemplified this - never give up the opportunity to be the best you can be, notwithstanding the evil forces that pull you asunder. We all have an inner calling and potential. Every person is capable of genuine freedom. Our inner battles compel us to remain in the abyss, but if we have the vision and courage to fight for truth and freedom, like you have shown, we can surmount this. Human liberty is not about holy people doing holy things; it is about ordinary people doing holy things. You have shown that we have the potential to affirm our physical, mental and spiritual freedom. We can transcend the barriers and find the courage to discover our inner power and dignity. Chadissus explains that the first step toward personal growth and self improvement is humility and self nullification. With a "broken heart" we can engage in honest introspection and connect with a higher reality. May we all emerge from our bondage and taste freedom now! An unbelievable story, Sima so well written with such beautiful descriptive passages of your lovely rich jewel of a country. Kudos to you and to your family for making it though the unspeakable and horrendous situations you encountered. Loved the book! It brought me to tears. Iris Fink Desroches
Date published: 2014-05-01