Dear Friends and Readers:
A warm welcome to the January 2024 blogpost of Leslie Powell Ahmadi: a Black American Christian woman who met and married a man from Iran who was raised in a Muslim family.
I met Mahmoud at The Ohio State University, married him in 1988, and four years later relocated to Iran to start a new life with him. It was not an easy decision. But ultimately Mahmoud, our two young children, and I lived in the spectacular historic city of Isfahan from 1992 – 1996. And a lot happened during those four years. It is all captured in a memoir I’ve written called Road Between Two Hearts: A Black American Bride Discovers Iran (stand by for details regarding its future publication).
Every month or so I enjoy bringing you information, an experience, an encounter, and/or a perspective related to Iran and its people that may catch your attention.
But this time--for the first time in two years--I depart from that agenda to ask for your help!
Here is my question:
Would you be willing to help me grow my community of readers—by approaching family, friends, and colleagues of yours who would be interested in the kind of content I offer in my newsletter and upcoming book?
If so, here is my request, starting today and lasting through the last day of February (which this year is February 29: a Leap Year Day!)
Would you …
Who is the Persian “Unibrow Lady”?
Inspired by a figure in Persian folklore known as Khatoon (a quaint Persian word for “The Lady”), I used to spot her emblematic image here and there, in Iranian stores and city street bazaars where handicrafts were sold.
Before long, I was looking for her (or similar images) in such places, and usually sooner or later she would draw my eye. She charmed me!
Adorned in colorful, classical Persian garb in keeping with her occupation—this one a princess, this one a chef, this one a huntress, this one a mother, this one a musician, this one someone’s beloved—what all the unibrow ladies share in common is their pretty round faces, an ageless quality and grace about them, an ambiguous hidden expression, and perhaps most of all, a unibrow—that is, a pair of eyebrows drawn as two thick black arches—joined in the middle and just above the bridge of the nose.
Look below for two examples of Iranian handiwork with “Unibrow Lady” figures:
What is the cultural significance of the “Unibrow Lady” (Khatoon)? Ask several Iranian women and you might just get a different spin from each one. But if I could sum it up briefly, my understanding is that
(1) She embodies the thick dark brows that many Iranian women have naturally before they choose to tweeze them (which traditionally in the past was when they got married, but nowadays many young women start to tweeze around puberty.)
(2) She represents a dual sentiment of many Iranian women that full and bushy eyebrows are both a blessing and a curse: i.e.,
AND NOW… HOW TO ENTER TO WIN THE UNIBROW LADY WALL HANGINGS FOR BOTH YOU AND A FRIEND/COLLEAGUE
So, here is how to enter yourself and your friend in the “Unibrow Lady” Wall Hangings Giveaway:
a. Invite a friend or colleague who might be interested in my website and related content to visit my website and sign up for my monthly newsletter.
b. If your friend/colleague agrees to consider it, direct them to my website at leslieahmadi.com, and ask them to subscribe (within 48 hours if possible) for a chance to win the Unibrow Lady—that is, one of the wall hangings that are pictured above. Actually, the prize will be one wall hanging for each of you!
c. Next, please do the following (yourself):
--Reply to this email to notify me of your friend’s or colleague’s intention to subscribe. How?
I hope you and your colleague(s) will choose to participate!
As always, Kheilee mamnoon! (i.e., “Thank you!” in Persian),
Dr. Leslie Ahmadi discovered her intercultural calling in her parents’ home at age four--where between the jazz, the spirituals, and the rock ‘n roll music, she heard folk songs in languages from around the world. Thirty years later she had a doctorate in foreign language and culture education--and her folk song guitar never far away.