From Tehran to the Land of the Free

"Struggles of an Iranian to Live Up to Her Potential"

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12 years old Mitra Thompson

Mitra working in Veterans Administration Medical Center in WDC

Mitra was at a resort restaurant

mitra thompgson smiling

Mitra Thompson was born in Tehran, Iran. She migrated permanently to America to receive the higher education that was denied to her in Iran because of her religious beliefs. After her dear husband’s passing at the end of 2011, and at her daughter’s request, she was inspired to write her memoir. Mitra has a son, a daughter, and a stepdaughter, all of whom are married and have two children of their own. She currently resides in North Carolina.

About the Book

From childhood, Mitra was a dreamer. Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, she believed that, with determination, she could overcome any obstacle in her life, and she was determined, indeed! Her only setback was that she was unable to do everything she wanted because she was among the minority in Iran: she was female and a member of the Baha’i Faith. Because she lived in a country in which Islam was the predominant religion, she was not free to open her wings and fly. She was often scared and on guard throughout her childhood and adolescence, concerned for her safety and that of her family. Only when she came to America was she able to make for herself the life of which she had dreamed while in Iran. There she had struggled in vain to keep her family together. In America, all of her dreams came true when she tasted the choice wine of freedom. Although it was not easy in the beginning, and many tests and difficulties were encountered along the way, Mitra grabbed hold of all the opportunities her new home presented to her and created a happy life for herself and her family.

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From Tehran to the Land of the Free – Shows the courage and determination of the young girl, young adult, and woman who came to life on the pages of the book. She had a dream of education, and she pursued it, never losing site of her goal and ambitions. She shared with her readers that she was willing to work very hard to achieve success, and has every right to be very proud of what she was able to achieve. She acknowledges and shows great appreciation to those who helped her along the way. But make no mistake – they helped to unlock closed doors, but once inside, she showed her commitment to achieve her goals by doing whatever it took to succeed.

In the book, From Tehran to the Land of the Free, the author shares with the reader the importance of family: Parent and Child; Siblings; Spouse; and extended family. Throughout the book she shares her deep seated respect for Mother, Father and Sisters.. Even during the time she felt they had questioned her faith and moral code, she did not lose faith and patiently waited for the truth to be revealed. Once she met her husband, she again demonstrated her firm commitment to her belief system, deeply rooted in the Baha’i faith. They were able to overcome many obstacles to achieve the wonderful life they enjoyed as a family. The book leaves you smiling, so happy that Mitra achieved and surpassed the goals of the young girl in Tehran. And it makes one proud and grateful to be a United States citizen.

“There is something about life when you feel good about it you want more and more. I had no clue why I was not totally satisfied with my life. I considered myself luckier than anyone I used to know. Hearing my friend’s problems and concerns, I realized how simple and valuable my life was to me. I was content, but I felt alone. I had many friends and family around me, but I felt that I needed to have someone’s concern and attention just for me. Was I selfish?” “We learned to talk to each other openly about our concerns. We learned to detach from our own ideas so that we could identify a problem and reach a decision that was of benefit to both of us, or was one with which we both could live. It was a miracle. After two years, our marriage blossomed. I realized day by day I loved him more and I felt the same was true with him……Despite our cultural differences, our relationship grew and we felt we belonged to each other more and more.”


The author, enables us to see and truly appreciate the great freedom we have in the United States – something I realized fully when I read of the persecution she experienced in Tehran, both as a member of the Baha’i faith, and as a female. The Americans who helped her escape Tehran were empowered in ways she would never be as a Persian citizen and female. Her appreciation to those who helped her is evident throughout the book and her love of the United States and the freedom she enjoys after becoming a US citizen brings tears to your eyes. The persecution she experienced in Tehran is unimaginable to a US citizen and is proof of her incredible will to escape oppression and to soar. What a great gift to see the United States through her eyes!

– From Cheryl – Leland, NC.

Mitra Thompson’s book gave me great reading pleasure. The spirit of a resourceful, upbeat, and engaging person came through on every page. But the educational benefits came through just as strong. Her story touches on the experience of religious discrimination, but just as importantly reveals the process of acculturation. Learning particular cultural norms outside of your own is rendered in a thoroughly positive and, at times, humorous way. The passage in which she learns she is expected to repeatedly turn down food offered at the host’s table (before accenting it) — is memorably entertaining. And the kindness of others is also rendered as an important part of her courageous journey. The reader will feel good after reading this book, and will cherish that feeling.

– Nancy – Bethesda, MD

The author provides a beautiful account of how she overcame various adversities over the course of her life. Her tale of struggles left me humbled as many of the hardships she encountered inspire me to reflect on what I have taken for granted. I applaud the author’s ability to capture moments of joy, sadness, spirituality and accomplishment in her story. Truly an inspirational read.

– Melissa – Stevensville, MD

I found the book From Tehran to the Land of the Free, interesting and inspiring. It was interesting to understand how a person decides to leave their homeland for another country to seek personal religious freedom in another country. It was amazing how things worked out but not without challenges and difficulties. The author’s persistence and connections opened doors that had appeared locked. It is a good example of how the American Dream is reached by those seeking a better life. I also enjoyed the way that the author and her husband, while from different cultures, grew in their marriage so that she did not feel she had to give up being herself.

– Patricia Pruski – Leland, NC

“Uplifting and inviting, the author does an excellent job describing her personal struggles in Iran as a female trying to come to America as a Baha’i. The thoughts and feelings the author expresses are funny and entertaining, keeping the reader engaged from cover to cover. Inspiring and resilient story that will make you appreciate your freedoms in America.”

– Unknown Reviewer – MD

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