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They Call Me Fero: Reflections,Recollections of an Iranian-American Doctor Paperback – October 22, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

With this memoir of growing up in Iran and emigrating to the United States in the 1960s, Sadeghian tells of a life of great contradictions.

The memoir can be divided into three natural arcs comprising the author’s childhood and university training in Tehran, his experiences in Britain and the United States as an immigrant physician and a final section on his retirement interest in mountain climbing, including expeditions to Everest. Sadeghian may be an everyday citizen; however, his life is rich with drama, while his writing is accessible and straightforward. Crucially, he provides enough information for those unfamiliar with modern Iran to understand the social and political circumstances leading up to 1979’s Islamic revolution. The child of an upwardly mobile judge, he was a youthful witness to the complexities of life under the Shah, from the growth of the middle-classes to the increasing oppression and poverty among the majority of the regime’s subjects. As a favorite son, Sadeghian is aware of his relative privilege, compared to his female relatives and friends. He speaks openly of the moral restrictions and unhappy marital choices available to many women, including his sister. This first section is likely to be of greatest interest to most readers. Yet, the author’s observations on the American medical system offer insight into the growth of HMOs and increasingly impersonal medical care. In the final fragmentary sections of the memoir, Sadeghian describes the sometimes horrific results of Tibetan expeditions. It’s difficult not see his concerns with mortality as more personal than professional. At times, his prose grows meditative, musing on the irony of his circumstances; here is a man who learned to climb in the mountainous regions of his homeland, yet Sadeghian’s remembered Iran—of cosmopolitan men and women, striking disparities of wealth and religion, and a complex history—makes the Islamic revolutionary Iran of today alien to him. Instead, he divides his time between a sunny American retirement and some of the most isolated peaks in the world.

Sadeghian’s life of contrasts will interest many readers.

About the Author

Dr. F. Fero Sadeghian is emeritus medical faculty of State University of New York at Buffalo. He was a practicing general -vascular surgeon at the Buffalo General Hospital where he founded and chaired the Ethics committee. He lives with his wife of forty five years in East Aurora, NY and Amelia Island, Florida
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453600043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453600047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,780,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JPDupre on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A few years ago, my wife and I were coming back home from a motorcycle tour in Ontario. Arriving at a motel for the night, another bike turned my attention. It was a black Honda Pacific Coast, a quite unique and seldom seen model. I chatted with the owner, who was riding East just like us. We decided to eat together. The man was affable, curious, courteous, well read. Dinner went by rapidly and we invited him to ride with us the day after. The ride was great. The only problem was... his name. He had to repeat it two or three times and I only got it right upon our arrival.

Our companion of the day was the author, Fero Sadeghian. Therefore, his book's opening, relating the problems he had over the years with his name, and his decision to use a nickname instead, is no surprise.

His story is unique. Fero "Fraydoon" Sadeghian was born in Iran, between the two Wars, in the capital Tehran. There, he studied to become a doctor, and went abroad to specialize, first to England then USA. A vascular surgeon, he finally settled in Buffalo, New York.

The author tells us of his youth, his family, his education, the religion of his ancestors, the political turmoil of his mother country in the Seventies, his studies in medicine and his medical career in the Buffalo area.

The author is a great storyteller. We follow him in the streets of Tehran, we are with him in school, we see him in the reassuring presence of his grandmother, we sweat with him when he endures long hours without sleep in hospitals. Above all, he shows an immense love for his origins, his people, and his work. Parts of this book would easily qualify for a National Geographic story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Briscoe on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
A dear friend of mine in college aspired to be a "doctor-poet," which to him represeted the best of all possible lives to live. My friend did not achieve this goal, but Fero Sadeghian has, as the reader learns in this rich and charming self-told tale of a most remarkable life played out in Iran, England, New York state, and mountain tops all around the world. The author is a retired surgeon and an active storyteller who brings his surgeon's eye for precision in describing the many splendid places and characters he has encountered throughout his education, emigration (from Iran through England to the US), and his extensive professional and cultural explorations. He reports with candor on the corruption as well as the honor in medicine, government, and daily life. His wit, seriousness, and basic goodness shine in every chapter. I greatly enjoyed reading the book and very much admire the man who wrote it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the book and agree wholeheartedly with the review that is posted on the Kirkus.com book site and with the comments of prior reviewers. Of special interest are Dr. Sadeghian's colorful and candid descriptions of his early years in Iran, contrasted with reflections on the political and social developments that came after his departure. Vivid stories, soaring dreams, and insights such as these help American readers develop a better understanding of the changes in Iran that are frequently in our news.
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By olga karman on May 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
LOVE OF LIFE...

...could be the title of this rich memoir. Fero begins his story when he was a child living in southern Persia. Even then, he senses that his spirituality is inseparable from the beauty of creation. And, the reader may add, from the need for freedom. When he observes birds in flight he feels a kinship. His spirit too wants to soar, and decades later--by then a retired surgeon--when he scales the Himalayas he remembers the boy who had imagined himself in flight. The circle has been drawn, and in completing it, Fero gives us rich experiences lived in Persia, England, and New York. He tells of what he calls his "bipolarity" between his Persian and his American identities, of his vocation and his grueling life as a surgeon, of the family who made the word "home" real to him in this country, of friends who rounded out his life both in Persia and in Western New York.
When s/he reads a book, a reader always finds "a favorite part" Here's mine: the chapters where Fero portrays daily life in his home country. It's not about "local color"--not merely that. It is the love of place that comes through in every street scene and anecdote. A cotton-shredder who makes old mattresses fluffier, a glass-eyed singer who carries a monkey with him, a picture wheel character who allows the boy to look in and see scenes which he narrates making mistakes as he goes, a wedding procession walking by, grilled kidneys are for sale--these charm me not because of their exotic quality but because of the spirit present in the narration. Call it affection.
Bravo, Fero Sadeghian.
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