Not without my daughter

Mon 05 September 2016 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Betty Mahmoody, an American citizen is tricked by her husband, an Iranian national into accompanying him along with their little daughter for a vacation to Iran. A few days into her stay, she realizes that this is a one-way trip and her husband has no plans of returning. She frantically tries to get his family to intervene but none supports her.

She tries to contact the American embassy but her husband learns of her plans and threatens to kill their daughter if she goes ahead. The embassy requests her to leave her daughter behind and make her escape. But Betty is adamant that she will leave the country only with her daughter.

In due course of time, she makes some friends who are sympathetic to her cause and who try to help her make plans to escape but most of them don't account for the little girl. One of her friend introduces her to Hossein, an Iranian businessman who has Betty and her daughter smuggled across the border into Turkey to the American embassy.

The book is the recollection of real-life events and is riveting. There is a lot of emphasis on Iranian culture and how Iran's stand-off with the US in the late 70s fomented troubles for Betty. But one has to tip their hats to Betty's presence of mind and her dogged determination to get out of Iran with her daughter.