I remember reading Betty Mahmoody’s book, Not Without My Daughter, shortly after the movie version was released in 1991. The book starkly portrayed a nightmarish true story, and it was big news at the time. So what ever happened to Betty Mahmoody?
As the book and movie illustrate, Betty Mahmoody married an Iranian, had a daughter, and went on vacation to her husband’s home country of Iran. Soon after her arrival there, her husband announced that they would not be returning to the United States and he became abusive. Betty wanted to end the marriage. She learned, though, that a divorce would mean giving custody of her daughter to her husband, and she was not willing to do that. So she took her daughter on a daring escape out of Iran. [Source: Not Without My Daughter – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Without_My_Daughter.] The book is an awfully good read, and the fact that it is autobiographical makes it particularly compelling.
Both the book and movie unavoidably left us all hanging. What might happen after the book’s publication? Would the estranged husband use some legal or illegal means to regain custody of his daughter? What, ultimately happened to Betty Mahmoody?
After the success of her book, Betty Mahmoody co-founded an organization called One World: For Children, that deals with problems faced by children in bi-cultural families. She has written about problems faced by other women like herself. Her own family problems seemed to be largely resolved by her escape from Iran. Her Iranian husband, Bozorg Mahmoody, died at age 70 in August 2009. [Source: Betty Mahmoody – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Mahmoody]
Writing this piece has made me want to go back and read Betty Mahmoody’s book again. It’s been a while, but I remember being a suspenseful read.
Betty Mahmoody – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Mahmoody.
Not Without My Daughter – Wikipedia. Downloaded October 20, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Without_My_Daughter.