AMERICAN WINGS, IRANIAN ROOTS by Kristin Orloff
The book is a true story about a woman writer (the author) in California who befriends an Iranian coworker, Reza Abedi. Their sons play on the same little league baseball team. Over the course of time, Reza tells the author his story of defecting from Iran.
Reza is a gold medal winning wrestler. On the last night of the 1982 Military World Wrestling Championships, he grips his gold medal, knowing that American wrestlers wait minutes away to help him defect. He is torn between choosing between his own freedom and the possible revenge killing of his thirteen year-old brother locked in Ayatollah Khomeini’s prison.
The subplot of the book is what happens to his family, left in Iran while he pursues his dream of freedom. The book opens a door on the war-torn history of Iran, what Khomeini promised and the reality of what wasn’t delivered.
Reza’s inspiring story celebrates honor, family and freedom. After he leads bloody battles in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and serves in the Air Force, he desires a fate beyond the suffocating suppression of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran.
Beyond the images of the blindfolded American hostages, the bearded cleric Ayatollah Khomeini and the controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, there are millions of men, women and children who desire to live with freedom and dignity. This story is their voice.