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Zoroastrianism, Persian Poetry, Family relationships, Storytelling, Carpet Weaving, Star-crossed Lovers, Medieval Iran
A Space of Possibility
Kira Van Deusen
“Faraj” is a Farsi word meaning an opening, a blessing, a space of possibility.
Ābtin journeys for a whole year, across deserts and mountains to the sea. The young Zoroastrian hopes to come to terms with his harsh father and his own ambivalence about the art of carpet weaving. He dreams of Mitrā, a Muslim girl who waits for him back home, gathering medicinal plants in the barren lands, struggling with her family’s pressure to marry and a stranger’s accusations of sorcery. Once reunited, Ābtin and Mitrā realize that both of their religions will forbid their marriage. Gossip is rampant and persecution of Zoroastrians is on the rise.
Faraj: A Space of Possibility is set amidst the mud-brick houses, wind towers, and tiled mosques of 17th century Yazd—a crossroads on the Silk Road. We follow Ābtin and Mitrā as they work to reconcile their communities, often at risk to themselves. Together they experience mysticism, danger, and the ups and downs of young love. Gaining confidence in their callings as carpet weaver and healer, Ābtin and Mitrā search for a way to be together.
They yearn for a space of possibility – faraj.
“A stunning work of historical fiction just right for our times!”
Linda Stender, teacher and storyteller
Writer, oral storyteller, cellist, and Farsi-speaker, Kira Van Deusen mixes a love of music with a passion for language and research to create enchanting, human stories. She has published several nonfiction books about storytelling in Siberia and the Canadian north. Faraj: A Space of Possibility is her first book of fiction, inspired by a story she heard in Iran. Kira lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit her website at www.kiravan.com.
“In the manner of medieval tales from the Middle East, this heart-warming romance is filled with adventure and words of wisdom. The story smoothly and unconsciously takes the reader into the exotic and unfamiliar land of Safavid Iran. This happens at a time of immense cultural and religious change, when religion not only mattered but also dictated life. Romance between a Muslim woman and a Zoroastrian man was strictly forbidden. In our own time of uncertainty, radicalism and abundance of violent dogmas, this tender tale is a fresh start into a better understanding of the hearts and minds of the the story’s land and people.” Massoume Price, social anthropologist and author of numerous books on Iranian culture.
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