As a state senator, I confront the issue of immigration as a complex policy matter. But it is, of course, real stories of real people living real lives that inspire our nation's history and bring it alive.
I found myself engrossed in Dr. Harvey's raw, moving story until 3 a.m. where I was trapped for a time not in a global pandemic but in the stifling dark rooms of the Iranian Revolution and war with Iraq that I knew essentially from grainy TV news stories. I was deeply touched by the same authentic spirit of religious freedom that has defined the journey of religious minorities worldwide for generations.
But Dr. Harvey lifts up the narrative of immigration not from distant academic white papers but teenage pain of accidentally falling asleep on a train alone at night; struggling to manage sanitary pads while being smuggled in a truck; being groped on a public bus; and dozens of other gut-wrenching but tangible, relatable memories that span generations and religions.
And yet, in brutal honesty, it was her unique and quiet voice as a female, nearly alone in her journey, that had my fingers holding the sides of the book too tightly.
Dr. Harvey reminded me with beautiful force and fierce conviction that a child sees global events, war, human nature through eyes that hunger for trust and protection. It is a powerful and ultimately loving reminder for me as a legislator, but more importantly as a father.
Daylight Forever is both stunning and heartbreaking.
Mahvash brilliantly invites the reader into her personal journey as a refugee and allows you to experience her life through the eyes of a young girl. This memoir was gripping, visceral, and sacred work.
Not only does this book need to be a required reading, it deserves a prize for the bravery that it represents in honor of every refugee, both present and past.
Daylight Forever is a beautifully written memoir exploring the life of Mahvash and her Iranian family in Tehran. With the onset of the Iran/Iraq war comes the sudden and immediate loss of her once peaceful childhood, worsened by her family's Baha'i faith and their religious persecution.
Balancing her family's devotion to a life of peace and higher education, Mahvash makes the painful but necessary solo escape out of Iran as a teenager. Throughout her arduous journey, she remains devoted to the ideals of what every human being should be afforded: a chance for a life of peace, education and opportunity.
This moving book reaffirms the indelegable contribution that refugees bring to our communities with their relentless hard work, enduring faith in a better world and the true power of the human spirit to overcome enormous adversity.
Now a distinguished doctor in Seattle, Mahvash shares her continual fight for injustice while using her voice to advocate on behalf of other refugees.
I highly recommend this inspirational book, which comes at a crucial time when we need to celebrate our world's refugees and the contributions they bring to our communities.
This sensitive and insightful book is a remarkable epic tale of family endurance, hardship, and journey.
I tried to imagine sending my 15-year-old child into a smuggler-led journey through one of the most hazardous international areas of the world. I couldn't do it. I had to remember in reading that this was real, not a fictional dramatized story.
The harrowing account of the escape from Iran into Pakistan will have you as much on the edge of your seat as any thriller novel.
Mahvash's memoir is a vivid reminder that immigrants bring with them deeply rooted values of family, loyalty, hard work, and perseverance.
We are richer for their presence.
This book is beautifully written. It is almost poetic, as you feel the joy of a young girl's childhood, described in such detail you can almost see, taste, and hear what she describes.
As it continues, it makes it all the more devastating to read how prejudice and war leads to the sadness and frustration, confusion and fear that the author experiences when Ayatollah Khomeini comes into power, and war with Iraq destroys the life she once had.
Dr. Harvey's parents not only planned and sacrificed for all of their children's educations, but expected all four of them to be eminently successful in their chosen careers. The saga of her journey to the United States, begun at 15 years old, shows the reader the power of a dream, the strength of a parent's belief in their child's destiny, and the sacrifices you will make to achieve your goal.
Dr. Harvey explains her hope that in the telling of her story, readers will have a greater sympathy and understanding for the plight of political refugees, those with dreams of a better life, and a willingness to work for their success.
A powerful story, beautifully told.
This beautifully told story is not easy to read because it makes us see the world through the eyes of a refugee.
Mahvash’s story charts what it’s like to watch the rules of your society change around you, finding yourself oppressed, in hiding, and eventually fleeing.
Mahvash has lived through the horrors of war and religious persecution, as well as the indignities and terrors of refugee fighting for a better life.
In our current political climate, this story humanizes the stats and headlines we see in the news, making them personal and unacceptable.
I’m grateful that Mahvash found the time, the strength, and the courage to tell this important story.
Now when I think of war, I picture a little girl praying for a spaceship that saves her from the night bombings, by taking her to a place of light and peace.
I feel her religious faith in that peace, and in diversity and unity. I feel our cruelty to each other, and the love that’s larger.
I appreciate the refugees who walk away from love, and everything they know, and become a part of the American story.
A podcast of Dr. Khajavi-Harvey’s 2021 interview with Bill Radke of KUOW 96.9-FM in Seattle is available at https://kuow.org/stories/a-seattle-refugee
Daylight Forever is a 'must read' for all Americans and for those who aspire to the American dream.
We are a global community.
Mahvash shares her & her family's amazing story of seeking & achieving their
"destiny" despite persecution & death-defying risks.
This is an inspirational story about a girl and how she had to flee her country to save herself from a war and a revolution.
I can relate to that because I left too, and I was there, and I appreciated how she brings out the story of so many people like her and her faith at that time.
I had friends like her at the time and I saw how they had to leave behind everything they loved, cherished and respected. How families were torn apart.
Her story will be an eye opener about the world of refugees that had to endure pain and sacrifices at the time to just be able to stay safe, fed and shelter themselves.
But at the end of her journey, she did reach her goal and found peace and happiness and also try to give back to society.
Well written and easy read. Would highly recommend it.