Dr. Afshin Dehghani
About the Author
Dr. Afshin Dehghani was born in Iran on April 28, 1970. As a child, he was fascinated by fairytales and loved everything from One Thousand Nights to Shahnameh. His childhood fairytales would be replaced by the realities of the 1979 Iran Revolution. This was followed by a war which devastated the country and the region. As the conflict escalated his parents made the difficult decision to send him and his brother to England, in the hopes of giving him a better life. At the age of 12, he found himself in a new country with only his 13-year-old brother to rely on. It was hard for him to acclimate to the strange culture and language of his new home. He would struggle for years and face discrimination due to his heritage. Eventually, he would find success in the medical field. Dr. Dehghani went on to study Medicine in Hungary at the age of 17 and become a plastic surgeon. He still resides in Hungary and considers it his second home. He would eventually reunite with his family as an adult bringing his life full circle. He continues to practice medicine and indulge in his passion for writing. He devotes his debut novel, Whispering Date Palms to the promotion of education and awareness of human rights. Based on a fictionalised account of his own life he uses his novel to bring light to the human toll of political decisions.
Whispering Date Palms
Grace is a self-possessed, intelligent and witty journalist in Washington D.C. with her whole life ahead of her. Young and at the top of her field she is due to marry the man she loves with the support of her proud parents and start the life of her dreams, or so she thinks. After a chance encounter with some strange music in a cab, Grace begins to have flashes of memory and strong emotions that hospitalize her and leave her with feelings of loss and sadness she cannot fully explain. With no clear medical diagnosis, the incident is written off as stress but Grace can’t help but feel permanently shaken up by the stabbing pains and haunting imagines that continue to plague her mind. As each painful explosion leaves fragments of memories lodged in her mind, Grace begins to suspect that everything that she thought she knew about herself was a lie. Her average American life with its loving supportive parents, her Irish cultural roots, her ambitions as a journalist all begin to come into question. Grace begins to suspect that there is more to her story and her parents than she could have ever imagined.
The sun set again and the nightmare.
The sun set again and the fever.
The sun set again and the burning heart.
The sun set again and the horror of hell.
The sun set again and the fear of no merci.
The sun set again and the hope of tomorrow.
– Afshin Dehghani
I dedicate this book to my daughter Aida,
for her inspiration, for believing in me and for listening to my night stories. I hope she will never hear the terrifying sound of a siren. I also dedicate this to all the children of Pardis who came and left this world with no one to hear their cries. To my Gisoo and Borzu, thank you for taking me away from the horrifying sound of sirens.