Funny in Farsi


Firoozeh Dumas

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Firoozeh Dumas

The protagonist and narrator of Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh is born in Iran, but spends most of her childhood living in California. She’s a bright, funny child, and much of her book consists of… read analysis of Firoozeh Dumas


Kazem is Firoozeh’s beloved father. An intelligent, hardworking man, Kazem grows up in Iran but studies in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, and later begins working for an Iranian oil company. In… read analysis of Kazem


Nazireh is Firoozeh’s mother, and although Firoozeh clearly loves her deeply, she’s not as important a character in the book as Kazem, Firoozeh’s father. Nazireh was raised in a fairly traditional Iranian family… read analysis of Nazireh

François Dumas

Firoozeh’s classmate at Berkeley, fiancé, and later husband, François Dumas comes from a wealthy, worldly Catholic family that is nonetheless appalled when he marries an Iranian woman. François, like Firoozeh, is an adventurous, open-minded… read analysis of François Dumas
Minor Characters
The older brother of Firoozeh.
The eldest brother of Firoozeh.
Mrs. Sandberg
Firoozeh’s second grade teacher.
Uncle Nematollah
On of Kazem’s siblings, who comes to live with Kazem’s family in California for a brief period, and gains a lot of weight from eating too many American foods.
One of Firoozeh’s classmates.
A girl who attends summer camp with Firoozeh.
A boy who attends summer camp with Firoozeh, and Mary’s sister.
One of Firoozeh’s cousins.
Aunt Parvine
Firoozeh’s aunt, a doctor, who is one of the few Iranian women of her generation with a successful career (according to the book).
The Shah
The leader of Iran from 1941 to 1979, often considered a pivotal figure in Iranian history (since he modernized the country), but also considered a corrupt or tyrannical leader.
Kazem’s father.
Aunt Sedigeh
Kazem’s sister, a bright woman who, due to the dictums of Iranian culture, doesn’t go on to become a doctor or a lawyer like her brothers.
Uncle Muhammad
Kazem’s brother, who forges a successful career in Iran as a doctor, flees to America after the Iranian Revolution, and is forced to re-enroll in medical school there.
Bob Hope
Famous American comedian and TV special host.
President Jimmy Carter
The 39th president of the United States.
A French concierge who keeps Firoozeh company during her two-month stay in Paris.
Father Christopher
A Catholic priest who officiates Firoozeh’s marriage to François Dumas.
Uncle Ali
Firoozeh’s uncle, who hosts her wedding ceremony.
Uncle Ali’s American wife.
Golda Rubenstein
An elderly woman who lives in Firoozeh and François’s apartment building.
A contestant and “fan favorite” in the Miss Bahamas beauty pageant.
Albert Einstein
World-famous physicist who became an American citizen and worked at Princeton University.
Uncle Abdullah
Firoozeh’s uncle, who’s married to Aunt Sedigeh.
One of Uncle Abdullah and Aunt Sedigeh’s children.
One of the guests at Firoozeh and François’s wedding.