Funny in Farsi

Nazireh Character Analysis

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, meaning that she grew up believing that her purpose in life was to get married and have children. She marries Kazem at the age of seventeen, and later moves to America with him. Nazireh is an inspiring, but also somewhat tragic character—at various points, Firoozeh expresses sadness that Nazireh didn’t get a chance to realize her dreams due to the structures of Iranian society. However, Nazireh becomes a heroine to Firoozeh after she supports Firoozeh’s marriage to François Dumas, showing her commitment to a more progressive understanding of marriage than what she was raised on.

Nazireh Quotes in Funny in Farsi

The Funny in Farsi quotes below are all either spoken by Nazireh or refer to Nazireh . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Randmom House edition of Funny in Farsi published in 2004.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The problem was that my mother, like most women of her generation, had been only briefly educated. In her era, a girl's sole purpose in life was to find a husband. Having an education ranked far below more desirable attributes such as the ability to serve tea or prepare baklava.

Related Characters: Firoozeh Dumas (speaker), Nazireh
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 6 Quotes

When my parents and I get together today, we often talk about our first year in America. Even though thirty years have passed, our memories have not faded. We remember the kindness more than ever, knowing that our relatives who immigrated to this country after the Iranian Revolution did not encounter the same America. They saw Americans who had bumper stickers on their cars that read "Iranians: Go Home" or "We Play Cowboys and Iranians." The Americans they met rarely invited them to their houses. These Americans felt that they knew all about Iran and its people, and they had no questions, just opinions. My relatives did not think Americans were very kind.

Related Characters: Firoozeh Dumas (speaker), Kazem , Nazireh
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 22 Quotes

Once my mother realized that I wanted to marry François, she said, "He will be like a third son to me," and wiped the tears off her face. At that very moment, my mother threw aside everything she and her generation knew about marriage and entered a new world where daughters select their own husbands. She became a pioneer.

Related Characters: Firoozeh Dumas (speaker), Nazireh (speaker), François Dumas
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 26 Quotes

My husband has since taken the situation into his own hands, hiding all our screwdrivers and hammers before my parents visit.

Related Characters: Firoozeh Dumas (speaker), Kazem , Nazireh , François Dumas
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Nazireh Character Timeline in Funny in Farsi

The timeline below shows where the character Nazireh appears in Funny in Farsi. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Leffingwell Elementary School
Women and Feminism Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Firoozeh’s mother, Nazireh, like most Iranian woman of the era, hasn’t had much education—she was raised to believe... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Prejudice  Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Back in the classroom, Nazireh comes to the front of the room. She tries to find Iran on the map,... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
On the walk home from school, Firoozeh and Nazireh get lost—the street signs are useless to them. Luckily, a young girl invites them into... (full context)
Chapter 2: Hot Dogs and Wild Geese
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Firoozeh and Nazireh had been nervous about moving to America, but they were both counting on Kazem to... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Women and Feminism Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
Nazireh, on the other hand, learns English mostly by watching television. After a few months of... (full context)
Chapter 6: With a Little Help from My Friends
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...in California, it’s time for Firoozeh’s family to return to Iran. At first, Firoozeh assumes Nazireh will be happy to return to her own country, where she can understand the language.... (full context)
Chapter 9: You Can Call Me Al
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
Kazem loves taking his family to Las Vegas. Before every visit, Nazireh holds the Koran above the doorframe, so that everyone in the family can walk underneath... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...Uncle Nematollah, who’s staying with the family, notices a sign warning of bears. He and Nazireh then decide that they need to leave immediately. After the trip, Kazem decides that his... (full context)
Chapter 10: Of Mosquitoes and Men
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...Whittier for two years, Firoozeh recalls, her family moves back to Iran. Firoozeh lives with Nazireh in Ahwaz, while Kazem lives in Tehran. Firoozeh doesn’t enjoy her new life in Ahwaz—everything... (full context)
Chapter 13: America, Land of the Free
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Women and Feminism Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
Firoozeh and her family celebrate Thanksgiving during their time in America. Nazireh makes curry, and the extended family brings other traditional Persian dishes. The Thanksgiving feast also... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...bulk chain of stores. There he and Nematollah eat dozens of free samples. Kazem and Nazireh are “hunter gatherers”—they hoard free food, free soap from hotels, and free peanuts on airplanes. (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...baby, but somebody lost the Koran. He decides to celebrate his birthday on March 18, Nazireh’s birthday, so that he’ll only have to remember one date when filling out forms. He... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
Since retiring, Kazem has become obsessed with time-shares. He and Nazireh still live in Newport Beach. They’re not that wealthy, but they live in a wealthy... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Ham Amendment
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Prejudice  Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...Firoozeh was growing up, Iran was still a monarchy led by the Shah. Kazem and Nazireh loved the Shah and believed that he’d modernize the country, making use of engineers like... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Prejudice  Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
...family were living in California, Kazem loved the fact that ham was widely available. However, Nazireh hated ham, and as a result, Kazem had to buy ham in secret. It wasn’t... (full context)
Chapter 17: Me and Bob Hope
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
...her family watch the Bob Hope TV specials, and Firoozeh translates Bob Hope’s jokes for Nazireh. (full context)
Chapter 22: The Wedding
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...and they’ve known they were getting married for five and a half months. Kazem and Nazireh take François to the finest Persian restaurant in Los Angeles. François charms Nazireh by asking... (full context)
Immigration and Cultural Assimilation Theme Icon
Women and Feminism Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
American Values Theme Icon
Kazem and Nazireh love François, not just because he’s a good person but because Firoozeh clearly loves him,... (full context)