Birth: 11, December 1957
City of Birth: Semnan
Education: High School Diploma in Mathematics, BSc in Mapping, MA in Fiction Literature
Address: 4th Fl, No 6, Bakhshandeh St., Mozafar Brothers St., Taleghani Ave, Tehran
Phone: +98 93 523 91 628
+98 66 466 324
Postal Code: 1416964915
Fields of Work
Author, Poet, and Translator of Children and Adolescents’ Books
Researcher in the field of illustrating children and adolescent’s books
teaching children painting and writing stories to Kanoon trainers
running cultural and art workshops for trainers
running workshops for mothers and children
running tale-making workshops for children and trainers.
Links: Member of Children’s Book Council, Association of Children and Adolescents’ Authors, Illustrators Association, Painters Association, Children and Sustainable Peace Association(CSPA)
Children drawing instructor at Kanoon in various cities of Gilan and Esfahan provinces (1976-1979)
Author, poet, and translator at Keyhan Bacheha (Kids) Magazine (1979-1982)
Reporter at Pars Governmental News Agency (1982)
Teaching Art at Primary School and Junior High School (1982-1988)
Teaching Art and Entertainment at Kanoon (1985-1994)
Editor of Art and Entertainment Magazine at Kanoon (1988-1994)
Poet and author of children’s books (1989-1994)
Executive manager at Kish Export and Import Trading Shara Company (1994-1998)
Teaching children painting to Kanoon instructors (1999 up to the present)
Continuing writing for Kanoon since 2002
Teaching story writing to Kanoon instructors (2016-2020)
Art director of Children and Peace Festivals in a number of cities in Iran and other countries (2009-2020)
Running tale-making workshops with cardboard emoticons for children and instructors at Kanoon centers, Farhangsaras (centers for art-cultural activities) and schools since 2016 up to the present
Running workshops for mothers and children at various art-cultural centers since 2016 up to now
My Life, My Books
I was born in Semnan, a city with desert climate, along with five brothers and two sisters. My father was a worker working at a textile factory. My mother, while taking care of us, was a housewife baking bread in a tandoor, making Gelim, preparing speckles and jam to keep for winter.
I was a diligent student at primary school with lots of love for painting. Sleeping on the thatched roof of our home was abundant in stories and childish imagination. We sprinkled water on the roof on summer nights and kept a clay jar full of water in the direction of night breeze to get cool.
Our night light was a burning oil lamp, and our drinking water was supplied through a water storage located close to our home.To bring water, we had to go down water storage thirty-three steps and then climb them up. The competition of saying “Zoooo…” if we had the breath was part of bringing water from the water storage while coming up the steps.
Listening to mother’s stories and night stories through the radio was among the sweetest moments of going to sleep, with the kites flying in the dark and making imagination for the car headlights running down the mountain in the distance to reach the city.
The moments parts of which made way to the adolescent novel “Patchwork”.
There was a large garden next to our home, with two tall pine trees sitting lovingly next to each other surging into the air. In my imagination, one was a woman and the other a man.
The midnight whistle of the textile factory went with the howling of jackals sought refuge at the neighbor’s garden. At these moments, father would leave home to go to work for the night shift and we would hide under the quilt out of the fear of jackals’ howling. Moments after which our mother would set us on the edge of the roof and by talking to the jackals would try to reduce our nighttime fear.
Jackals’ motionless eyes listening to our mother’s talks were shining like bright yellow lights in the darkness of the midnight. The words echoing in my ears when writing and remembering my childhood.
I was twelve when one evening, with all the kids of the neighborhood, I went to the roof to watch the landing of Apolo 11 on the moon. Moments that reached their climax with the shouts of someone in the distance saying, “The spaceship landed on the moon!” Hospital children riding a toy train landing on the moon might have come from such moments in the novel called “Children of the Moon”.
At some dawns, we would open our eyes with the smell of fresh bread and my mother’s whisperings with other women bakers. The whispers heard from the kitchen on the other side of the yard. On such days, it was everyone's turn to bake bread in our house. The women next to the tandoor talked about everything. Vague conversations were sometimes accompanied by their solos. When the sun would rise, we would go to the kitchen with great appetite waiting for the sweet Toutak (a kind of cookie) our mother had kept for us. These moments later were depicted in “The Lost in the Red Island”. Somewhere in the novel and to find the girl next door, Mahtav, Salim, the teenage hero of the novel, ends in the tandoor of their neighbor and the ceremony of baking bread by women in our neighborhood; Mahtav resistance against the limits her father had set for her.
The half-dark basement of our house was the spot for a big tin storage of bread, chests full of clothes, a lying loom for weaving Gelim, my little brother’s cradle being rocked with mother’s hand from this side to the other side of the basement. While mom was weaving Gelim, the sound of beating the comb harmonized with the upside-down image of shadows of the steps from the other side of the basement door getting formed on the opposite wall.
All these, for me who would sleep on the half woven Gelim next to my mother, would go with imaginations full of tales.
The spooky atmosphere of the basement of our house later changed into the love story of my novel “Me, Her and The Sunflowers”. Somewhere in the novel when the teenage heroes search their old house to find the treasure, they face a pile of forbidden books under the soil instead!
Swimming in mud pools, wandering in the surroundings of water mills, climbing the mulberry trees, riding a thresher pulled by two bulls on the dry wheat sticks, playing traditional games with kids in the neighborhood, and reading books on the roof are my other entertainments when I was a child and a teenage.
Carrying Gelims with a mule for washing in the river close to the city, taking care of the hens and roosters, fixing the thatched houses, setting up Korsi (a traditional heating utensil) in winter days and helping my mother in cleaning the house were the house chores I could do. The endeavors some of which could be seen in “Patchwork”.
The paradise of my life showed me its face when on a snowy day, behind the snow-sweeping machine opening the path for us, with the teacher of the fourth grade in que, we left school. We ended up at a park covered in snow and a beautiful, bricked building with a small board and a little singing bird painted on it: Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults Library. We entered the building. All of a sudden, I found myself before an incredible view still I am living under its influence, still shedding its light on my life. A sort of influence which brought me back from world of trade to writing later. My discovered paradise were the blue shelves filled with books that had dazzled my eyes. Excited and before the caressing eyes of the two young librarians, I was going from one shelf to another enchanted by books. “The Story of the Lost Boy”, a pictorial story from the bible, was the first book I read.
Since then, going to the library after school was my forever concern. Participating at painting, music, play, writing abstract, playing chess workshops, and book reading competition in summer opened the doors of a new world to me. A world which went on until I was admitted to the university. Until then, reading novels such as “Enchanted” , “Jhon Christop”, “The Bared Footed, Lust for Life”, “The Secret of Rose Valley”, “The Catcher in the Rye”, have given new wings to my story-making.
Winning at school competitions in painting, writing stories, poetry, reading books and devising cross words caused me to participate at summer camping in Ramsar. Going to Ramsar camping, a city with green sceneries and incredible northern views were my first getting distance from home while still a teenager.
The visit Queen paid to Kanoon library in our small city was the reason for her to see my writing and illustration for my first story, “The Mystery of Tulip” on the wall of the library and ask the librarian about me and at the end asking me, “What do you like to do when you grow up?” and I, panicking, said, “An author!”. Weeks later, Kanoon Report Magazine with my story printed in it was sent to my school and I was finally an author! With the story of a tulip born under the shadow of a rock asking the wind to show the world to her; finally, she exchanges her short life with visiting the unbelievable world around her. The story of “A Bird in the Chest” in the collection of “We, too, Once Upon a Time” published by Cheshmeh Publication, was the written version of my meeting with the queen that day and the beginning of the process of becoming an author.
My adulthood tagged along with various type of jobs and sometimes odd experiences. This specialty with travelling to various cities in Iran and the world with the intention of visiting and running art-cultural workshops were the reason for me to look for the themes of my stories and novels here and there.
Many of my stories and novels were based on the social approach and the living conditions of the children of my country. The project called “The Injured Children” was the aftermath of the Imposed War on Iran is reflected in my pictorial story: “A Palm for You”, “A Letter to Father” and “A Lantern in the Wind”, “Me and the Dragon of Silk Fort”.
“Girl, Bird, and Her Eyes”, “Tara and her Seagull”, and “The Boy who was Looking out of the Window” are about children with special abilities.
The theme of “Children of the Moon” is the ill children and the children injured in the war. “Badge of Bravery” is about fights and friendships of nomadic people.
My experience as a teacher of art ended in writing a school novel: “Me, Her, and Sunflowers”; a love story depicting the challenge between classic education and the modern one in its domestic version.
I have displayed my love towards the ancient art of my country in “The Return of Professor Hawthorn”.
Having worked in Chabahar Port and Hormoz Island, I witnessed endless efforts of children of labor and street children which wound up in creating “Heart to the Sea”, “Sons of the Sun”, “Stranger and the Sea”, “The Lost in the Red Island”. Novels with themes such as children of labor, looting of national resources, and beliefs of the domestic people of the south coasts of Iran.
Travelling to Canada done with the intension of immigrating and working there, and then returning from this country resulted in writing “Goodnight Torna”.
The hardships of immigrant and asylum-seeking children’s life from Iran in a church in Toronto, along with the perspective seen for the immigrating adolescents of my coutnry coincided with writing a novel which depicts child labor, immigrant children and children of divorce. This novel is the first volume of a trilogy with the theme of Iranian immigrant children in Canada, Sweden, and Afghan immigrant children in Iran.
My trip to Sweden and taking notes of Taraneh’s life, a young girl who was forced to give up on the love of her life because of her father’s insistence; she immigrates to Sweden, then returns to Iran after a period of depression; with taking notes of Afghan children’s life in Iran is my working schedule for this trilogy.
Minding social realities and living conditions of the children of my land have always been important to me more than writing fantasy literature, since many children especially adolescents of my country know the world phenomenon through virtual world and the Internet without knowing much about amazing folkloric and geographical features of Iran. On the other hand, I was not that much far from the plan of the world of fantasy in my books. This characteristic can be seen in “The Smoky-Hat Man’s Lost Dreams”, “Mr. Smokey’s Wife”, “The Dragon’s Eye”, “The Return of Professor Hawthorn”, “Me and the Dragon of Silk Fort”.
The theme of other books can be classified as:
Peace and Friendship: in the following books: The Flower of Friendship, For the Sake of Friendship, Badge of Bravery, The Last Song of the Scarecrow, The Scarecrow’s Burning Heart, The Boy who was Looking out of the Window, Sons of the Sun.
Love to the Peer: Immigrating Bird, Gold-Wing, The Little Ilia, Patchwork, The Lost in the Red Island, Stranger and the Sea, Me, Her, and The Sunflowers.
Nature and Environment: The Smoky-Hat Man’s Lost Dreams, Mr. Smokey’s Wife, The Dragon’s Eye, The Stories of the Law of Jungle, Girl, Bird, and Her Eyes, If I Knew Swan’s Other Name is Hope, and in the collection of my poetry.
Life Skills: Meysa and Her Trouble’s, the first volume of a five-volume collection; The Adventures of the Little Giant, three volume of a ten-volume collection.
Ancient Legends: The Tailless Fox, Bold Hassan and Giant of Fate, Little Nan and the Turning Pumpkin, Queen of Reeds, Uncle Nowrouz and a ten-volume collection called Tales of Grandma.
Iranian Myths: Jamshid King, Arash-The Mountain Braveheart, Angel of Rain and Monster of Drought, Bastour, Cyrus-Son of Mandana, Dariush and Bardya
History: Anahid-Queen of Shadows, ten-volume collection: Humorous Tales of Old Tehran
Art: Return of Professor Hawthorn, Let’s Make Emoticons with Cardboard, Paper Zoo 5, Teaching Art, and Entertainment 1 and 2, Child and Picture 1 and 2, Illustration in Religious Literature of Children and Adolescents of Iran
Children's Songs: Uncle Chain Weaver (Amu Zanjir Baf), Lullabies, Songs of Birthday Party, Songs of the Sun, Songs of the Moon, Mother-Child, and Music.
Humor: A ten-volume collection: Humorous Tales of Old Tehran, An eight-volume collection: Tales of Jungle Law, World Cup in Jungle, The Smoky-Hat Man’s Lost Dreams, Mr. Smokey-Hat’s Wife, Dragon’s Eye
Playing and Sports in Iran: Ball and Polo, Collection of Songs: Uncle Chain Weaver
Artistic and Literal Activities
Child painting instructor, Kanoon, 1976 to 1979
Art teacher at Tehran schools, 1981 to 1993
Editor of Art and Entertainment of Kooshesh, Kanoon, Volumes 1 to 8, 1991 to 1993
Participating at Iran Handicraft Industries Exhibition, Toronto, C. N. E. Exhibition, 1995
Participating at Iran Handicraft Industries Exhibition, Nicosia, 1996
Running painting exhibition at Barg Gallery and Eshrag Cultural Center, 1999, 2000
Scheduling and managing children books illustration meetings, House of Book, meetings 2 to 47, 2001 to 2005
Scheduling and managing meetings at Illustration Association, Textbooks Festivals, House of Artists, 2003 to 2005
Jury for Book of the Year, Children Poetry, 1999 to 2000
Jury for Book of the Year, Children Story, 2000
Jury for the book of the year in illustration, Publishers Association, 2006
Art manager and art-cultural workshop for Iranian and British primary school students by Student Organization, British Council Office in Iran, 2006
Instructing children painting to trainers, Kanoon, all province centers in Iran, since 1999
Jury for illustration festivals, Kanoon, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011
Editor of Mosavar Magazine, Third Textbooks Illustration Festival, 2007
Head of the jury at textbooks festivals, 2004 to 2007
Executer and programmer at felicitating outstanding illustrators of textbooks: 2004, 2005, 2007
Art supervisor at Peyk Adabyat Publication, House of Literature, Atena, 2007 to 2011
Running art-literary workshops for children and adolescents of Bam after the earthquake by Children Book Council and Today Mothers Organization, 2004, 2005
Instructor of art and literature at Office of Developing Children and Adolescents’ Art- Municipality Art-Culture Organization, Tehran, 2006, 2008
Holding 22 meetings about painting, play, puppeteering, story writing for children at the office of developing children and adolescents’ art, Arasbaran Cultural Center, with the participation of children painting specialists: Parviz Kalantari, Gizla Sinaiee, Bijan Nemati Sharif, Nader Fatemi, since 2006 to 2008
Cultural director of children and adolescents painting, and story writing called “Joys of My Land”, Office of Developing Children and Adolescents’ Art, 2006
Research trip to Bologna Book Fair by the Contemporary Art Museum, 2007
Research trip to Montreille Book Fair in Paris, a dialogue with the association of illustrators and association of authors in France by the association of Iranian illustrators- cultural section of embassy of France in Tehran, 2010
Head of planning and art director of the Children and Sustainable Peace Association(CSPA) since 2007 to 2020
Art director of International Children and Adolescents’ Painting Festival “Me and Space”, Children and Sustainable Peace Association, Myr Naoki Organization, Russia, 2007
Running art-cultural festivals and peace workshops with Zoroastrian, Jew, Christian, Sabine and Muslim children in Gorgan, Shiraz, Zahedan, Gheshm, Esfahan, Urumiyeh, Chabahar by Children and Sustainable Peace Association, 2019 to 2020
Running workshop for making cardboard emoticons, Delhi Book Exhibition, Children and Sustainable Peace Association, 2015
Running the meeting for Iran and India illustrators, Children and Sustainable Peace Association, 2015
Meeting Shankar Sisters, Shankar Art Foundation, Delhi, Children and Sustainable Peace Association, 2015
Running Iran-Armenia Children and Adolescents’ Week by Children and Sustainable Peace Association, Khenguaper Library, Yerevan, Armenia, 2016
Running Shahnameh Illustration Exhibition and making emoticons with cardboard, Book Exhibitions Organization, 2019
Story writing instructor to Kanoon trainers
Juror at “The City I Love” Festival, children painting section, Municipality Art-Culture Organization, 2019
Making story with cardboard emoticon workshop
“Storytelling Mothers” workshops
“From Tale to Play” workshops
“Two-Window” workshops, literary
Illustrating courses for children’s books in Iran, Birjand University, with Touran Mirhadi and Noushafarin Ansari, 2001
Art and Literature in Children and Adolescents’ World Stand, Evaz Lar University, with Touran Mirhadi and Noushafrarin Ansari, 2001
Children's Books Illustration in 40’s and 50s in Iran, Yazd University of Art and Architecture, with Mohsen Vaziri Moghadam, 2005
Modernism Characteristics in Stories by Parviz Kalantari, Sales Publication, with Parviz Kalantari and Sirous Ebrahimzadeh, 2006
Gheisar Aminpour and Soroush School in Adolescents’ Poetry, House of Artists, with the cooperation of Association of Children and Adolescents’ Authors, 2008
Translated Articles about Children Painting in Abrang (watercolor) Magazine (Kanoon Magazine for visual arts, 2011, 2012)
Young at Art, Susan Striker, Henry Holt and Company, LL.C, New York, 2008, U.S.A
Why Our Schools Need the Arts, Jessica Hoffman Davis, Teacher College Press, 2008
A Survival Kit for the Elementary in Middle School Art Teacher, Helen D. Hume, 2000, U.S.A
Art Matters (Strategies, Ideas, and Activities to Strengthen Learning Across the Curriculum), Eilleen S. Prince, Zephyr Press, 2002, U.S.A
Art and Creative Development for Young Children, Robert Schirmacher, 2002, U.S.A
Fostering Creativity in Children, Mervin D. Lynch and Carole Ruth Harris, Allyn, and Bacon, 2000, U.S.A
Creative Activities for Young Children, Mary Mayesky, Delmar Cengage Learning, 2002, U.S.A
Teaching Art to Young Children 4 – 9, Rob Bamers, Routledge Falmer, 2002, London
The Art of Teaching Art to Children in School and at home, Nancy Beal, 2001, U.S.A
Understanding Children`s Drawings, Catty A. Malchiodi, the Guilford Press, 1998, New York – London
The Language of Art (Inquiry–based Studio Practices in Early Children Settings), Ann Pelo, Read Leaf Press, 2007, China
How Children Make Art, Lessons in Creativity from Home to School, George Scekely, Published by Teacher College Press, 2006, New York
Drawing and Painting, Children and Visual Representation, Dr. John Mathews, Paul Chapman Publishing, 2003, London
Classroom Strategies (Art for the Very Young Children: Age 3 – 6), Elizabeth Kelly and Joanne MC Conville, Grand Rapid, 1998, U.S.A
How to Talk to Children about Art, Francoise Barbe – Gall, Chicago Review Press, 2005, U.S.A
Art is Fundamental, Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in Elementary School, Eilleen S. Prince, Zephir Press, 2008, U.S.A
Drawing With Children, Mona Brooks, 1993, U.S.A
Drawing for Older Children and Teens, Geraldine Shwartz, 1993, U.S.A
Drawing and Painting, Children and Visual Representation, Dr. John Mathews, Paul Chapman Publishing, 2003, London