It Ain't So Awful Falafel Summary & Study Guide

Firoozeh Dumas
This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of It Ain't So Awful Falafel.
This section contains 563 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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It Ain't So Awful Falafel Summary & Study Guide Description

It Ain't So Awful Falafel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on It Ain't So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas.

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Dumas, Firoozeh, It Ain't so Awful, Falafal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, New York, New York, 2016. Kindle AZW file.

• Note: Zomorod sometimes refers to herself as "Cindy" because her name is hard to pronounce for some people. However, a new girl who is actually named Cindy moves next door to Zomorod. For the sake of clarity, Zomorod is the only name used for Zomorod's character throughout this guide.

As the novel opens, Zomorod Yousefzadeh is about to make another move with her family. Zomorod hates the fact that they are moving. She has moved several times already, including a move from Iran to California and back. This time, they are moving to Newport Beach, California. Her father is an engineer working in the petroleum industry. Her mother is a housewife who has learned only a few words of English and who depends on Zomorod to translate for her in every social situation.

With this move, Zomorod had decided to use an American name, Cindy, to avoid the situations in which other people cannot figure out how to pronounce her name. Shortly after moving in, Zomorod meets a girl her age whose name happens to be Cindy. Zomorod is so excited to have met someone who seems to want to be friends that she tries to be the kind of girl Cindy will continue to befriend. When one of her comments offends Cindy's overwhelming love of horses, Cindy severs their friendship.

When school starts, a girl named Carolyn introduces herself to Zomorod and the two discover they have a lot in common. They are soon best friends and spend hours swimming, playing games, and talking. Carolyn helps Zomorod begin to expand her experiences by attending Girl Scouts. They welcome new friends into their circle. Zomorod realizes that she now has true friends who accept her as she is.

Meanwhile, Iran is in turmoil. Zomorod and her parents, Mohsen and Nastaran, try to understand what is happening. The Shah is forced out and Ayatollah Khomeini takes over control of the government. Many Iranians are forced to flee while others are killed. The situation reaches a crisis when Iranians take Americans hostage. At that point, anti-Iranian sentiment reaches Zomorod's neighborhood. She begins seeing bumper stickers that cite hatred for all Iranians, even though Zomorod and her family do not condone the actions of the kidnappers or the new laws being put in place in their country. The project Mohsen has been working on is shut down when America and Iran become enemies and no one else will hire him, apparently because of his ethnicity. Zomorod discovers a dead hamster on her doorstep with a hate note.

Eventually, the kidnapping crisis is resolved, but the family has been living on their savings and Mohsen announces they have no choice but to return to Iran. Zomorod is afraid of her future in a country that now treats women as second-class citizens controlled by a government that condones violence. She briefly considers remaining in American with friends, but knows that her family has to stay together, regardless of what they are facing. Two neighbors have been supportive of Zomorod's family, and they reach out to friends who are searching for qualified engineers. Mohsen quickly lands a job, securing the family's future in America.

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This section contains 563 words
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