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Not Without My Daughter Part I


NotWithout My Daughter Part I

NotWithout My Daughter Part I

Themovie, “NotWithout My Daughter Part I”is the real story of an American woman and her daughter who weretrapped in Iran. The main character in the movie is Betty Mahmoody.She is an American citizen, and a Christian by faith. Similarly, sheis married to an Iranian-American doctor called Doctor Sayyed Bozorg`Moody` Mahmoody. Betty met Moody at the clinic he was working whenshe had visited the clinic to receive backpain treatment. The couplemarried and conceived a daughter they named Mahtob Maryam Mahmoody.In 1984, Moody requested Betty to accompany him on a two-week visitto Iran so that she could meet his family. However, Moody broke thepromise after they arrived in Iran. He declared that they were allgoing to remain in Iran indefinitely. This was against Betty’swish, but she could not leave the country because a husband in Iranhad absolute authority over his wife. Betty contacts the SwissEmbassy, the American Interests’ Section, but she discovers thatthe embassy could not help her because she was legally an Iranian byvirtue of marrying one. This compelled her to give in to Moody’sdemands in order to win his trust and device an escape plan. Moodyreverts to his strict Islamic heritage and becomes abusive to hiswife. Betty’s plan to seek assistance from underground worldinitially yields no reason after the smugglers promise to take herout of the country, but without her daughter. Betty went back to theabusive home so that she could get more time to find people who couldhelp both her and her daughter escape. This decision compelled herwithstand the torture of her husband’s Iranian family until shefound a person who promised to get both of them out of the countrysecretly. The story line of the movie is based on Betty’s strugglesin Iran with the abusive family in law, her forceful detention, andthe final escape plan with the help of Iranian smugglers to Turkey.This research will identify various cultures portrayed by the author,then use Purnell model to create a guide to create a guide for newhealthcare professionals coming to Iran for the first time.

Overview,inhabited localities, and topography

Asan American, Betty Mahmoody was raised in a society that recognizedand respected free speech, individualism, egalitarian relationships,and the most superior status, capability for controlling theenvironment, friendliness, and volunteerism. The society alsoemphasizes on physical comfort and material wellbeing, which in turnmakes both women and men vigorous in the search for wealth. On thesame note, the youth seek methods for self-improving themselves,especially physically. They have deep fear of aging. As a result,many advertisers are ever promoting substances that youths can use tomaintain their young and beautiful looks. On the contrary, Iranianwomen are oppressed both physically and psychologically. Men are theheads, and responsible for providing their family, thus women have tobe subjective to men. Similarly, the youths do not have to investexcessively on substances to keep them good-looking, and to someextent looking young. This is because women are expected to wear longblack dresses and cover their heads and faces when they are going outto interact with others. Most American women are educated, thus theyare also breadwinners (Mahmoody &amp Hoffer, 1988). This contrastswith Iran’s women because most of them depend on their husbands toprovide for the families. In summary, American women migrating toIran are vulnerable to culture shock because the Sharia law gives menin general, and husbands in particular, absolute power over women.


Thedominant language in Iran is Arabic, although people do communicatein English and myriads of local languages. For instance, Betty taughtthe teachers at the school English and they returned the favor bytraining her Farsi language. When doctors are communicating medicalinformation, they should be aware of the preferred language of apatient. Some Iranians do speak English, but it is mainly BritishEnglish, which may differ slightly in spelling and wording ofstatements. The Iranians have a heavy accent, thus doctors may preferto send a written message to avoid miscommunication. In some cases,the translation service is essential for healthcare experts deliveraccurate information. The body language and eye contact is notcrucial because women are even supposed to cover up their faces,including, eyes in some cases. This implies that patients may misssome crucial body language cues if the message is communicated inperson. Arabs are comfortable speaking from a close range, thus adoctor can keep his or her voice down during a conversation with apatient. Doctors should also understand that wives in Iran take theirfirst name and their husband’s last name, for example, BettyMahmoody. On the other hand, men keep their first and second names,then take their father’s surname, for instance, Sayyed Bozorg`Moody` Mahmoody. Lastly, the doctors should understand thatrelationships are essential when giving patient information. Medicalresults should be handed over to the patients’ next of kin orparents (Mahmoody &amp Hoffer, 1988).

Familyroles and Organization

Aman, husband, is the head of a household. Women are mainly homemakerswhile husbands are the breadwinners. This implies that Iranianhouseholds are patriarchal. In case of a major medical decisionaffecting a family, a doctor should consult a male representative ofthe family. In case a woman has a medical problem, she is supposed tocommunicate with her husband who will in turn arrange for medicalcheck-up. Irrespective of a woman’s education level, Iranian lawsstill place her beneath a man’s guidance. Moreover, economicachievement cannot make an Iranian woman more powerful than herhusband, thus doctors should give medical report and critical medicaldecisions to a woman’s husband or a male representative of herfamily (Mahmoody &amp Hoffer, 1988). Iranian culture valueschildren, thus senior family members’ advice and educate childrenon various critical topics such as sexual desires and substanceabuse.


Foreigndoctors working in Iran may experience the problem of the barrier. Arabic is widely used, but many immigrants and uneducated personscannot speak in the language. This means that foreign doctorsintending to work in the nation should startby learning thelanguage in order to communicate effectively. The doctors should alsoacquire the relevant paperwork in order to start working. AlthoughMahmoody was an experienced doctor and licensed to operate in theUnited States, he could not secure a job in Iran because he lackedessential approval documents by the local authority. However, foreigntrained medical experts may secure employment positions in hospitalsif a shortage of doctors occurs before the local authorities approvean expert. Mahmoody was called to work in a hospital even before hereceived local approval of his skills because Iran was at war, andthe large number of patients overwhelmed many hospitals. Iranianmedical profession emphasizes on timeliness and punctuality, thedoctors should ensure to attend patients within the least timepossible. Lastly, nurses should remain subjective to the physicians.In addition, they should ensure to follow the physicians’instructions strictly in order to deliver desirable results (Mahmoody&amp Hoffer, 1988).


Physiciansshould ensure to research on biological and skin color variations ofthe local people so that identifying skin conditions may become easy. For instance, the procedure a physician would use to detect skincancer in African Americans with dark skin is different from theapproach used for detecting a similar problem among light-skinnedpersons. Similarly, skin color and biological factors do affect thevulnerability of people to skin conditions and other geneticdiseases. Body habits vary across different ethnics and races, thusthe significance of new doctors in Iran taking time to understand thehealth condition of the locals. Moreover, some people come fromtopographies that make them vulnerable to various conditions. Thismakes it essential for healthcare physicians to familiarizethemselves with various environmental conditions and high-riskdiseases that given groups of locals, races, and imigrants in thecountry are likely to be suffering (Mahmoody &amp Hoffer, 1988). Forinstance, people living close to large water basins are vulnerable tomalaria while individuals from the desert places are vulnerable toskin cancers caused by the sun’s ultraviolet.

HighRisk Behaviors

Newphysicians in Iran will need key risk factors in the country. Unlikein countries where alcohol, tobacco, and sexually transmitteddiseases are rampant in the population, Iran has strict laws and aculture that prohibits alcohol, extramarital affairs, and smoking. Some of the major risk factors include poor dieting and dangerousdriving practices. Physicians should learn preferred local diets forthe locals so that they can recommend healthy foods that patients caneasily access. Lastly, childbearing practices are other high-riskbehaviors among Iranians. Physicians should seek to build trust withpatients so that they can open up concerning private issues thatcould risk their lives (Mahmoody &amp Hoffer, 1988). In some cases,physicians should seek try to develop rational thinking with thelocals so that they can win the trust or detect problems among theirpatients easily.


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Mahmoody,B., &amp Hoffer, W. (1988). Notwithout my daughter.New York: St. Martin`s Paperbacks.

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