Firoozeh Dumas - Shared Humanity through Humor

Date: 03/02/2010

Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Location: Ballroom - Kirby Student Center

Cost: Free


Firoozeh Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran and, in the 1970s, moved to Southern California with her family. She later attended UC Berkeley where she met and married a Frenchman. Her two memoirs are Funny in Farsi and Laughing without an Accent.

Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life in both Iran and America. In 2001, Dumas decided to write her stories as a gift for her two children. Funny in Farsi was on the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and a finalist in 2005 for an Audie Award for best audio book. She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, and is the first Middle Eastern woman ever to be considered for this honor. Critics and readers of all ages have loved her stories. Jimmy Carter called Funny in Farsi "a humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love - of family, country and heritage.”

Dumas’ latest memoir, entitled Laughing without an Accent, was published in May 2008. In April 2005, her one-woman show, “Laughing Without an Accent” opened in Northern California to sold out audiences and ran at Theatreworks in Mountain View , California in 2006.

For the past five years, Dumas has spoken in conferences, schools, churches, Jewish Temples and Islamic centers. Her travels have taken her from the East Coast to the West Coast, from Harvard University to UCLA. Everywhere she has gone, audiences have embraced her message of shared humanity and invited her back for more.  Dumas has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences…and doing so with humor.

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  • Name: Tricia O'Keefe
  • E-mail:
  • Phone: 218-726-7531
  • Sponsored by: the Office of Cultural Diversity, the Diversity Commission, the Kirby Leadership Program, the Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies, and the Commission on Women


Parking is available in the campus pay lots, at campus meetings, and on the campus perimeter (Junction Avenue, Buffalo Street, St. Marie Street).  For more information on parking, visit

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Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Trisha O'Keefe (, 218-726-7531).

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