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Sedigheh Sholeh Karimi

About this Interview

Sedigheh Sholeh Karimi, born in Tehran, Iran in 1960, immigrated to the United States with her husband in 1979. She, and her two young children, moved back to Iran in 1984 for 10 years, unable to return to the US due to the war in Iran. While she was gone, her husband purchased a small convenience store in Port Richey, Florida. Upon her return, as entrepreneurs, they expanded their very successful business to include a restaurant across the street from the original convenience store. Sholeh became a US citizen in 2002, and considers herself American Iranian, as she feels the US feels like home. In this interview with Gary Bennett in October 2022 (for his project for History 4515:  Culture and History in Modern Iran) she discusses her memories of growing up in Tehran, how her family viewed religion, and how her multiple moves to and from Iran and the US have changed and expanded her ideas of home, cultural belonging, and the strength of a familial bond.

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Development Notes

Additional Resources


Vase with a Photograph of the Karimi Children

Young Sedigheh Sholeh Karimi is pictured on the far left, alongside her siblings: Zohra, Mameh, and Morteza.


Mahdi Karimi

Father of Sedigheh Sholeh Karimi.


Irandokht Karmpanh

Mother of Sedigheh Sholeh Karimi.


"We Stand with the Women of Iran #Masha Amini" Building Wrap

In Fall 2022, while working on his interview with Ms. Karimi for History 4515: Culture and History in Modern Iran, Gary Bennett highlighted this connection to Iranian current events near his home in downtown Los Angles.  The building wrap that Bennett captured in November 2022 shows local support for the Masha Amini Protests which began in Iran weeks prior, in September 2022.


Books & Peer-Reviewed Articles

Abrahamian, Ervand. A History of Modern Iran. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Link.

American-Iranian Dialogues from Constitution to White Revolution, c. 1890s-1960s. Edited by Matthew K. Shannon. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022. Link.

Dallalfar, Arlene. "Iranian Women as Immigrant Entrepreneurs." Gender & Society 8, no. 4 (1994): 541-561. Link.

Min, Pyong Gap and Mehdi Bozorgmehr. 2000. "Immigrant Entrepreneurship and Business Patterns: A Comparison of Koreans and Iranians in Los Angeles." The International Migration Review 34 (3): 707-738.   Link.



Florida Persian/Iranian Community Facebook Site