By: Jen Russon
September was a busy month for author Dr. Darya Hodaei, an Azerbaijani Turk from Iran. The pharmacist and mother of two lives in the Hidden Hammocks Estates and recently published a multicultural book, Jirtdan’s Halloween, featured first rank in Amazon’s new releases.
The story is about a little boy and his companions venturing into Disney World. They get lost and, to make matters worse, are captured by an ogre.
Darya said her book is a twist on a timeless tale and that the ending is bound to both surprise and enchant her readers. It certainly did that for her children, Kai and Ken, just four and three years old.
Darya’s husband, Dr. Keyvan Yousefi, a clinical research scientist with Kurdish roots who has also experienced linguistic suppression in Iran, fully supports her activities and praises her determination and hard work. He believes Darya is making a meaningful impact on identity awareness and diversity.
“I use my books to raise awareness about inclusion and cultural diversity. I was born in a country in which I was subject to ethnic and linguistic oppression. I never got the chance to attend school in my own mother language, Azerbaijani Turkic.” said Darya.
She added that it had been six years since she immigrated to the United States.
“Coming here and absorbing the culture rapidly proved others were interested in learning more about my Azerbaijani heritage,” she said, adding, “I know about the beauty of my own culture and folklore. I decided to turn my pain to beauty by writing books and spreading the beauty of culture and diversity.”
Darya’s next book, Fun facts about animals; A multilingual pictionary in English, Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Farsi, will be available soon for purchase on Amazon. Subscribe to her Youtube channel to learn more.
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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