Angella Nazarian was born in Tehran, Iran in the late 1960s. Her father, who worked in a bazaar as a trader and importer, was born in Rasht, a port town in Northern Iran. Angella remembers her family blending both tradition and modernity in their daily lives. Believing in the traditional roles of women, Angella’s maternal grandmother wore a chador, a traditional veil worn by Persian women. While she had minimal formal education as a girl, at age 78 when she came to live in Los Angeles, Angella’s maternal grandmother hired a private tutor to teach her both English and Hebrew. Angella’s paternal grandmother embraced modernity in a different way; a widow who raised Angella’s father alone, Angella’s paternal grandmother loved western clothing and was known for sharing her thoughts and opinions freely and with self-assured candor.


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