Mahtob Mahmoody

Subject of the Pulitzer Prize nominated autobiography, “Not Without My Daughter,” Mahtob Mahmoody has spent much of her life, alone and in tandem with her mother, Betty Mahmoody, sharing her message of hope and inspiration with audiences throughout the world.

In 1984, what was to be a two-week family vacation to her Iranian-born father’s homeland, turned into a fight for freedom when her father declared that the family was staying in Iran until they died. Mahtob was just four years old. For eighteen months, as Moody’s hostages, Betty and Mahtob endured his brutal captivity and almost daily Iraqi air raids. They were eighteen months filled with quiet desperation, perseverance, faith and a never-ending hope of escape.

The internationally best-selling book, “Not Without My Daughter,” written by Betty after their miraculous escape, recounts the horrors of those eighteen months and their unimaginable journey to freedom. It was made into a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner, Sally Field and Alfred Molina.

Mahtob was not new to fighting for her life, when at the age of 13, she was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. More than once, she has battled back from the brink of death.

Now an adult, Mahtob reflects on the hard-earned lessons gleaned from a childhood marred by the radicalization of her Iranian-born father during the Iranian Revolution, war, domestic violence that spanned continents and decades, and living with a chronic illness. Despite the trauma she has faced, Mahtob’s story is one of gratitude and joy. Drawing the best from her Iranian and American heritages, Mahtob employs anecdotes from her life to illustrate the beauty of a multi-cultural existence. She is a harbinger of peace not hatred, of forgiveness not bitterness, of celebrating the good AND the bad experiences in life that mold our character.

Mahtob Mahmoody is a 2002 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She works in a non-clinical capacity in one of the nation’s largest mental health organizations and is the author of the international bestseller, “My Name is Mahtob.”

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