Local Historian/Author Goes Undercover in Her Search for the Heart of Iran
09.07.06, 5:21 AM ET


SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As the United States and Iran engage in a battle of wills over Hezbollah, nuclear weapons and sanctions, would you like to give your audience a sense of on-the-ground reality? Would you like to provide them with snapshots of everyday Iranians?

Then talk to Amanda Roraback.

For two weeks in August, Roraback, a Santa Monica author who has analyzed the world's hot spots in a series of "Nutshell" books, traveled through Iran interviewing ordinary Iranians about Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, their views on America and the war on Lebanon, gender roles, religion, Israel and much more.

Roraback found young Iranians (the vast majority of the population) struggling to keep up with their modern counterparts in the west. She found businessmen fretting over the status of their investments under the looming specter of war. She found even religious Iranians worrying that their regime, which uses Islam as a tool to rule, is causing people to turn away from their faith.

"On the surface, life in Iran looks quite good," Roraback said. "Most people have cell phones, cars and relatively unfettered internet access. The stores are full with products from the West, people go to movies, on vacations, to parties. And yet, behind the facade, there was an aura of desperation and frustration. 'We are waiting for a miracle' I was told by one Iranian, 'the situation will change in increments,' said another. One man even posited that Iranians 'pretend to be happy.'"

Roraback was traveling under cover: both physically hidden under the legally required scarf and manteau (thigh-length coat), and figuratively entering as a British tourist. The "disguise" got her into the country and in contact with ordinary people living in a half a dozen cities.

She is available for interviews about her experiences and her "Nutshell" books, which range from Israel to Palestine to Pakistan to the Islamic religion.

For more details on the Nutshell Notes series of books visit www.enisen.com.

Roraback is a public speaker and the author of "Iraq in a Nutshell," "Afghanistan in a Nutshell" (both Los Angeles Times best sellers), "Iran in a Nutshell," "Islam in a Nutshell," "Pakistan in a Nutshell," and "Israel-Palestine in a Nutshell," (the first flip-book offering two perspectives on the Middle East crisis).

Also read first-hand accounts of her trip from her blog (http://www.enisen.com/Iranblog-day1.html).

SOURCE Enisen Publishing -0- 09/07/2006 /CONTACT: Dia Pearson of Enisen Publishing, +1-866-364-7367, dia@enisen.com/ /Web site: http://www.enisen.com / CO: Enisen Publishing ST: California, Iran IN: BKS REA SU: FOR PDT DP-IL -- LATHFNS1 -- 1350 09/07/2006 05:20 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com