Fleeing the Hijab:
A Jewish Woman’s Escape From Iran

To freedom and a life well-lived

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About the book

A true account of Sima Goel, the Iranian teenager who crossed the most dangerous desert in the world rather than accept the restrictions of life in Iran of the early 1980s. Her quest for freedom is a thrilling, timely inspiration for people longing to create a life of meaning.

Fleeing the Hijab paperback cover
*Available in eBook and paperback.

It was the last straw! The Ayatollah Khomeini had decreed that all women in Iran must wear the hijab, whether they were Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Bahá’í. Thirteen-year-old Sima had gone out into the streets of Shiraz to demonstrate for freedom from the Shah’s oppressive rule, and now that he had fled the country, this was the result: a new regime, and much more dangerous oppression.

The changes Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime forced on the population were totally incompatible with Sima’s ambitions and sense of personal freedom. Blacklisted by her school, unable to continue her studies, mourning the loss of innocent family members and friends murdered by the new regime, and forced to wear the hijab, she realized she had to leave her beloved birthplace and find a country where she could be free to follow her dreams.

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What readers are saying

“I just finished reading your book and I wanted to express my appreciation. You and your family, like many in our congregation, went through tremendous hardship and difficulty. For you freedom was not some theoretical principle but a real goal and a lived experience. Perhaps only those who have lived without it can truly appreciate it. Reading your book enables us to better know and understand the value of this cherished right. The profound stories of the Jews from Arab lands are just now surfacing. They shed an important light on both Jewish history and the recent interaction between Jews and Arabs. Fleeing the Hijab, by Sima Goel exposes us to vital information. In her account we hear of the difficulties for Jews in Iran and we learn of the special circumstances of women. We read of the heartbreak of separation, the trauma of loss, and the very real trials of families under persecution. This is a story of courage and dedication; a story of a Mother’s love and a wonderful story of ambition, adaptation and integration. It is a story of freedom’s call and the response of one woman."
Norma Joseph, Canada’s outstanding Orthodox feminist, University professor
“I couldn’t put this book down! Fleeing the Hijab is a book about oppression, love, courage, determination, and mostly of hope. Dr. Goel’s account of her personal journey touched my heart and soul… what a brave, brave woman! The book is written in such a way as to make you feel like you too are on this journey with Sima and her family. Heart-wrenching at times, yet so full of spirit, and goodness. After reading this book, it really makes you appreciate the freedoms we all take for granted. Loved it!”
Dr. Laurie Betito, Psychologist, Radio Host CJAD

About the Author

Author Dr. Sima Goel

Sima arrived in Canada, penniless, unable to speak either English or French, having no family members other than her sisters with whom she had travelled. Despite suffering severe culture shock, she still found the strength to do what it took to become a Canadian, and worked, scrimped and saved for her education. After many years, she became a successful professional, fulfilling the dream of freedom that had fuelled her youthful political protests, her flight into danger, her years of insecurity and her determination to help others.

Dr. Sima Goel has been practicing chiropractic since 1994. She obtained her wellness certification in 2006 and is currently working toward a degree in functional neurology. Dr. Sima Goel has shared her journey in many cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, Florida, Windsor and Montreal. She has also been an outstanding speaker in many organizations, from the Pink lady Woman of Action for ICRF, Cote St-Luc Library, CJA Mini Tune-Up for Freedom, CJAD and many more. Dr. Goel gives workshops on optimum health and well-being and writes a weekly column on health and wellness for a local newspaper. Dr. Goel lives in Montreal, Canada, with her loving husband and her two energetic teenage sons.

Media & Events

An Afternoon with Dr. Sima Goel

An afternoon with Dr. Sima Goel, author of Fleeing he Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape from Iran.

Beth Ora Sisterhood Presents their Annual Women's Brunch

On Sunday, May 3, 2015 Sima will be a guest speaker at the Beth Ora Congregation in Ville St-Laurent, Montreal Read More

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