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Sunday, November 15, 2015 // 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Gold for Sugar Reading and Book Signing

Free to Public

Make reservations at Philadelphia Art Alliance


The Philadelphia Art Alliance (PAA) continues its ongoing series of book signings with a cultural presentation and reading from Gold for Sugar by Dr. Javad Mohsenian.  The late afternoon event includes a conversation on relations and relationships within the Middle East by scholar Dr. Thomas Ricks, selected readings from Gold for Sugar by Dr. Mohsenian, and a musical presentation by Dr. Mustapha Shayegan and Hasan Shahpari.  

Iran has become a central topic in US foreign and domestic affairs, making headline news almost daily.  Through poetry, politics and Persian music, Dr. Mohsenian and his colleagues will create an evening that intertwines each element into a rich and complex perspective on contemporary Persian culture and political life.

Philadelphia novelist and psychiatrist, Dr. Mohsenian will debut his sixth book and fifth novel with this event. Published by Ketab Publishing Corporation, Gold for Sugar is a collection of short stories and a novella encompassing East and West.

The Iranian-American author presents many of these cultural conflicts in the form of stories. Utilizing the lens of understandings and misunderstandings between the two countries, Dr. Mohsenian explores topics of religion, race, prejudice, integration, and exploitation as he offers insights into life and love. He looks into mankind’s struggle in the face of all kinds of intrusions. Gold for Sugar is a human drama influenced by events Dr. Mohsenian has witnessed.

Dr. Javad Mohsenian


As a member of the Bucks County Writers Workshop in Doylestown, PA, the physician-author received recognition in a contest for a story of the supernatural; one of his writing pieces, about the escape of a member of a brutalized religious minority to the western world, was compared with the acclaimed novel The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini.

Inspired by the living conditions of farmers in his homeland, Dr. Mohsenian wrote his first novel, Waves in the Wheat Fields, while still a high school student. After passing Iran’s competitive medical school entrance examination, he wrote a bestselling guide to college entrance exams, which enabled him to publish his first novel. Other published works include: Today is also Late, depicting the struggle of youth against old traditions in his native country, Persian Moonlight, a love story, and 9/11 Children, his first book for young readers.



Dr. Thomas Ricks is an independent scholar following forty years of teaching and researching in the Middle East. He has taught at University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Georgetown University, and Macalester College.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Ricks taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Iran III Project from 1964 to 1966 in the high schools of Mashhad and Mahabad (Iran).  He returned to the United States to attend Indiana University for graduate studies in Persian Language and Literature (M.A.) and in Middle Eastern History (Ph.D.).  Dr. Ricks returned to Iran to complete his doctoral research, and to teach Middle East history at the Tehran International School (Iranzamin) in Tehran, Iran. Since then, Dr. Ricks co-published two works on Modern Persian literature, a textbook on the Middle East: Past and Present, published his dissertation on Southern Iran and the ports of the Persian Gulf, and compiled and edited the diaries and papers of Dr. Khalil Totah of Ramallah, Occupied West Bank, Palestine.



Dr. Musta2b15433b-b62d-4986-a21c-2cc0fbd21db4pha Shayegan will lend his musical talents to the evening by sharing Persian culture on the iconic sitar and the santour.  The santour is a trapezoid shaped hammered dulcimer or string musical instrument made of walnut, with seventy two strings. The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music.

A graduate of Tehran University School of Medicine, Dr. Shayegan fulfilled his medical-surgical internship at Bergen Pines Hospital in Paramus, N.J. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. Subsequently, Dr. Shayegan advanced his training at Hahnemann University, earning an oculoplastic surgery fellowship. Dr. Shayegan has remained at Hahnemann University where he is now Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology.



Hasan Shahpari will showcase his musical talents on taar, a Persian long-necked, waisted instrument, shared by many cultures and countries like Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan, and other areas near the Caucasus region.

Hasan Shahpari is a member of the Department of Sociology faculty at Villanova University. Prior to beginning his teaching career, Shahpari was the Director of Social Research and General Director at Iranian National Radio and Television.  Dr. Shahpari received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Shiraz (Pahlavi) University and his Masters of Business from the Harvard Business School affiliate, Iran Center for Management Studies (ICMS).  He earned his Master’s Degree in Medical Sociology and Ph.D. in areas of Stratification, Culture, Sociological Theory and Religion from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has been the Chairperson of a sundry panel discussions in the United States as well as in a world conference on Muslim Philosopher, Mulla Sadra in Iran.