Ward, Terence 1953?-
WARD, Terence 1953?-
Born c. 1953, in Boulder, CO; son of Patrick (an economic adviser) and Donna Ward; married; wife's name, Idanna. Education: University of California, Berkeley, graduated; University of Geneva International Management Institute, M.B.A.; Emory University, Ph.D.
Management consultant, Inter-Change Consultants, New York, NY. Worked for the Hay Group, New York, NY, and Middle East Industrial Relations Counselors, Athens, Greece.
Searching for Hassan: An American Family's Journey Home to Iran (memoir), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.
Terence Ward is a management consultant who conducts programs and seminars internationally. His focus is on motivation, leadership, team building, communications, and decision-making, and his clients include many Fortune 500 companies and large foreign corporations. He speaks Greek, Italian, Indonesian, Arabic, and Farsi, and advises governments and corporations in the Islamic world. Ward holds dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland.
Ward was born in Colorado but spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia and moved to Iran in 1960. His father was an economic adviser to the National Iranian Oil Company during the period when Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was in power. The Ward family lived a privileged life in Tehran and were served by Hassan Ghasemi, whom Ward and his three brothers called their "Persian father." Hassan and his wife, Fatimeh, cooked and cared for the Ward family and the house, but also became close friends. The Wards left Tehran in 1969. After the fall of the shah in 1979, they had no way of staying in touch with Hassan, and it was not until after the reign of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iran-Iraq war that they were able to return to Iran to find their friend. Ward describes this journey in his book, Searching for Hassan: An American Family's Journey Home to Iran.
Published in January 2002, the book served an unexpected and important purpose because Ward's narrative highlights the achievements and beauty of historical Islamic culture. Many Americans were first exposed to Iran with the 1980 hostage crisis and the rule of Khomeini, and in light of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 (Ward and his wife witnessed the collapse of the World Trade Center from their New York apartment), the inaccurate perception that the world of Islam is only a haven for radicals was too often perceived as being factual.
As the family began their pilgrimage in 1998, they were unclear even as to the name of Hassan's village, but they did eventually find him. "Amazingly," wrote Stephen Lyons in a USA Today online review, "the family traveled freely throughout Iran, without incident, accompanied by drivers and guides, including a colorful and inept Armenian named Avo. Not your typical American tourists, the Wards possess many advantages, including a working knowledge of Farsi. Ward's own command of Iranian culture and history is evident as he eloquently guides the reader through a rich culture dating back 2,500 years to Cyrus the Great."
Adam Goodheart wrote in a New York Times Book Review article that Ward "too often …trips over himself in his eagerness to spill out each new episode of the journey, and in his puppyish affection for his own family and for the Ghasemis. Still, his enthusiasm propels you along. In Ward's telling, the journey becomes a search not just for Hassan but for the Iran he remembers and loves—a country not of black-robed mullahs but of cherry orchards, sitar music, and saffron-flavored ice cream. For thousands of years, he reminds us, the very word 'Persia' suggested a realm of pleasure, color, and light, inspiring Westerners as diverse as Goethe, Whitman, and Emerson."
A Kirkus Reviews contributor maintained that the "best sections" of the book are those that provide historical material. Library Journal's Mary V. Welk called Searching for Hassan "a powerful memoir that plumbs the depths of Iranian culture and tradition." A Publishers Weekly reviewer said Ward "succeeds in his loving portrait of a constantly changing, complex land." "Readers will feel a part of the family," wrote Christine C. Menefee in School Library Journal, "learning how the strengths of each individual contributed to the success of the quest."
In an interview published on the Houghton Mifflin Web site, Ward commented, "My family's search was a path of rediscovery. Uniting with our long-lost Persian friends closed a circle in all our lives. On the journey, we learned that the artistic face of Iran—cinema, music, and the masterpieces of Persian poetry—still resonates in the hearts of the people, far more than the bullhorns of the mullahs. Iranian culture is 2,500 years old. It is refined, rich, and enduring. And above all, it is filled with hospitable courtesy, humor, and friendship."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ward, Terence, Searching for Hassan: An American Family's Journey Home to Iran, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA) 2002.
American Scholar, spring, 2002, Tara Bahrampour, "Persian Pleasure Trip," p. 154.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2001, review of Searching for Hassan: An American Family's Journey Home to Iran, p. 1604.
Kliatt, July, 2003, Edna M. Boardman, review of Searching for Hassan, p. 50.
Library Journal, January, 2002, Mary V. Welk, review of Searching for Hassan, p. 136.
Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2002, Mary Rourke, "An American Puts a Different Spin on Iran's 'Axis' Image," p. E1.
Middle East Journal, summer, 2003, review of Searching for Hassan, p. 526.
New York Times Book Review, March 10, 2002, Adam Goodheart, "Pilgrims from the Great Satan: An Account of a Family's Search for Old Friends in Iran," p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2001, review of Searching for Hassan, p. 54.
School Library Journal, February, 2002, Christine C. Menefee, review of Searching for Hassan, p. 157.
Washington Post Book World, February 24, 2002, Gelareh Asayesh, "Lost Paradise," p. 13
Houghton Mifflin Web site,http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (April 18, 2002), "A Conversation with Terence Ward, Author of Searching for Hassan. "
USA Today online,http://www.usatoday.com/ (January 24, 2002), Stephen Lyons, "Journey Back to Iran Finds Change in Spirit."*