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Discussion Questions

Questions and Topics for Discussion

  1. What is the significance of the red poppy, both politically and to Shireen and Roya?
  2. Do you think it was right for Roya’s family to keep the secret behind her birth from her? How do you think this secret affected her motivations in life?
  3. How are Roya and Shireen different? How are they similar?
  4. What do you think of Jenab Elmi and his teaching?
  5. Do you think Roya was right to rebel against her father? What do you think of how she and her father’s relationship at the end of the story?
  6. What of Shireen’s characteristics did Roya admire and why?
  7. What lessons about religion, friendship and family is the author trying to convey?
  8. Why did Roya’s father constantly caution his daughter about not discussing matters of the Shah’s secret police (SAVAK) in public?
  9. Why are religion and politics so intertwined? Is this good or bad, in your opinion?
  10. What do you think becomes of Shireen?

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