Crossing Cultural Boundaries with Leslie Ahmadi

Fierce Conversations with Toby

31-10-2023 • 49 mins

Watch the video interview here!

Transcripts available at https://tobydorr.com/podcast-schedule/

“A road can always be found between two hearts.”

- Leslie Ahmadi, language coach, cross-cultural/diversity consultant, author of the upcoming book Road Between Two Hearts: A Black American Bride Discovers Iran, and today’s guest on Fierce Conversations with Toby

Some of our fierce topics today:

[00:05] Introduction to the Podcast: Understanding how different cultures, races, and countries can come together to create an extended family.

[01:05] Discussing Favorite Color: Toby and Leslie discuss Leslie's favorite color, brown, and how it became her favorite due to it complementing her complexion.

[08:24] Leslie's Memoir: Leslie talks about her upcoming memoir titled Road Between Two Hearts: A Black American Bride Discovers Iran.

[21:11] Returning to the USA: Leslie shares her difficult decision to return to the United States from Iran and how it impacted her family, including her husband and children.

[26:05] Persian Culture: not being aware of certain customs and how a lack of awareness can lead to misunderstandings.

[27:21] Living with Extended Family: Leslie’s experience of living in Iran and staying with her husband's family before moving into their own house.

[28:44] Living in a Multi-Generational Family: Toby and Leslie discuss their shared experience of living in multi-generational families.

[30:05] Leslie Ahmadi Offers Advice on Cross-Cultural Relationships: the importance of understanding one's own values and recognizing cultural differences.

About Leslie Ahmadi:

Long before she could speak another language or have a sophisticated discussion on “cross-cultural relations,” Leslie Powell, an African American child from Connecticut, was fascinated by the glimpses of other worlds surrounding her. By the time she was four, she had staged her first imaginary flamenco dance, mastered half a dozen imaginary foreign languages, and traveled to countless made-up foreign lands. Her favorite recording artist was Harry Belafonte, known for his colorful collection of folk songs from across the world.

She studied Latin and Spanish in school, traveled to Italy, Spain, and Mexico in her secondary and post-secondary years, and embarked on a career as a language instructor of Spanish and English as a Second Language. While pursuing a Ph. D. in foreign language and culture education at The Ohio State University (1987), she met her future husband Mahmoud, a doctoral student in agronomy and gentleman from Iran who would eventually redirect her path from “established Spanish professor in America” to “adventurer in the Middle East.”  After four years of living and working with him as an English language professor and coach in Iran, Leslie’s own cultural experience had profoundly affected her.  She realized then that, upon her family’s return to the States, she would no longer be content with teaching language alone.  Instead, she would actively pursue the career of a cross-cultural educator, trainer and consultant.  She also knew that a book of her cross-cultural adventures was already brewing inside her.

After being hired as “Director of Spanish for the Professions” at her alma mater The Ohio State University, her post led her to several other opportunities to present on cross-cultural issues both domestically and abroad.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Lesli Ahmadi:

Website

____________________________________

Toby Dorr:

Books and Audiobook

Website

Patreon

YouTube

Instagram

Facebook

Or head to https://linktr.ee/fierceconversations for all things Fierce Conversations with Toby.

Credits:

Created by Toby Dorr.

Produced by Number Three Productions, a division of GracePoint Publishing.

Theme song:

Lisa Plasse: Composer, arranger, and flutist

Caroline Parody: Piano

Tony Ventura: Bass

For more information on these fabulous musicians, please go to https://tobydorr.com/theme-song/

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