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The Author

Howard Lee grew up in Kenya before moving to the UK. His lifelong fascination with Persia (Iran) began when he first met his Persian wife in London University. Lee wrote and illustrated “Jamshid and the Lost Mountain of Light” after a visit to Persepolis, in Iran. He was inspired by the sight of his son Daniel gazing through the same windows as the biblical Daniel may have looked through, some 2500 years ago. For the novel Lee blended his personal observations in Persepolis and elsewhere in Iran with historical research and memories of long African ‘safaris’.

After favorable reviews, Howard Lee was awarded a Persian Golden Lioness Award for Best Children’s Book in Budapest, Hungary, in 2006.

Lee now lives in New Jersey USA, with his wife and two sons, where his family commitments are combined with writing and painting, as well as work in the community, including lecturing about Ancient Persia and Iranian heritage.


The picture that started it all - the author's son gazing through a window at Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid)

The picture that started it all! This is my Son Daniel looking through one of the windows of the Apadana at Persepolis.

Hover over the other pictures for their explanation.

The author at Persepolis Return to Persepolis

Even a full day exploring the various palaces and tombs in the hillside cannot do justice to this wonder of the world. From the ashes of Alexander's fire in the museum to the sarcophagus of Artaxerxes (Ardashir) I, from the drainage conduits hewn into the bedrock to the statues hidden behind the museum, the site revealed new treasures. Despite the conspicuous display of power in the architecture and sculptures, their designers had gone out of their way to depict friendship and joy. The gentle touch of a noble's hand on his colleague's shoulder, or hands joined in friendship, speak volumes of the true nature of the Persian's power.
The author at Persepolis  
The author interviewed on Iranian TV Interviewed by Iran's Channel 3 TV channel during a visit to Persepolis in July 2008. The interview, conducted in Farsi, explored the author's impressions of Persepolis and its significance to the world. The interview was broadcast along with the opinions of other visitors to Persepolis on July 22. The channel is often referred to as the youth channel, due to its large amounts of programming dedicated to sports. The channel broadcast major Iranian sport events, mini-series, comedies, and movies (both foreign and domestic). The channel is believed to be the most popular and widely viewed of the major television channels in Iran (Source: Wikipedia).
Alborz Mountains Exploring the Alborz Mountains
Lee and sons in the Alborz Mountains Exploring the Alborz Mountains with my sons
Howard Lee delivering his acceptance speech Howard Lee holding Golden Lioness Award Howard and his wife Mojgan at the Persian Golden Lioness Awards Persian Golden Lioness Award for the Best Children's Book in Budapest in 2006.

The event was hosted by Dr. M. Dorbayani and his wife Dr. Marjan Abdi. Celebrity Omid Djalili gave the opening address.

Other honorees:

Omid Djalili , (whose movie credits include “Casanova,” “Over The Hedge,” “Gladiator,” “The Mummy,” and “Modigliani”) received the award for Best Actor. Shohreh Aghdashloo (“X Men: The Last Stand,” “The Lake House,” “American Dreamz,” and nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for her role in the film "House of Sand and Fog") accepted her award for Best Actress by video, as did Dr. Azar Nafisi awarded for her bestseller "Reading Lolita in Tehran". Non-Iranians who have also contributed to Persian-related culture were also awarded, including the legendary British star Vanessa Redgrave (“Howard’s End”, “Camelot”) and British costume designer Jane Robinson  (“Spartacus”, “Egypt”) both of whom recently worked in the movie: "The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam", directed by Kayvan Mashayekh , recipient of the award for Best Director.

Hungarian Pop idols NOX received an award, as did Israeli World Music Icon The Idan Raichel Project . New Yorker Monika Jalili received the award for Best Soprano, and gave a stunning performance of traditional Persian songs sung in flawless Farsi despite not being a native speaker of Farsi.

In this high-profile international event, the organizers emphasized not only a civilized Iranian heritage of thousands of years, but also how the artistic fusion of Persian and Western influences is a rich vein of inspiration today.

Howard Lee with Omid Djalili at Heroes Square, Budapest With Omid Djalili in Budapest