About the Author

Born and raised in Kentucky to an American Mother and Persian Father, I grew up discussing politics and world affairs at the dinner table. Those discussions–and the fact I grew up Iranian-American in Central Kentucky–shaped my perspective and influenced me to study political science and international relations. I earned my BA in Political Science from Murray State University and my MA in Diplomacy from the University of Kentucky.

I’m also an avid sports fan. If I’m not reading or writing about the Middle East or working on this project, you can find me watching soccer (Liverpool FC, specifically), pacing nervously in front of the TV during University of Louisville basketball games, yelling at Tony Romo during Dallas Cowboys games, or watching the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB playoffs–because lets face it, they’re playing in October every year.

Follow me on twitter @davidshamsky.

2 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. I enjoy your posts. I came across your site several months ago after much digging through Google searching your father’s name. I was a student of his in Paducah. My educational experience at St. Mary was life changing and your father contributed to that change. I was a non-Catholic who transferred to the school because I feared I would never make it out of high school if I stayed in public education. I thrived on their alternative education and went from a near failing student to one who excelled and embraced education. I eventually ended up with a Master’s degree and include teaching as one of my vocations. Growing up in W. KY I couldn’t wait to leave. The narrow attitudes you refer to in your blog were oppressive and I couldn’t imagine living my life there. I spent 25 years in Michigan and have now been in Portland, OR for 17. It has been several years since I have been back to KY and I haven’t been to the Paducah area since 2004 when my Mother passed away. Please give my regards to your father. It has been close to 50 years and I realize that the chances are slim that he would remember me, but I remember him fondly.


    • Sorry I took a while to reply. I hope you are doing well. I’ll make sure to let him know you said hello. We are definitely kindred spirits when it comes to our disappointment in how rural kentucky can be narrowminded and often embracing of the visceral as opposed to deeper thought. I’m glad I can provide some sort of sounding board for you or some feeling of justification for the feelings you’ve had for decades.


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