In 2014 I went on my first academic trip to the city of Albuquerque in New Mexico. Walking alone one afternoon in its historic downtown, I stopped and stared at this house with walls of clay in the fashion of the historic clay buildings in Iran ¬– in my hometown of Mashhad and in other cities. It was simple but sophisticated, and old. It seemed as enigmatic as my own culture, with the metaphorical “Sale” sign on the door. I wondered who had lived here and when, and what had happened to the house that it was now for sale.