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Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I spent Thanksgiving at my cousin’s. I have a ton of cousins, some older, some younger and some I don’t keep in touch with. Thanksgivings were always at my cousin’s house on my father’s side of the family. This year, I was at my cousin’s on my Mom’s side of the family. When I wasn’t a vegetarian, I did a Thanksgiving dinner once and the food turned out great. However, as I’m shifting toward being vegan, it’s getting harder and harder to handle meat products. The thought of killing something and eating it is not appealing to me. I’d rather pick vegetables and fruits.

I suppose Thanksgiving is not about food, but rather about being grateful for what we have, giving to those who don't have and spending time with family and friends. Me and my family are so different and argue over everything. I get along much better with my younger cousins than the older ones because they keep up with what’s going in the world around us and have discussions that actually make sense to me. But, all in all it went well. We didn’t end up killing each other or anything. In fact, we even pulled out the Ouija board, put on some candles and turned off the lights to call on friendly ghosts without success. It was an interesting evening and was nice to see everyone.

Of course, Thanksgiving weekend ended with a trip to an outdoor ice skating rink. We were supposed to go see a movie with my nieces, but the older one couldn’t make up her mind and the younger one insisted on ice skating. 

It was chilly and crowded, but it reminded me of lots of childhood memories of how mom used to take me skating and waited until I finished having fun. There were no “walkers” to prevent a fall as you see in the photo. I just wobbled, hanged on to the rails, skated, fell and got back up again. Yep, good old memories reeled in my mind like a film from yesterday. On one occasion one of my many cousins, who still lives in Iran, landed with her knee on the blade of her skate, blood gushing out. Few weeks later, she was back on that rink.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder - A Symbol of Freedom

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Cyrus Cylinder from the reign of Persia’s Cyrus the Great. It is on loan from the British museum. 

The crowd was mostly Iranians, but there were also a handful of Americans. I believe it is just as important for Iranians to see this as it is for Americans.

This cylinder represents the first known charter of human rights comparable to United States constitution. Thomas Jefferson had two copies of Cyrus biography in his library. A replica of the Cylinder sits in the united nation as a reminder to respect people’s freedom.

History has shown that when Cyrus entered the Babylon, it was a great moment in the history of Jewish people because he freed the enslaved Jews.


Currently, the U.S is working toward building a relationship with Iran. Israel is against opening up negotiations with Iran which is ironic because after Israel, Iran is home to the second largest Jewish population in the middle-east. 


I have been to the Getty villa many times, but this visit was particularly important for me because I went with a group of family and friends and my young nieces got to learn about their roots.


If you live in LA, go see it before the tour is over. It is well worth your time.