Monthly Archives: August 2007

Story of Pride Parade

Today Vancouver residents witnessed a great sample of peacekeeping.

It is essential to acknowledge the Pride Parade as a public symphony of peace.

We had a carnival of colors, a public display of open-mindedness, and a forum for group cohesiveness. This gathering was recognition of tolerance, acceptance, and respect for different styles of life than the mainstream.

We had Pride Parade, a celebration that is known originating from the Gay Community, a recognized group of people who choose to have various type of style of life and sexual orientation. Yet, the main point is the choice these people make and the level of freedom this society has for its citizens!

Pride Parade is an international event happening in most western countries. Here in Vancouver a crowd of people attend this rainbow of colors and this multifaceted festival to share the joy that these proud people have.

This is just another reason for being happy and being proud. I use the term “another” since we residents of Vancouver observe numerous occasions being celebrated in this outgoing city.

This event has become a public celebration of differences, people with different races, colors, religion, and status, who all came out to say; we are proud of who we are!

In our Iranian culture we have never ever have had any celebration of our differences. This event in Vancouver should be a sing to us. We can always be proud of who we are despite of all our different belief systems, religions, status, and cultural belongingness.

Standing there and watching all these happy people who were dancing and laughing on the streets, I was thinking, could we ever be able to have this type of attitude in Middle East?

Interestingly, this event is supported by all kind of government offices to small businesses and charity organization. We could watch Vancouver’s mayor on his wheelchair who was in the parade, we could see members of various churches, and we could see people from the Jewish Community.

On one placard we could read:

“In every religion there is homosexuality and homophobia”

I could not read the next placard after this one, yet, I can assume it would ask people in every religion for tolerance.

This was when I started to think:

  • it is up to us how we want to live our lives; with peace or without
  • it is our responsibility to keep the peace, with those unlike us and alike
  • it is our choice to accept people and ourselves as who we are

What is your choice like?

August 5, 2007


Lion women

I met many lion women today.

We use this phrase in our daily life: you are such a “shir zan” or lion woman !

We honor brave, outspoken, hardworking, and resilient women with this name. I guess we do not have any name for brave men because we assume men are brave anyways.

In this context I’ve met many Lion women throughout my life and I am sure we all have met those women out there.

Today, I was invited to participate in a community group of Iranian women in West Vancouver, who get together to brake the cycle of isolation. There were 20 of us Iranian women in this meeting, women from all walks of life and from all ages.

We talked about the notion of Migration in our Iranian culture.

I asked these women to give me some words which they associate to Migration as a process, phenomenon, and concept.

This is the list of what these women came up with:

· Movement – development (Taagir va Tahavol)

· Self-sufficiency (khod-kafaie)

· Knowing myself (shenakhte khodam)

· Letting go of attachment (del kandan az delbastegi)

· New life (zendegie novin)

· Independency (esteghlal)

· Finding creativity (kashfe khalagiat)

· Development (takamol)

· Growth (roshd)

· Planting in (galame zadan)

· Improvement

· Finding new experience

· Depression first

· Difficulty finding work and life

· To solve everything by self

· Have no support

· Change world view (did be donia avaz shodan)

· Be patient (sabor bodan)

· Rebuild (dobareh sakhtan)

· Get to know perceptions (shenakhte mafahim)

· Was negative, became positive

· Fleeing (farar)

· People know give self worth

· In Iran we live for people’s word

· Satisfying with god’s satisfaction

· Accepting (pazira)

· Lots of struggle, challenged with new things

· Finding no husband

· Many people out there

· Change with a high price

· New life, new world, new me, what was out there back then is changed now

· Live my life now, much happier, much more content, less status work, yet happy a lot

· Not having wings in Iran

list could go on and on……..

If we read between the lines we can realize how much these women find their new life much happier. These women reported having fought a lot to create the world they always wanted, a life where they can be themselves.

It was really eye opening to hear these words. We have many lion women like these women I met who work hard to create a better life for themselves as well as their families.

What is your experience like?

August 3, 2007


The Role of Education in our Iranian Life

The Role of Education is deep in our Iranian Life.

Education has always been a great part of our Iranian life. From an early age we have heard our families talking about the importance of higher education. Our parents may or many not have completed university studies, yet they always encouraged us to work hard for a higher education. We appreciate education and the status connected to it however, sometimes our children do not see things the same way; they do not follow the path we want them to.

Why not? Why do they not seek the same path?

As parents, we sometimes have to push or force our children to study since they may or may not know the value of what we are presenting to them. At times our young children do not listen enough; we blame them for not being “good children” if they do not study; we withdraw our love and attention if our children fail. We associate our children with their grades and we condition education with reward. We tell our children that if they succeed, we’ll buy them some luxury item that they wish to have. Sometimes we buy them nice cars as they graduate. We let our children believe that as soon as they bring home an “A” grade, we’ll do everything for them and that it is their job to bring home an “A.”

Could this be a little bit unhealthy? How? Why do we think this is healthy? Do we do this because our parents raised us this way?

Without doubt many of us were raised to believe that higher education gives us entry to a world of benefits, which is true to a certain extent, yet we forget that the motivation we had or still have in Iran for higher education is different than it is here. We associate status with higher education, which it brings, but how about becoming more humble with more education?

We sometimes cause our children too much of anxiety, which they can not handle. We can get our children do their best performance by encouraging them to work on areas they are best at. We should give love and attention whether our children bring home an A, B, or C.

Our children fail when we fail to parent them.

Our Children succeed when we coach them.

We know that higher education is the key however, a healthy style of life is much more important.

What do I mean by that?

· To raise our children with enough self-esteem to know that they can deal with the daily tasks of life in a proper way.

· To increase our children’s strengths in dealing with conflicts arising in relationships with the outside world in a peaceful way (and we do that, I am sure).

· To help our children to focus on self-awareness, self-understanding, and self acceptance.

· To challenge our own beliefs and to be willing to learn new ideas from our children, our youth, and our young people, who may or may not follow the same path as we have done.

Education is much more than what has been presented to us so far. Our children and our young people need to be life-educated and life-skilled. Teach your son to cook and let your daughter repair cars!

Our children and our teenagers find more success once they can trust that they are accepted for who they are and they WILL BECOME WHO THEY REALLY ARE. The true self will then shine!

September 24, 2007