6/15/2007

My Iranian and American Marvels This Week

Heather Rastovac in 2005
This was a good week for me. Life returned to relative normalcy for me and my family, and I visited many wonderful new and old friends. Yesterday I met a fascinating young Iranian mother who is an educated engineer, and also a successful blogger. She and her wonderful baby, Arman, were one of my finds this week. Having lunch and interesting conversation with this articulate and thoughtful young woman on a sidewalk in Berkeley, it felt like I had known her forever. I continue to be in awe of this generation of young Iranians. I also had the good fortune of meeting a remarkable young American woman last weekend. Heather Rastovac is a resident of Seattle, Washington, and is an artist of Middle Eastern dances. She is also a human and women’s rights activist. I saw her as she was getting ready to leave on a long trip to Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Sicily, researching her work. Her blog introduces her this way: “She engages in extensive studies of Middle Eastern culture, languages, music, poetry, religion and women's issues. She is currently pursuing a degree in Cultural Anthropology and Persian language at the University of Washington, and plans to obtain a Master's Degree in Dance Ethnology. Heather has traveled extensively and has visited Morocco, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the Mediterranean for cultural studies.” She traveled to Afghanistan in 2006 with the human rights delegation, “Women Making Change” to focus on Afghan women’s issues. I share with you the image of Heather, performing a traditional Persian Dance. Aside from her charm and talent, I found Heather to be a beautiful human being. Her humanity makes me proud. I wish her a safe and fruitful journey this summer. I hope the weekend is full of joy and rest for you all. Be good to yourselves and to those around you. Empty your minds of bad thoughts and fill them with hope. Trust me, hope is a very good thing, necessary for overcoming the pains and evils of this world. The best thing about hope is that it’s free, much like all the good things in life. All it takes is you!

10 comments:

serendip said...

I will heed your wise recommendation and try to create harmony and peace in the midst of upheavel this weekend.

Indeed, marvelous encounters; both equally wonderful.

Nazy said...

Serendip Jan, Thank you for coming and thank you for thinking about what I said! It's all too easy to worry ourselves into the ground, because of all the violence and brutality we see. Maintaining balance and "harmony" as you so aptly put it, will renew our energies to think better and to stay the course, something we must do if we see, understand, and feel. Some days I wonder whether "ignorance IS bliss," as there are people in the world who worry for nothing and care for none, and they seem to live easier lives. Then I am reminded that we must be moderately special to have been entrusted with the gift of compassion and understanding, which the ignorant ones don't have. You are one of those very special people. So take care of yourself. Have a good weekend.

Assal said...

In the picture, she seems to truly be enjoying what she is doing. That must be a wonderful feeling!

Nazy said...

That's true Assal Jan. Even when she isn't dancing, she appears to enjoy the culture. I never cease to be delightfully surprised when I see Americans speak Farsi, and know our customs and foods. Heather is a special woman, indeed.

Mehran said...

She has a familiar face, I think I have met her some where!!! ;-))

hamed said...

salam
mitonam beporsam chera farsi neminevisi??

Nazy said...

Mehran! Since you met her, too, don't you agree that she was very charming? You guys were all very charming guests. We must do it again very soon.

Nazy said...

Salam Hamed Jan: Merci keh baz amadin. Midanam vaghti Farsi neminevsam, kheili ha nemitavanand bazi matalebe (gohar-bar!) mara donbal konand va in baraye man gham angiz ast, chon man baraye hameye Irani ha mikhaham benevisam. Man ghablan ham tozih dadeh am: man in blog ra be English minevisam ta 1) Irani haee keh inja bozorg shodeh and va Farsi nemitavanand bekhanand biyan va raje be nokate mosbate Iran va farhange Irani bekhoonan. 2) Amrica ee hayee keh mikhahand raje be Iran bedoonan, ba tasvir e kami motafavet tari az ani keh dar tablighate zedde Irani mishavad roobero beshavand. 3) Irani hayee keh dakhele Iran hastand va deleshan mikhahad raje be Amrica, bedoone tablighate bijaye manfi, bedoonan. Baraye hamin English minevisam keh betoonam ba bishtarin tedade afrad harfe khasse khodam ra bezanam. Agar faghat Farsi benevisam, faghat Irani ha mikhanand, va man fekr mikonam be onvane kasi keh dar in ja dars khande am va kar karde am va inja ra alan khanehye khod midanam, khoob ast talash konam ta do mellat ra be hamdigar nazdik tar konam, faregh az dolat hayeshan. Man bishtar doost daram dar khosoose farhang haye har do keshvar kar konam, chon farhang zabane moshtareke bashariat ast. Nemidanam khoob tozih dadam Hamed Jan ya na. Midanam az daste man kalafeh mishavi! Delam mikhad ta akhare tabestan kami rooye blog am kar konam va oon moghe shayad yek bakhshe farsi ham neveshtam keh shoma va sayere azizani keh az Iran miayaeed az man delkhor nabashid! Shad bashid Hamed Jan. Lotfan baz ham biyaeed!

Anonymous said...

nazy jan, is't she that young lady who was there?
I enjoyed talking to her, she has a very good knowledge about persiam music and culture.
Have nice weekend,
bayram

Nazy said...

Thanks Bayram Jan. Yes, she is. I'm glad you got to talk to her. We will definitely get together with her again when she returns this Fall. I'm doing some research on something I'm trying to do next week; if you have a moment this weekend, give me a call. Be good.