Iranian Culture Club celebrates New Year,
raises funds for homeland
Mirkarimi calls on Bush to resign
Dancers Sepedeh Cigarchi, Shadee Amirkiae, Kimia Mohammadi and
from the Niosha
Dance Academy perform a traditional Persian dance set at San
Francisco State University, Friday, in celebration of the upcoming
Iranian New Year (1386).
The Iranian New Year coincides with the spring equinox on March
March 11, 2007
Members of San Francisco's Iranian community attended a celebration
of the Iranian New Year, Friday, at San Francisco State University.
The event, organized by the Iranian Culture Club, was held to
help promote knowledge about the most celebrated of all Iranian
and to help raise funds for those in need in Iran.
The evening's event lineup included traditional Persian dance,
music, poetry recitals, and a virtuoso solo violin performance
by 10-year old Shawyon Afshar Ritter.
Shawyon Afshar Ritter, 10, completes a repertoire of violin solos
including 'If I were a rich man' from Fiddler on the Roof. Ritter
has been playing the violin for two years.
Pourya Khademi (violin), Neema Hekmat (santour), Shirzad Sharif
(tombak) and Shadee Vaezzadeh (vocals) perform a unique arrangement
of persian music to coincide with Norouz and the arrival of spring.
Mojan Nooroozi plays the nay
flute during a poetry recital. One of the principle instruments
of traditional Persian music, the nay flute has a range of two
and a half octaves.
Mohammad Ebrahimi recites poetry from Persian poet Hafez
Faculty advisor to the Iranian Culture Club, Dr. Elahe Enssani,
a trained operatic soprano, kicked off the culturally rich proceedings
singing the unofficial Iranian national anthem.
Dr. Elahe Enssani
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, the first Iranian-American to be elected
to office in San Francisco, and the event keynote speaker, used
the speaking opportunity to reflect on current hostilities between
the United States and Iran over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Mirkarimi said of the standoff: "In this time it could not
be more of an opportunistic time as news reports on the adverse
relations between Iran and the United States, between two presidents
- you might disagree with me but I don't support at all - and
the likelyhood that as long as these two presidents and the geopolitical
outlook continues to drive what I think is certainly the most
negative of foreign relations, that I am more convinced that with
the creativity and the wherewithall, and just the innovative way
that I know that the Persian people can demonstrate in the warmth
that has exuded for generations between Iranian people and the
people in this country who have Iranian heritiage, with the people
of Iran itself, shall become now the front line leaders in forging
a citizen's diplomacy in the same way that was forged during the
cold war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
"I think the the decision making policies of our federal
representatives - that if they're going to syphon dollars away
for the kind of illegal or misguided direction, such as the war
in Iraq, or impending hositilities with Iran - then it would be
derelict of my duty to not step up to the plate and say that 'I
need those dollars for the unmet needs here at home.'
"I also believe that, as a local legislator, it might seem
a far reach to anybody to hear somebody who is really a lowly
elected official - in the scheme of things in the State of California
- to be talking like this.
"I think the Iranian community is more than just a sleeping
giant, but one that is about to awaken."
Asked if he had a personal message to send to President Bush,
Mirkarimi told Fog City: "It's time for you [Bush] to resign."