There are many reasons that I would not ordinarily go to places where you would meet and find members of the diplomatic corps here in Tehran. I think the last time I had a friend or an acquaintance from this group was many moons ago in the 1980s. The reason is simply that to make friends first and foremost I must like the person plus we must have at least a few fundamental things in common.
Saying this you may find it surprising that recently I have met a diplomatic couple whom I find friendly and kind, sociable and well informed. You may think that many of this group fall into this category. But this couple, that quite by chance recently I have had the pleasure of meeting several times in different social events, are all the above besides being delightful, intelligent, well traveled, and knowledgeable. Each of them speaks many languages. The ambassador himself told me that this is the first time he has been posted to a place that he does not speak the language, well not yet anyway. Nevertheless, what has impressed me above all is the fact that this couple seem to truly and honestly care about Iran and its people, its art and culture. Not only they attend beautifully and dutifully to their official functions, but they also spend a lot of their free time mixing with Iranians and going to cultural events, organizing or overseeing such events. When one speaks with either of them, one feels that they are really interested to know and learn about what is going on.
The reason that I find this so important is the fact that Iran and Iranians are so misunderstood and misrepresented that it is quite a novelty to find a couple as such that make a great effort to learn, to mix and to understand. I can only hope that their success will lead others to follow this path, and hope we all find ourselves in a world with more peace and harmony, as its result.
I take this opportunity and nominate Mr. and Mrs. Toscano from Italy as my favorite Diplomatic Couple in Tehran. This is for their spirit, knowledge and interest in many causes and issues including art and history; along with their ability to mix so well with ordinary and not so ordinary people and groups with sincere affection and true dedication, both officially and unofficially here in Tehran.
... Payvand News - 7/21/04 ... --