Depending on the weather, from the middle of March until late in October we use our kitchen balcony sitting around the small table enjoying the fresh air and the trees outside. The balcony is open to our street and is always in the shade, so it is normally fresh and cool. We use the balcony all the time during the day and even in the evenings if there are only a few of us. We light a few candles and eat dinner and feel quite indulged.
There are two cupboards on the balcony where we keep pickle jars and big pans, etc. Last year, about this time (early April), we noticed strange visitors on top of one of the cupboards there. This happened as we noticed an unusual amount of small twigs all around the balcony. The top of the cupboard was being used by a pair of pigeons who had put their nest there, and after two weeks or so their eggs hatched and new life began.
Being very pre-occupied with my mum's illness last year, I was not able to enjoy this beauty of nature and our lovely visitors much. My friends told me that pigeons lay their eggs (usually about 2 or 3) where they feel safe and where their spirit is at peace with themselves. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. But I do know that this year we have another young couple who have come and have laid their eggs in the same place. With great care, I have taken a few pictures of the mother, and the eggs - when the parents have gone shopping! I share them with you here and I hope you enjoy them.
But I want to share with you another story, the story of a bright 17 year old girl, who comes from Kerman and who wants to work for NASA. Last month she won a silver medal in Switzerland at the 33rd International Invention Competition held in Geneva. The jury considered her discovery of a biological method to reduce contamination of airplane fuel and hydraulic oil. This discovery improves planes fuel efficiency as well as the environment.
Her name is Azam Shaghaghi. Born in Kerman in 1988, she comes from a very modest background. Her father is a builder and her mother a housewife. She has been doing research since she was 13. The family has recently moved to Karaj (near Tehran) so she can have a better chance for her scientific and practical work. Like many other teenagers, she likes action films; but I was surprised to learn from her that she also likes the very traditional classic Iranian music which is very solemn and sad. She has won many awards including the well known Kharazmi Science award in Iran. She wants to go outside Iran where she can study aviation, rocket science, space exploration and astrological subjects for her goal to get to NASA!
When I asked her why she does not consider going to Sharif University (Iran's best technical University), she said that she is more interested in practical rather than theoretical research; and she is eager to open up her mind and push the frontiers of science. She has registered her discoveries in Iran. But since Iran is not the member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, she cannot apply for international patents to protect her discoveries.
I shall be grateful if anyone you who knows of any grant that she can apply for so that she can optimize her talent and potential.. She cares deeply for science and is a very optimistic young lady. When I expressed doubt that she would return to Iran, she said that she loves her homeland Iran, and her family; and she will lose her identity if she moved away. She has two sisters and one brother and is dying to get a good computer and to be able to pay back the money the family borrowed for her to go to Switzerland. I join her family and hope that someone somewhere can do something for this bird who wants to fly so high, and yet wants to come back, like my pigeon visitors, to the place where she feels most at home.
You can contact Azam at: email@example.com.
... Payvand News - 5/16/05 ... --