By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Some of you have been writing to me and asking me why there have been no articles recently. Well, life has its ups and downs and I hope that I am on now on the up side of things. The reason I have been quiet was the fact that over New Year we went to see my family in England (I have seven sisters and six brothers, many of them live abroad with their families ) and saw many friends we have not seen lately.
We arrived in Oxford just in time to celebrate Chahārshanbe-Sūri in our very little garden with our neighbors, we sat outside even though the weather was a little cold and managed to have a barbeque, everybody seemed to enjoy it and some of them even joined us in jumping over the bonfire and reciting my yellowness to you, your redness to me (zadrimann az tou, sorki tou az man).
The next day we went to London to see some good friends that we had not seen for some time. As the weather was so nice we decided to walk along Oxford Street before catching the bus and we could not believe it when we bumped into our friends Maryam and Hossein from Tehran. We were all flabbergasted by the improbability of it and it took us a little time to come out of shock and we were delighted that they were invited to the same place for dinner that night.
As is traditional during Norouz time we visited all my family who live there. It was good to see my sisters, other family in Milton Keynes, in-laws in Dorset and many friends.
What was exciting for us was going to Denmark for two days to meet our god-grand-daughter Sima for the first time (she was born in December!) and like all grandparents, Paul and I were on all fours and happily making a fool of ourselves at the sight of Sima and everything she did in the short time that we spent with her and her parents Marlene and Ole. We just had time for a farewell dinner in a sushi restaurant in Copenhagen before catching our flight back to the UK.
We managed to get away for a quiet few days to the Portuguese Algarve which was bliss. We really enjoy the peace and quiet that we have whenever we go over there.
On the last day of our trip, because there were many friends that we had not had a chance to visit, we had a lunch for them at our flat in Oxford. Although the flat is tiny, we managed to sit 17 people for a traditional lunch of ghormeh sabsi, bademjan stews and Zereshkpolou. Luckily the weather was fine and we could use the garden.
We have been back in Tehran over a week but I have been trying to take things easy.
Already I have visited a couple of NGO's and one of them is a school in a deprived area of south Tehran just south of the Majlis. It is called Kodakan Kosha, and since I last visited them, they have been able to register themselves as a charity.
The local municipality office has granted them the use of a wonderful old house which has been beautifully renovated and now thanks to the Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation, and others who support them, they are able to give a better quality service to all the children and to their mothers - physical, emotional, educational support and nourishment. We were very pleased with the progress that this charity has made. I have a few photos for you from this place to lighten your hearts.
... Payvand News - 4/23/09 ... --