This present two cases studies of how Iranians in diaspora remain fragmented... It is actually authored by Pirouz Azadi. So, please provide him feedback by his direct emial firstname.lastname@example.org
Years ago, when a close friend of mine-an Iranian-Australian now turned American academician, shared his story of having run for the Australian Parliament- to only lose the Seat to a native conservative Aussie by a minuscule margin, the first question that came into everyone’s mind was what the Iranian-Australian voting turnout in his district was? This gentleman’s community contributions and his extensive network of family and friends are quite fondly known for their philanthropic leadership in Sydney. It was, nonetheless, baffling to hear that according to exit polls and the after election data that the Australians as well as every other ethnic community’s voters including the Vietnamese’ had voted in his favor by at least twice or higher margins in his favor than the Iranian voters!
Déjà vu all over again, a similar shamefully painful incident has recently unraveled when another compatriot decided to run for his hometown Board of Education in New York. His life-long gratis community contributions not only for the Iranian-American and Diaspora and the homeland is well recognized, but that he has also endeavored to represent our community in the broader mainstream society with much distinction. As a university professor and scholar and a prolific contributor of advancing many noble causes through his elaborative writings and community organizing, he wrongly assumed that he could give a momentum to his camping through his Iranian confidantes. Initially, the process requires a petition with substantial number of signatures by the local citizens to endorse such candidate’s credentials and character. If the required number of signatures is achieved, one’s name will then be placed on the ballot and after a number of community debates and positions statements which they appear in the daily papers and local TV and radio channels, each registered voter independently cast their ballots based on their own conscience on election day.
The above candidate shared his utter loss of hope with his so called few Iranian friends in the community, who were approached on a number of occasions to simply endorse his character, and not necessarily vote for him; these were friends whom he had had extended a hand in the time of needs or counsel within the past twenty five years. You’d be appalled to hear the none came through with such non-binding signature! Paradoxically, this candidate friend shared the fact that when he casually presented the same signature form to a few dozen other American friends or colleagues including several Jewish women of fine characters, he was appreciatively surprised to have tens of signature collected by each in their neighborhood during their weekend rounds! The now recognized candidate for the Board of Education in fact, has submitted three times the number of signatures required, luckily, in retrospect, without even one signature from his so called life-long Iranian friends. If any consolation, he would never be misconstrued as having achieved his candidacy through nepotism or cronyism.
The said Board candidate is now going through various interviews and possible endorsement by the local papers, and forums broadcasted over the local TV and radio channels in anticipation of his imminent election on May 19. The morale of the story is when it comes to moving your community to its duly deserving stature in the broader community, develop a wide base vision and platform, and don’t go at it alone but don’t count on your so called apathetic and envious Iranian friends either. As outragiously shocking as it seems, there are sitll some reactioneries amongst us who believe in, "If I am not the King, I might as well tear down the palace, or simply put, If I can't drink the milk, I might as well spoil it by pissing into it." UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL has now found a new awakening lower meaning in our community for this friends and many others. (Az Mast Ke Bar Mast…)
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