Those who attended the iranian.com dinner and concert on April 19th in San Francisco were the lucky few. Most readers, writers and contributors to the magazine simply live too far away to have participated. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of iranian.com though. Although its readers, writers and contributors live all over the world, they are part of a community, the iranian.com community.
This community is special because it is made up of so many different kinds of people that in all likelihood would never have a chance to meet one another and exchange stories and information in the real world, but in the e-world of iranian.com these people rub shoulders every day. They even become friends though living thousands of miles apart. Readers in one part of the world look forward to reading articles written by their favorite contributors on the other side of the world, and then being able to interact with them by leaving real-time comments that often turn into vigorous debates. Such debates allow all of us to exchange ideas, and to perhaps, broaden our horizons by exposing us to new and different ways of thinking. Sometimes we may strongly disagree with what others think, but at times we are able to learn and grow from them. All of this has been made possible because of one man’s dream.
I have never met Mr. Javid, and sometimes I get a chuckle when I read things written by others that seem to want to immortalize him for creating iranian.com. I am not one of those who are ready to erect a statue to him…not yet anyway. Surely, iranian.com has allowed our community to grow in its appreciation for and commitment to the principle of freedom of speech, and for this, all of us ought to feel thankful. The thing that means more to me, however, is that Mr. Javid took a risk in 1995. With a little start-up money from his mother’s credit card, he made a giant leap of faith, and began a journey into the great unknown. He did what many other immigrants have never done; he dared to dream!
When he began his journey, there was no way that he that could have known or imagined in his wildest dreams that iranian.com would grow into the phenomenon that it has become. While the iranian.com family of readers, writers and contributors now numbers in the hundreds of thousands, there was a time, not-so-long-ago, that it was a family of one. It really boggles the mind to think of how much one man with a passion and a small dream can accomplish. His story is inspirational, not because of his belief in the motto Nothing is Sacred, but because he has shown all of us that we should not be afraid to dream our dreams, and more importantly, to live our dreams.
In his speech on April 19th, Mr. Javid paid homage to his parents. I’m sure that his baba and his maman are looking down from Heaven and smiling at the all the wonderful accomplishments of their son. Every parent in the world hopes that their child will grow up to have a positive impact in the world. Years ago in Braim, I wonder if either of them could have possibly had the slightest inkling of the impact their son would one day have in the world. I suspect that they might have. I have been fortunate to have met many people who grew up in Braim, Abadan over the years, starting with my mother. Each of these people has impressed me with the spirit with which they lead their lives. Knowing that a little boy from Braim would one day grow up to touch the hearts of so many hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world is not surprising to me.
The iranian.com community is one that stretches across borders, religions, nationalities and ethnicities. It is a community that shows the best of itself each and every day and the worst of itself occasionally. It is a community full of love and compassion most of the time, and it is a community which has shown that it also possesses the capacity for bigotry and hate. Most of all, it is a community of people who want to stay tuned in and turned on. It is a community of people that want to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. It is a community with a big heart.
Thank you, Mr. Javid for giving those of us who are not important, but just regular, ordinary people a platform from which to let others hear what we have to say. Thank you for giving us a voice. Thank you for showing all of us that we do not need to be afraid to dream. Thank you for reminding us that sometimes dreams really can come true.
God bless you and our sweet homeland.