I’m back in action!

I’m finally back on my feet after my life on a plane in March! So I’ll be posting more regularly, enshallah.

I’ve posted enough about the UC Berkeley panel event (which went swimmingly), but I didn’t say much about my time in Vienna.

I spoke on a panel about Diversity in the Media (Audiovisual, Print Media, and Social Networks). It went nicely, and I met a lot of wonderful people at the conference. In particular, I met Sara Mansour Fallah, a bright young Austrian-Iranian who writes for der Standard and is helping to shape Austrian opinion on Islam. It was wonderful (and refreshing) to speak with her about Europe’s issues regarding Islam, ethnicity, and culture.

After the conference, the American Embassy hosted a special event for the WLDS speakers. I met the U.S. Ambassador, avoided all the finger foods with pork, and had a wonderful time chatting with all the amazing speakers that WLDS had brought together, including Tanya Odom (who put forth some beautiful and honest reflections about race) and my co-panelist Veronika Oleksyn (who writes for the Associated Press).

The reception at the U.S. Embassy.

After my whirlwind trip to Vienna (two days–not nearly enough!), I flew back to the States to wash my underwear before getting on another plane!

Back to California this time–to Los Angeles to meet up with my AMCLI buddies for our final fellowship retreat and graduation. I spent a wonderful few days with my AMCLI crew and was kept full and happy with plenty of Persian food. This same weekend was Norooz (Persian New Year), and I can’ t think of a better way to celebrate anything than with food! Growing up in a non-majority-Iranian area makes one really excited to see things like the haft seen in public places:

The haft seen table at LA's Shaherzad restaurant.

In fact, if you’re ever  in the Westwood area (or Vestvood, for all you Iranians), I can’t recommend the Shaherzad restaurant enough. Good food and good friends are my favorite things, and this place had it all. Plus tahdig! YUM.