The highlight of the series of book events I had this week was being introduced by Oscar winning actor, Sidney Poitier, at the Beverly Hills Public Library. What I have always admired in him was that early in his career he took pride in portraying his community in a way that brought a sense of dignity and pride and shaped a new vocabulary for generations to come. He is a true trail blazer to me.
In his speech in front of some 280 people, he talked about the human diversity seen on our planet and our commonalities within that diversity:
“We all sprang from different places—different cultures, languages, habit patterns—different religions—different—continents. We are all different in multiple ways, yet we are ONE family—one species—all sharing one home—planet earth.”
He was gracious as always and shared the kindest words about my book and poetry. I was touched by the fact that he viewed me as “the quintessential example of a gobal citizen”. There is no higher compliment given by such an esteemed human being. I hope I live up to it. Certainly the message of Life as a Visitor is just this: we are all different, yet we have so much in common, and bonds with others are forged when we connect on our deepest and most genuine level.
These past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind of activity and book signings for me. I can’t even begin to express my general sense of gratitude for my group of close-knit friends and family that organized so many successful book events for me. They have made the process of showcasing the book so rewarding. My experience now shows that your biggest publicists and advocates are your friends and family. In the first week of my book launch, I managed to sell 1100 books through Book Soup bookstore, placing me on their #1 Best Seller List in my category. The most touching part of this is that again, my close family and friends are right there cheering me along.
The next two weeks will be action packed for me. It starts with my book launch on October 4th and keeps going, with it culminating with my reading and book signing at the Beverly Hills Public Library on October 18th at 3:00pm. It is a surreal experience because when I was in middle school and high school, I spent so much of my time at the public library in Beverly Hills. Here I am 25 years later talking about my experiences growing up in the city. It is also an incredibly exciting time for me since I get to share the stage with one of my childhood idles, Mr. Sidney Poitier. Please take the time to look through the following publications that list in greater detail, the program for that day. The Los Angeles Times Calendar, Metromix Los Angelels, LA weekly, Iranian Information & Connection Center, Kodoom, and The Jewish Journal have all have my event posted in their calendars. Hope to see you at one of my events.