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Elie Wiesel, the Queen and I — a surreal night

A friend told me over lunch yesterday, “You should just write a book about all that is happening at the book signing!” Her comment is quite on target….I have had the most wonderful and surreal experiences at my book events.

Just this week my book tour took me to New York, where good friends Nazee and Joe Moinian hosted a fabulous and elegant cocktail party at the Plaza Hotel. One Hundred and fifty friends, family, and colleagues came to the signing, which was a huge success.

There were two people whom I have always admired, attended and supported the event.

Her Majesty, Queen Farah Pahlavi and her daughter-in-law, Yasmine attended this event.  Her Majesty had the kindest words to say about the book and the role of Iranian artists in the Persian culture, especially in the diaspora.   This event was surely not about politics, as my book is not about politics either. Her Majesty’s presence had the added significance since as a child I have always regarded her as a symbol of a modern Iranian woman—one who is intelligent, articulate, and concerned for the larger community.  I also know of her great passion for art, which inspires me to this day.  As she put it in her eloquent way, “People who show the good face of Iranians, who elevate us, are the jewel of the country”. I was touched and humbled that she included me in that group.

Elie Wiesel, the Noble Laureate and Holocaust survivor has always been a hero to me. His life and his message surpass the limits of race or religion.  He speaks out against violence, repression, and racism all over the world and always stresses the dangers of society’s indifference in relation to such matters.  How amazed I was to have him  attend the NY book signing. Again, another “pinch-me” kind of moments where I felt so truly lucky to talk to him finally.

…..And the list of my many wonderful experiences continues.