Page 1 • Volume 1, Issue 12

Persian Influence

on Sculpture Persian Culture and Sicilian Puppet Theatre The 2nd Trudeau’s Vision for Canada

An exclusive interview with Canada’s Liberal Party Leader,

Justin Trudeau

In search of the Lost Paradise of Persia with

artist and philanthropist ISSN 2291-580X

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Jaleh Farhadpour

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In this Issue Feature Story

Jaleh Farhadpour: An inspiring search for the Lost Paradise of Persia with artist and philanthropist Jaleh Farhadpour




Person of the Month: Dr. Hossein Amanat, and his International Contribution to Modern Architecture

18 42

York Regional Police

Constable Kambiz Nadoushan


Technology for small businesses

Environment Clean drinking water should be a human right in Canada


David’s Wine Pick of the month:


Chehel Sotoon



Bill C-24 Erodes the Rights and Privileges of Canadian Citizenship

And Persian Culture


History Wine


Persian Letters

Sicilian Puppet Theater






18 46

JUSTIN TRUDEAU Persian Tribune Exclusive INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN TRUDEAU Leader of the Canadian Liberal Party


Rose Reisman’s Family Favourites: Miniature Chocolate Mud Pies

From the Persian Kitchen: LOOBIA POLO


Book Review




Omid Foundation:


Empowering & Transforming the Lives of Young, Disadvantaged Women in Iran

The 6th Annual Joy of Aging Fundraiser

Cover & Inside Photo of jaleh farhadpour by: Ramin deravian

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32 33 35 37 44



Letter from editor Volume 1, Issue 12


y saying farewell to 2014 and welcoming the New Year, we are one year older or as we all like to think and believe “one year wiser “. As it is customary at this time of the year to wish for the best in our lives for the New Year, we should remember that our life is a journey filled with many experiences, good and not so good. The important question in our lives should be, “What have we learned from those experiences?” and “What do we know now that we did not know last year?” It is an inquiry that I think we should make about ourselves at the beginning of each year, and if we have the answer, then along with being one year older we can claim that we are also one year wiser as well. It is no coincidence that at Persian Tribune we ask this significant question every time as we get ready for the new issue. YES, we have learned a lot about our work and our vision and we also have learned more about our great readers around the globe. We thank each one of you immensely for that, since they all show that we are at the right path in this mission. Some time ago we heard from a Sicilian film producer in Palermo, who reached out to us about his newly produced ancient Persian and Roman project which we are pleased to showcase it in this issue. I also had a pleasure to have the Hon. Justin Trudeau in our office for an intimate interview about his views of Canada and more particularly about Iranian Canadians. This issue’s feature showcases an Iranian Canadian artist, philanthropist, and humanitarian Jaleh Farhadpour. You will learn about this remarkable woman’s outstanding contribution to humanity and also about her achievements as an artist. As always, I hope that you enjoy reading this issue and on behalf of our family at Persian Tribune, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers from around the world, especially our wiser and older readers a fantastic New Year filled with health, happiness and peace.

Kiumars Rezvanifar Editor-In-Chief

Publisher: Persian Tribune Inc.

Editor-in-Chief: Kiumars Rezvanifar

Managing Editor: Courtney Boyden

Creative Director: Ramin Deravian

Associate Managing Editor: Teresa Tiano

Art Director: Courtney Boyden

Copy Editor: Arezou Amin Research: Artemiz Rezvanifar Senior VP Marketing Communications: Tina Rogers Sales & Marketing Director Sandra Peltier Account Executives: Arman Hedayat Nooshin Riahy David Zand Behrouz Ziaci Special Projects Jacques Reiss Social Media Manager: Bharadwaj Thirumalai Web Management: Ramin Emadi

Graphic Designers: Hoda Gharaie Mark Kowalski Shadi Raoufi Intern Rambod Pourgoshtasbi Contributing Writers: Bijan Ahmadi David Akhlaghi Arezou Amin Silviu Apostolide Jina Aryaan Joobin Bekhrad Billy Courtice Naz Deravian Costas Menegakis MP Charles Pachter Rambod Pourgoshtasbi Doris Pontieri Rose Reisman Rocco Rossi Kevin Schwartz David Suzuki Justin Trudeau MP Anastasia Tsouroupakis Bryon Wilfert Dr. Glenn Zederayko Sahar Zomorodi

Persian Tribune magazine is published twelve times a year by Persian Tribune Inc. It is distributed free of charge in libraries, business and cultural centers in GTA. Persian Tribune magazine is an independent publication and its contents imply no endorsement of any product or service. Opinions expressed are those of the writers. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission from the publisher. Canadian Head Office (Toronto) Persian Tribune magazine 25 Valleywood Drive, Suite 12 Markham, ON L3R 5L9 Canada



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Chehel Sotoon

By: Rambod Pourgoshtasbi


city of Esfahan has many attractions that are reminiscent of the vast history of the area. Iranians describe the city as “Esfehan, nesfeh jahan”, which translates into “Esfahan, half of the world”. While the city is famous for attractions such as Ali Qapu, Si o se pol , and the Naghshe Jahan Square, a unique historical building grabs the attention of locals as well as tourists. This unique and beautiful monument is called Chehel Sotoon. Chehel Sotoon was originally built by Shah Abbas II in the middle of a large park. The name of the palace



literally means 40 Columns. Although the Palace itself is not 40 columns, but rather an illusion that 20 columns of the front portico are doubled by the reflecting pool to the south. The building was initially constructed in 1647 and rebuilt in 1706 following a major fire. The structure may have been a part of Abbas II’s overall urban plan for the city, mainly because the structure is aligned with the axis of the “Maidan”, or central square of Esfahan. During the time of Shah Abaas II, there were significant changes to the mirror hall, 18 pillars, grand rooms in the north and south end in the mirror hall, porches


pointing towards the royal salon, and a large pond across the hall with numerous paintings and artistic mirror work and tiling on the walls and ceilings have been added to the palace. The significant sites of the hall include the 18 column hall in the interior, the mirror hall, statues of lions around the main pond, the paintings and the tiling on the walls, the effigy of Shah Abbas II, and many more. With the inclusion of Esfahan as the capital and the development of the city towards the south, and the construction of Imam Square, the construction of the royal palaces are credited to a man named Sheikh Bahaei.


central hall of the palace, which was devoted to foreign guests and personalities from other countries, contains paintings from different historical eras. The magnificent hall, which rests on the stained glass dome covered in colourful triangular fabrics, and the masterpieces of golden and translucent designs. Many of the ceramic panels have been dispersed, and are now in the possession of major Western museums. They depict specific historical scenes such as a reception for an Uzbek king in 1646, when the palace had just been completed. While Chehel Sotoon added beauty, it also had a scientific purpose. The pool situated in front of the structure, had a musician playing music for the king to enjoy. The scientific use includes the transmission of sound-waves across the surface of the water towards the opposite side of the palace. Thus, not only is Chehel Sotoon a magnificent structure of beauty, but also a remarkable use of science. ď Ž PERSIAN TRIBUNE



Naghsh-e Rostam, Persepolis

Persian Inf luence IN SCULPTURE,



aving just returned from a trip to France, with many visits to museums to study modern and ancient sculpture, it got me thinking about the influence certain countries have had that is still reflected, even in our most current and emerging sculptors. As I looked closely at so many beautiful works, I became interested in learning more about the history behind where this wonderful form of art began, and as with many things, much of this began in Persia. As it is one of the oldest countries, Persian artworks, including intricate ceramics, bronze, gold, silver, and ivory objects were examples of early sculpted works. In fact, some of the first archaeological finds of artistic importance were the ceramics uncovered in Susa and the Sasanian Empire, or Neo-Persian Empire. Nature was depicted in odd, simplified forms of animals and waterbirds. These finds have been called the formative principle of Persian art. Also mosaic art, consisting of pieces of coloured stones, shells, and ivory were uncovered during excavations at Susa (Persia) and showed evidence of the first glazed tiles dating from 1500 BC. Mosaics and metalwork, which have made a huge re-emergence in modern forms of decorating and art, had a very important place in the history of Persian artwork. Many new glass and



By: Doris Pontieri

mosaic shops are opening up offering classes in this old art form. Kitchens and bathrooms are sporting full walls of mosaic tiles and glass pieces, many depicting scenes, which was how many stories were told back in the beginning of this craft. Perhaps one of the most important relics of Sassanian art are the rock victory scenes that were carefully carved out of steep limestone cliff sides. It is interesting to think whether this form of art had a direct correlation to more modern outdoor works like Mount Rushmore, or the many buildings we have grown up with that have portions of a countries early battle scenes carved into facades. Even in modern society, our young artists proudly portray symbols that

•Art tell stories, although sometimes lightly veiled for us to figure out, on walls and buildings. All of these ancient forms of sculpture have been carried on in one way or another throughout the world, and have stood the test of time, remaining relevant and influential to artists and sculptors throughout the ages. As for Persian and Iranian artists, the death of the important Persian painter, Kamal-ol-molk in 1940 opened the doors for artists and sculptors to have more freedom in their art forms, marking the end of rigid artistic boundaries. This was evident with the opening in 1949 of the Apadana gallery in Tehran by Mahmoud Javadipour, Doctorate of Fine Arts, Iranian Cultural High Council, Tehran, and his associates, exhibiting forms of modern art with strong ancient Persian influences but showing works also from Western artists.

artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Rene Magritte, as well as more contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol. The remaining six galleries are used for temporary exhibits and often host local artists, continuing the tradition of new art created in the region.

Another example of this is The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, whose architect, Kamran Diba, employed many elements of ancient Persian architecture in his designs. This building opened in 1977 and continues to have one of the most valuable collections of Western modern art, while hosting temporary exhibits for many local artists. The museum is made up of nine galleries. Three of these galleries house the permanent collection including paintings of international

This beautiful museum, largely underground, has a sculpture garden, or court which is a partially enclosed space within the complex, and is a beautiful setting for many influential sculptors including Rene Magritte's "Le Therapeute" as well as Alberto Giacometti's "A Man and a Woman”, and of course Marino Marini's "Horse and Rider". Visitors from around the world walk through this garden, and onto the Sculpture Park where many more significant and beautiful sculptures can be found.


ith one of the richest histories and attributes including some of the earliest discoveries of sculpture, it is great to know that the ancient arts of Persia still remain not only important, but significant in current art, as well as in the studies of today's artists and sculptors. Although many of the artists and sculptors I have personally met look to showcase their own vision in their works, they all maintain that history plays a very important role in their works of art and more often the history of Persian art comes up in conversation.  Doris Pontieri is an award winning artist and art teacher. Her work is featured in many galleries in Canada and U.S. Since being invited to exhibit at the Louvre in Paris, she has been awarded the medal for Outstanding Artwork by the Paris Society of Arts, Science and Letters, one of the oldest societies in France. PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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Photo of Month Hafezieh the Tomb of Hafez, the Persian Poet of 14th Century AD


Shiraz, Iran

Photo by: Amir Vafamand PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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Persian Letters



the famed calligrapher Mir Emad was murdered at the Safavid court in 1615 , an important chapter in the history of the calligraphic script known as nasta’liq came to a close. Mir Emad was not the originator of nasta’liq, but he was nonetheless largely regarded as its undisputed master, attracting admirers among his Safavid patrons, Mughal emperors in South Asia, and countless others even long after his death. His demise brought to end a prolific period of nasta’liq production that witnessed the rise of an unknown script to one heightening the sensory reception of Persian verse to an artistic end in itself, often overpowering the meaning of the texts it was used to write with its visual appeal. In but a few centuries, nasta’liq had triumphed as the premier style for artfully presenting the words of poets and authors writing in Persian, both major and minor (in addition

Images courtesy of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution to occasionally being used for Ottoman Turkish, and in rare instances, Arabic). This rich period in the history of the script, the study of which is at times relegated to an afterthought compared to other Persianate arts such as poetry, painting, and architecture, is the subject of a new exhibition entitled Nasta’liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. On display there are single folio pages and books featuring examples of nasta’liq in jali (large) and khafi (minute) scripts, as well as the calligraphic implements employed, making for an altogether admirable overview of a script that shot across the Persianate world between the 14th and 17th centuries and set the artistic standard for Persian calligraphy. The exhibition is remarkable for its ability to articulate nasta’liq’s rise to prominence in this regard by highlighting the script’s journey from its moment of inception in the workshop to its reception in the court.. When calligraphers composed pages of nasta’liq in their workshops, often favouring the transcription of lines of Persian poetry in the form of the qita’ (lit. ‘fragment’), it was hardly a certainty that such works would receive immediate consideration by a patron, or be deemed fit for exhibition. It was usually only later than a work of nasta’liq, perhaps even one consigned to the workshop floor as nothing more than a practice exercise, found life in a folio at the hands of a patron, collector, or courtier.



Pe r s i a n L e tt e r s



s r e tt e L n a i s r eP

An exquisite display of such practices can be seen in a folio page from the famed Golshan (lit. ‘flower field’) album assembled for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605 – 1627). The nasta’liq was created by Mir Ali Haravi, probably in mid-16th century Bukhara, but the borders were added in India about 50 years later, while the marginal images of various saints and the Madonna with child, based on European prints, were likely additions from when the album came to fruition during Jahangir’s reign. Three of the panels are the work of Sultan Ali Mashhadi’s pupils, and the fourth likely an unsigned piece by Sultan Ali himself. Like many of the items on display, the Golshan album and the four panels of Sultan Ali and his students elucidate the styles of master calligraphers as much as they do the afterlives of their works for a range of admirers in locales throughout the Persianate world. This serves as yet another reminder of the shared practices of artistic production and the deeper cultural attitudes of consumption that bound together a wide range of peoples. The allure of nasta’liq far exceeds the period of its germination in the early modern era, having attracted various artists through the ages, not least of all contemporary ones seeking to incorporate the traditional nature of the script into larger commentaries on the exigencies of the modern world. Across a variety of mediums, Iranian-born artists such as Parviz Tanavoli, Farhad Moshiri, and Alireza Astaneh have capitalised on the attributes of the script in diverse ways, harbouring both its physical nature and association with Persian tradition to craft innovations in form and vision. Tanavoli’s iconic Heech series and Astaneh’s Verbal Cage series demonstrate how sculpture has been particularly effective in deploying nasta’liq by contorting, extending, and condensing its interlocking letters to create newfound abstractions.


asta’liq is a commodity that has been produced, circulated, coveted, and displayed by and for a diverse set of peoples. It is reflecting on such realities, perhaps, that one discovers the most astounding aspect of the genius of the nasta’liq calligraphers featured in the exhibition: the ability to develop an art form attracting audiences across the world over, often recast according to local tastes, but equally valued and stirring all the same, still inspiring a generation of artists in their search for meaning in new and novel ways.  Kevin Schwartz is a Visiting Scholar at Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies, with a focus in Persian language and literature, from the University of California, Berkeley. He can be reached at: Special thanks to ReORIENT magazine for permission to reprint. This article was edited back because of space constraints. To read article in full go to PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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York Regional Police Constable

Kambiz Nadoushan

By: Billy Courtice


ork Regional Police Constable Kambiz Nadoushan doesn’t look like a cop in the traditional sense. And he’s just fine with that.

The 12-year veteran of the police service – who goes by Kam – has tanned, olive-coloured skin and a slick haircut. He was born in Tehran, Iran and uses his distinct appearance as a means to better connect with the community he serves. “People in diverse communities relate to me very easily because of how I look,” said the 38-year-old, who works out of York Regional Police #4 District headquarters in Vaughan. “They say things to me that they may not normally feel comfortable saying to



other police officers. It brings me closer to the street level in these communities.” Nadoushan maintains that connection with the community when he’s not wearing the badge. The York Region resident volunteers at his local Salvation Army and as a mentor for youth at risk. While time as a volunteer is necessary to be considered for hire as a police recruit, Nadoushan insists that charitable work shouldn’t stop once an officer is hired. “It has to be an ongoing relationship with the community,” Nadoushan said. “It is important to spend hours as a volunteer, because it gives you the opportunity to give something back.”

•Community “ It is important to my work as a police officer to build relationships with the Iranian community. I do believe there is a high regard for police among Iranians in Canada, but we have to create an ongoing, two-way dialogue. ” Nadoushan, who is fluent in Farsi has relished the chance to give back to York Region and its thriving Iranian community since joining the service in 2002. In just over a decade, Nadoushan guesses that he has participated in hundreds of community events aimed at fostering a relationship between Iranian residents and police.

Season’s Greetings Michael Coteau’s New Year’s Celebration


Sunday, January 11th 2:00–4:00 PM

1377 Lawrence Avenue East (International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s HQ)

“It is important to my work as a police officer to build relationships with the Iranian community,” he said. “I do believe there is a high regard for police among Iranians in Canada, but we have to create an ongoing, two-way dialogue.”


adoushan has always been primed for a career in law enforcement, with an uncle who retired as a police superintendent in Tehran and another who served as a judge in the Supreme Court of Iran. When he immigrated to Canada with his family in 1990, Nadoushan immediately set out for a career in policing, studying law and security administration at Humber College. After working for three years as a security guard, Nadoushan spent more than a year working as a member of the Toronto Police Services Intelligence Unit. Since 2006, he has served as a mentor for more than a dozen recruits as a coach officer. He hopes for the chance to train more Iranian officers in the future. “I believe that competence is one of our most important values, regardless of the colour of your skin,” Nadoushan said. “But people growing up in Iranian communities should know that policing is extremely rewarding. It feels great to be always working toward a solution.”  York Regional Police proudly welcomes applications for available positions from members of any community. The organization is committed to ensuring police officers are reflective of the communities they serve. For more information contact the York Regional Police Uniform Recruiting Unit by telephone at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 6720 or by email at

Michael hosting his annual New Year’s Levee at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s Buildling

MPP Coteau will be hosting a free event at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s Building in celebration of the New Year! Feel free to bring your family out for some food and some festive company!

Hope to see you there! PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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Sicilian Puppet


Theatre Persian Culture By: Anastasia Tsouroupakis


he art of Opera dei Pupi, or Sicilian Puppet Theatre as it is more commonly known, can be traced back to the 15th century, but evolved as a theatrical art form in the 1800’s. In older times, audiences watched well known romantic poems, classical plays, and biblical stories brought to life by wooden marionettes on the small stage. These days, the Sicilian Puppet Theatre is fighting to stay relevant in this new age of mass media. Writer, producer, and director Diego Vida hopes to draw international attention to this classical art form. By fusing digital animation and special effects with the world’s oldest form of animation, Vida hopes to breathe new life into the Opera Di Pupi. Diego Vida inter view about his movie The Sicilian Puppets.

and each school developed their animation styles. In the Palermo school, the puppets are smaller allowing them to use the space beside and inside the stage. In the Catania school, puppets are much bigger and use the space behind the stage, and the Catanian plays use special effects such as fake blood during battle scenes. A bit of story background on the project would be helpful to our readers.

Diego could you tell us what your project is about? DV: I wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited this movie, and I have extensive experience working with visual effects on many films and video games. You can view my filmography on IMDB. I found that the same animation techniques in computer graphic digital animation were also used in the original manual animation form of Opera dei Pupi, also known as “The Sicilian Puppets”, which originated in Naples approximately two centuries ago, and later moved to Sicily where it became split into two different schools in Palermo and Catania, 18


DV: The film will feature puppets from the most popular puppeteer company, the Fratelli Napoli founded in 1921. This company belongs to the Catania school and has a lovely museum dedicated to their ancient puppets. The story itself is an adaptation of the classic Song of Roland, the story of a knight,Roland, who serves King Carlo Magno (or Charlemagne) who fights for his King, and to save his love Angelica. Unfortunately Roland is betrayed by King Carlo Magno’s brother in law and he dies. What is the importance of this project in your view? DV: This ancient art is slowly vanishing for various reasons. Theatres are struggling to keep their doors open. Without any financial help from the government, and people preferring to spend their free time and money on cinema and TV, theatre owners are struggling to look for ways to keep their doors open. The puppeteers try to

•Art keep their art alive by reaching out to schools, holding workshops in addition to performing plays. Unfortunately this is still not enough, with my film, I hope to bring attention to the situation. Through my film, I hope to gain enough support to keep showing this magical art in theatres all around the world. Where is it going to be distributed, featured, or shown? Is it going to be available to view online? DV: The movie will be distributed through the film festival circuit, then in cinemas, TV, and finally, on-line streaming and subtitled cuts in a variety of languages

I am very comfortable working with Persians. They are gentle and good friends. This movie has brought together many people from all parts of the world who work in graphic design, cinematography, dubbing, music, and translation. Persian talents are also great at their jobs, and I’m very satisfied with their work. I think many other international productions would be eager to work with Persians as their work is exceptional and they meet their deadlines in a timely fashion.

including Farsi. This way people worldwide will be able to watch the movie. When will it be available for showing?

I would also like to thank my friend Mahshid Mirzaaghaee from Tehran. She is an English teacher and translator, and lover of many languages including German. Mahshid will translate my film, The Sicilian Puppets and provide the Farsi subtitles. This way, Persians will be able to enjoy this movie and this art form.

DV: It will be ready for viewing at the film festivals by the end of this year. It will be screened through the other channels after that. In the photo shot by our photographer Francesco Maricchiolo, you can see me with a tall puppet named Roland, made by the Master Giuseppe Chiarenza from the town of Acireale near the city of Catania in Sicily and the traditional ancient Sicilian Carriage made by the international painter Master Domenico Di Mauro which is featured at the museum in the town Aci Sant’Antonio, Catania, Sicily. How does this story connect Italian and Persian culture, art, music, theatre? DV: Italy and Iran were both at one time in history powerful empires, the Roman and Persian Empires respectively. Both their traditions and cultures made these countries powerful and successful throughout the world.


In ancient Sicily, Muslims and Christians lived together. As a people, we are similar not only physically, but culturally, especially with respect to our family values.

For more information go to:

love Iran, and its culture! I am planning to film a remake of the old movie starring Googoosh called “Hamsafar” and a second about the first king of Persia called “Diaaco”. 


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An Inspiring search for the Lost Paradise of P ersia... Wi t h Art i st and En t repreneur

Jaleh Farhadpour By: Courtney Boyden



Photo by: Ramin Deravian

•Feature Recently, Persian Tribune magazine had the opportunity to sit down and talk to entrepreneur and philanthropist Jaleh Farhadpour at her newly opened jewellery boutique, Archives in the trendy district of Yorkville in Toronto. The Iranian born Farhadpour holds Masters Degrees in both Architecture and Urban Planning from Melli (National) University in Iran, and has had professional training in fashion and gemology. Her humanitarian and philanthropic work in tsunami hit Sri Lanka, gave birth to her latest passion, the art of jewellery making. Jaleh’s unique ability to harness the natural energy of each stone is the key element to each one of her creations, and her profound love for the lost paradise of Persia is her ultimate inspiration.


ell us a bit about yourself, your childhood, where were you born, and where were you educated?

I was born in Mashad, and my family were from Eastern Iran. I lived in Tehran and was educated there. I was the top student in all of Tehran. I had the chance to go to Harvard or Cambridge, but I chose to go to Melli University. I was one of nine girls that [attended]. Then came the revolution, and everything shattered after that. I was too young to leave Iran. My father was the Deputy Minister of Agriculture at the time, and he was also one of the six advisors to the Shah. He was arrested and then was put under house arrest. Later on, my entire family fled Iran. I had one brother who died of leukemia many years before in the city of Birjand, and I have another brother who is younger than me and lives in Toronto. I left Iran for Dubai and then moved to France. I married my ex- husband in France without my family present because I could not bring them. Was he Iranian?

Yes. We lived in Dubai and France before we emigrated here. My husband was denied entry to the US (even though I was granted entry), but Canada [accepted] him. You went to Melli University and studied architecture. Why architecture?

[in my life] but, the decision to study architecture was one of the best I have ever made. What were your dreams growing up?

I was raised privileged but, I was conscious that what I had other kids didn’t. I wanted to be a teacher, teaching in villages. I didn’t like the way that we, as a privileged society handled other people. I wanted to be like the other children. I wanted to be able to help them. That’s why I always helped children, I always thought every child deserved to have everything, they should have more than the basics. It is a shame that we think that if they have the basics it is enough.


hat drives you now to succeed?

Well, I don’t do things for financial success. I love creation. I want an environment of creation of positivity. They call me a successful business woman, but I suck at business. I have made successful businesses. I had Zero Ten, and that was a multinational [company]. I have always had a business partner beside me. If you call me a successful individual you would be wrong. I am a visionary. One thing that separates an artist from other people is their vision, and their ability to imagine. Every night, when I go to bed I imagine what I want to happen… and that has been the source of my success throughout my life.

I`ve always loved architecture. In those days when you wrote university entrance exams, you chose what you wanted [to study]. My parents wanted me to be a doctor, and I didn’t and my father didn’t want me to be an architect. I loved architecture. I was an artist. I was born an artist. When I was five I built a village out of clay in my grandfather’s garden. I even made a tanoor (an oven for bread), that worked. In our house, we had a baker making fresh bread and pastries, [as well as] a chef. I wanted to have a miniature version of that. So they bought me the pots and pans and chairs, but I wanted to make a city, a city of clay. So I was born an artist and architect. I’ve made many wrong decisions PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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•Feature helping Afghanis and they are all Sunni’s! I didn’t care! The first woman I helped under Children of Zahra was a Christian woman! Your philanthropic work with the victims of Tsunami in Asia also marked the beginning of your work with gemstones and designing jewellery. Tell us about it.


Jaleh and Jeanne Becker

hat is your definition of success?

My definition of success is when you reach a level where you are able to choose what you want to do, and love what you’re doing at any moment of the day, this is success. It can be a combination of money, or work, or creativity. It cannot be one or the other. I know many successful people that have money, but they are not happy. It’s not a balance. To me, I feel successful because I think I have [the right] combination in my life.

I actually went to Sri Lanka before the tsunami because we were producing some of Zero Ten [products] there, and I had contacts. When the tsunami hit, I naturally wanted to help. I had a good working relationship with UNICEF because of all my work with children and I began volunteering. It was a life changing experience. We would go to different places ruined by the tsunami and there we would find an old woman making bread on a stone, she would give us some, [eventually] they would sell me their gems. This is how I began to get to know the gems. After this I stayed with some Buddhists who taught me about the healing powers and energies of the gems. I was fascinated by this [in particular], and I continued studying on my own. [During] this time I bought many gems, I also would go into Colombo and buy more from various dealers.

Let’s discuss your philanthropic work. When and how did you start?

In 1996 I applied for a permit to open a woman’s shelter in Iran, it was to be the first. At the same time, I started a children’s clothing company Zero Ten in Iran and Dubai, and it became very successful. [With Zero Ten’s] success, I began working with Afghani children. I would give them food, housing and an allowance, and in return I would ask them to cut vegetables and sell them, or sew and embroider; I was training them. [In addition to this], I had become involved with the Iranian-Canadian Woman’s Association in Toronto. We held many charity bazaars in support of Haft-e-Tir Institution. It took me many years to get my permit and I eventually opened the first woman’s shelter in Iran. My life’s greatest achievement, and the in the end Iranian government took it away from me. This is why I can never go back. The government was always involved, the organization was called Children of Zahra, that name took us many months to decide upon because it had to be something associated with religion. I did not want that. My mandate was for [the shelter to be for] any woman of any religion, any nationality but, they (the government) said only Iranian and only Shi’ite Muslims. I was already



While fundraising for both Children of Zahra and the Sri Lankan Tsunami victims, I was having lunch with a very good and rich friend of mine. We were [brainstorming] how to raise money for the children in need when she noticed my ring. I have always designed my own jewellery and told her this. She then came up with the idea of me making ten of these rings and selling

•Feature You have also said, that when designing jewellery, you want to create a nostalgic feeling for the lost paradise in Persia?

I had lunch once with the great jewellery designer Iradj Moini, and we were talking about how we were raised, fascinated by what we saw, and how we wanted other people to have the fascination and for them to experience what we saw and how we lived. I want people to experience what I saw and how I felt playing in my family’s treasure bunkers full of generations of beautiful jewellery. And not just gems, but also fabrics and treasures from the 16th century. This is why I opened Archives [pronounced ar-sheev], it’s full of things that are to be treasured. them, with the proceeds going to Children of Zahra and the tsunami victims. This is how I became a jeweller, in the end I actually made twelve rings in total and sold every one. Gallery owner Sandra Ainsley came to me and announced she wanted to carry my line in her gallery. Through Sandra Ainsley, the CEO of Holt Renfrew reached out to me and my popularity grew.


hy “Archives”?

Because it’s an archive, a collection of timeless pieces you would treasure forever, not something you buy and throw out. I’m against mass production, things you buy because it’s cheap. I think part of being an environmentalist [today], is to preserve rather than recycle. If you have pieces you can use and re use you actually saving the environment.

Unfortunately, I discovered that my gem dealer in Sri Lanka was taking advantage of me, and I decided that if I wanted to be a jeweller I would have to study gemology. I am no gemologist by any means, that would take years. I studied just enough to know what I was talking about. I now have a good gemologist [working for me], because it’s hard to tell real stones from synthetic; with rubies and diamonds it’s almost impossible.


ou talked about the energy of the stones. Do you take that into account when designing?

Definitely. That’s why I think my pieces are speaking to people. There is no good energy or bad energy, just different energy. When you put two stones that are pulsing harmoniously together, that energy becomes enhanced. It [has] been proven that energies contradict or enhance each other. Some people say opals have a bad energy but it’s one of the nicest stones, it just contradicts others. Your pieces are not just a symbol of unity but of harmony as well.

How do you view Persian culture?

I’m privileged and honoured to be born in Iran, into such an old culture. It is unfortunate what is going on, but the politics of Iran [today] have nothing to do with how I feel. I was crying while watching Anthony Bourdain’s CNN Special on Iran, because that’s not what we were. This is the unfortunate circumstance we are in. But I love Iran. Not THIS Iran…, but Iran. What is your message for our Persian Tribune readers?

Keep dreaming, and keep pushing for what you want. 

I hope so. I am aiming for that.


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For Small Business By: Silviu Apostolide, MBA


ince the dawn of economic times, the small business owner has been stressed by the competition, by the debt that has to be paid, by the cost of equipment or supplies, and ultimately by how to get more customers and increase revenues. In recent times, the business landscape has changed, mainly because of the technological (r)evolution. And today’s small business owner, while having the same stress causes, is also trying to decipher how to incorporate technological advancements and have some of their stress relieved by moving their business into the 21st century.

90s. They didn’t make a move because of reasons like technology is cost prohibitive, it’s hard to keep up and understand it, or it is too overwhelming and confusing. And the translation of all these excuses is ultimately the cost perception and the fear of the unknown. But to all these business owners I say: Please look around you. We live in the digital age. If you want to stay in business, stop considering technology as an option, consider it essential for your success. And here are some tools that, once you realize what your business needs are, are relatively inexpensive to adopt:

Speaking with hundreds of these entrepreneurs, I learned that many small and medium businesses owners are still running their operations like they were in the

1. A strong web presence. That doesn’t mean just a good looking and fast website, but making sure all the customers who are shopping for your products or services on the web will find you very easily. 24


•Technology Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube, and Pinterest are just few avenues that will help you find new customers costing you almost nothing. Have a good social media strategy in place, and you will enjoy the benefits.

2. Cloud computing, which will help you cut the costs of owning an IT infrastructure, and allow you to scale as the business grows, without having large capital expenses.

4. A few more basics tools available to you are voice over IP, web conferencing, blogging, and mobile technology. A small price to pay that can result in savings, reducing the overhead, making your business available beyond the business hours and ultimately make you more money. If this short article sparked your curiosity, stay tuned as we’re bringing to you a series of articles that will help you decipher all of the above and more.

3. The not so new marketing approach through social media that will allow you to understand what customers think about you, and also spread the word to the world that you are the best at what you do. Twitter,

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 

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Bill C-24 Erodes the Rights and Privileges of

Canadian Citizenship By: Bijan Ahmadi


anada’s new immigration and citizenship law, Bill C-24, has started a conversation between Canadians about whether Canadian citizenship is a right or privilege. While the distinction between these categories may not make much difference in an average citizen’s daily life, this important subject will likely have long-term effects for our immigration and citizenship policies. This area of policy and law is a sensitive matter, especially for those citizens born outside Canada or those who become naturalized citizens. As a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada, I have always believed the Canadian way was people from diverse backgrounds who meet the immigration requirements are granted the privilege of becoming permanent residents. As Canadians, we have always made a promise to permanent residents that if they follow Canadian laws and fulfill the citizenship requirements set by our elected officials, they have earned the right to become truly a part of Canadian society through Canadian citizenship. The citizenship path is set so immigrants have the opportunity to demonstrate they are ready to act as and be citizens of this great nation.


ulticulturalism in Canada does not solely mean we have people from diverse backgrounds living in this country. Canadian multiculturalism is a successful showcase of tolerance, freedom, and understanding of nationhood from diverse cultural backgrounds, while preserving unity and sharing a single national identity. The success of our multicultural nation has been achieved through avoiding discrimination against people from different backgrounds and allowing them to become part of Canadian life and communities with equal rights regardless of their birthplace. Our lawmakers and elected officials have the responsibility for setting the fair and just immigration policies based on long term planning and Canada’s socio-economic interests. They set the requirements for those who are applying to move to Canada. They also set the path for residents who want to become Canadians. However, for the sake of Canadian multiculturalism and our national unity, creating different classes of citizens must be avoided. Canadian citizenship is the centrepiece that connects our cultural mosaic together and allows our communities flexibility to learn and grow in the 21st century.


evisiting our history may remind our lawmakers of the value of Canadian citizenship. During the post-Second World War debates of 1946 on the Canadian Citizenship Act, then Liberal Cabinet Minister, Paul Martin Sr. told Parliament: "Our new Canadians bring to this country much that is rich and good, and in Canada they find a new way of life and new hope for the future. They should all be made to feel that they, like the rest of us, are Canadians, citizens of a great country, guardians of proud traditions and trustees of all that is best in life for generations of Canadians yet to be. For the national unity of Canada and for the future and greatness of this country it is felt to be of utmost importance that all of us, new Canadians or old, have a consciousness of a common purpose and common interests as Canadians; that all of us are able to say with pride and say with meaning: I am a Canadian citizen." Bill C-24 undermines this sense of common purpose and unnecessarily promotes division amongst and between Canadians, both new and old, instead of providing a path for uniting all of us and our dreams and desires for the success of our nation.


am always grateful to my parents for moving to this amazing country. I consider myself privileged to be a Canadian. I also rightfully consider myself just as much a Canadian as anyone born here and I would not accept nor want any other titles or names attached to my status as a Canadian. Hopefully our courts will remember the tenets of Canadian citizenship and who we are as a country and take the moderate Canadian way in reminding extremists in this particularly insensitive government about the rights enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Bijan Ahamadi is a Young Entrepreneur and Liberal Activist, follow him on twitter @AhmadiBijan PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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The 2nd Trudeau's Vision for Canada A PERSIAN TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN TRUDEAU Leader of the Canadian Liberal Party



The Editor in Chief Kiumars Rezvanifar recently sat down with Canadian Liberal Party Leader and father for the third time Justin Trudeau to discuss his thoughts on; his father’s legacy, the new direction of the Liberal Party, and the evolution of multiculturalism in Canada. PT: Mr. Trudeau, it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with you and to get to know you better. JT: It’s a pleasure to be here and a pleasure to able to be here! PT: We all know about your Pierre Elliot Trudeau your father, his impact on Canadian history and multiculturalism. Who is Justin Trudeau, and how similar or different is he compared to his father? JT: I am a product of my father’s teachings. We didn’t talk about politics, but we did talk about matters in the world, what it is to be a good society, how to build a better future for ourselves, the responsibility that we had, as people who had received a lot from this extraordinary country in terms of education and opportunities, to give back. So I’m very much shaped by and very proud of my father and his values. But at the same time, here we are 30, 40 years later, the world is very different, and I’m not overly focused on looking backwards. I’m very much interested in what’s going to serve our society now, and… how to be a society that is strong, not in spite of our differences but because of them, and I think that’s really the center of what I am doing now. PT: A great number of people perceive you as the next Prime Minister of Canada. How different could Canada be under your leadership? JT: First of all, we have to say Canada is an incredible county. And yes, we have a government these days with Mr.


Harper that, I don’t think he is doing very well by Canada. I don’t think he’s bringing out the best of what we are. To my mind, one of the things we’ve been doing under Mr. Harper in the past 8 years is coasting, just getting by, just trying to hope that the challenges of the world don’t hit us, trying to play very safe in terms of international roles. To reflect on domestic priorities, but not to take a leadership role the way I think Canadians, when we’ve been at our best, always have. For me, we have a tremendous opportunity and a responsibility to build a better future for ourselves and our kids. To look at what’s not working in our society, rather than just celebrating what’s working. Looking where the challenges are and focusing on them and building on them and for me, Canadians in the middle class are struggling. We haven’t seen a real raise in middle class Canadians in 30 years. People are worried about their debts, their kids, and the capacity for their kids to get good jobs. A government needs to focus on that and build a solution. PT: We all witnessed the defeat of the Canadian Liberal Party in the past election. I heard from one of the remaining MP’s who came to me and said “We [the Liberal Party] took the communities for granted. Please help me, I need to talk to a community.” How do you go about changing that kind of mentality? JT: First of all, the Liberal Party lost an awful lot votes, not just among the multicultural communities, but among Canadians in general. The Liberal Party got to a point where it was much more focused on itself and its own success than it was on the success of Canadians, and our country. That’s why Canadians pulled away from the Liberal Party and taught us a very difficult lesson over the past elections which is why I am so touched that the work we’ve done over the past year had got Canadians believing again. But it’s not because we’re promising the moon, or we’re promising to fix everything, it’s because we’re listening. This colleague of mine, as you said, said “I have to talk to the communities”… Me, I would rather listen to the community. I’d rather give PERSIAN TRIBUNE

• 29

•Politics voice to the community, to bring forward their concerns. I prefer to raise the level and say that, ok we are all Canadians of different cultures, and stories, and backgrounds but we all want the same kinds of things. How can we work together and build that? How can we respond to the very real concerns you have with the solutions that will make our future better and brighter? And that sense of working together for the greater good of the country is something that Canadians really respond to. I’m hoping in the next election Canadians of all backgrounds will look again at the Liberal Party and say “This is a party that I can work with to build a better future for this country.” PT: Multiculturalism is the infrastructure of this country. That’s very unique in this world. How do you view multiculturalism? JT: Canada has become an extraordinarily rich, diverse society. There is a willingness to celebrate and share, because ultimately multiculturalism has brought Canada to a place, of being a country that does well because of its differences and around a particular national identity… Canadian identity is not based around a language or a colour or a background, it’s based around shared values. Values of openness, compassion, a desire to work hard, a desire to be there for each other. That’s what defines this country, and that’s what is allowing us to thrive in a globalized world and should be what we share as our legacy. PT: Living here for 25 years I ask myself: Is there a threshold I can cross so I can be viewed by the Canadian government as a Canadian, and not a minority? Do you think there is such a thing? JT: Some things you can’t rush. There will be a few generations where this will come through. But at the same time, we have to make sure as a society we are promoting our institutions to reflect multiculturalism, with its police officers, medical professionals, or politicians at any level of government. That’s why one of the things I’ve pushed at very strongly to bring forward candidates from all different communities so young people can see that Canadians look like any colour in the world, and that’s very exciting to me. PT: To some people, you are more liberal in views than they expect you to be. Your views on legalizing marijuana, for example, which fuel the anti-Justine Trudeau ads. What are your views on that once and for all? JT: The marijuana issue is actually a very interesting issue to bring forward, because it demonstrates just how much this government is stuck in its ideological thinking. Canada’s approach to marijuana is failing. Of 29 developed countries, the UN determined that Canada has the #1 teen marijuana usage. In no country in the world [do] teenagers smoke more pot than Canada. So our current approach… isn’t protecting our kids. So what I say is we need to regulate and control marijuana… to make it harder for our kids to access it, and to prevent criminal organizations from 30


making so much money on trafficking it. I am not afraid to put forward a bold idea if it makes sense… I’m staying focused on what’s good for Canadians. PT: How important is ethnic media in your point of view? JT: Ethnic media is rising and becoming more and more pertinent. For me it serves two purposes. First is to give people news of home in their own language. It’s also about helping them to understand the Canadian situation in a way that relates to their own community. For me I am a huge supporter of multicultural media and ethnic media. I’m very excited for the future of community media. PT: How much do you know about Iranian culture, particularly about the Iranian community in Canada? JT: Well, I have many friends in the Persian community. I think it’s important to reassure … Canadians that there is a big difference between the Iranian people … and the current Iranian government, and to understand there is a lot of work to be done in helping move towards a government in Iran that is much more in tune with the cultural depth and beauty and richness of Iranian culture than what we have currently coming out or Iran. PT: Thank you very much. Hopefully we’ll get to talk again when you’re Prime Minister. JT: Thank you, it was a pleasure. 


Rose Reisman’s Family Favourites Miniature Chocolate Mud Pies By: Rose Reisman

{serves 12}



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs 1 Tbsp water 2 tsp vegetable oil 2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips 2 Tbsp hot water 1 tsp instant coffee 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup cocoa powder 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp light cream cheese (about 2.5 oz), softened 2 large eggs 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream 3 Tbsp corn syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract Icing sugar (to decorate)


These are the best-selling desserts at Rose Reisman Catering. They are so dense, they will put you into chocolate heaven. You will never believe they are lower fat. Drizzle with melted chocolate for an extra special touch. 32


2. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, 1 Tbsp water and oil until mixed. Divide and pat into the bottom of the muffin tins. 3. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp hot water and coffee. Microwave for 40 seconds on High or just until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until smooth. 4. In the bowl of a food processor, add the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, corn syrup and vanilla. Purée until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and purée until smooth. Divide among the muffin cups and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or just until the centers are still slightly loose. Cool and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Carefully remove from the tin with a knife. Decorate with icing sugar. Per serving Calories 220 • Protein 3.6 g • Carbohydrates 30 g • Fiber 1.5 g • Total fat 5.8 g • Saturated fat 2.1 g • Cholesterol 23 mg • Sodium 62 mg • prep time 15 minutes • bake time 12 minutes • make ahead Can be baked 2 days in advance and refrigerated. • nutrition watch: There is increasing evidence that compounds in chocolate (dark chocolate) may beneficially affect cardiovascular health. 


From the Persian Kitchen... LOOBIA POLO Green Beans & Chicken Rice

By: Naz Deravian


oobia Polo comforts and soothes our souls, and is a comforting staple in our house. It's the one meal that even the pickiest of little eaters will dig in for seconds. It also makes a great thermos lunch for school the next day. The green bean mixture is quite easy and quick to prepare. The beans delicately soak up the aromatic and flavorful blend of the spices: saffron, turmeric, cinnamon - with the addition of tomato paste to create a sauce, and of course freshly squeezed lemon juice for that slightly tangy sour taste that dictates most Persian stews. When the end of the recipe asks that you adjust the seasoning to taste, this not only applies to the addition of salt and pepper but also to extra lemon juice if necessary. What you also want to keep in mind is to maintain the texture of the green beans. No mushy, out of the can style, green bean mess please. Loobia Polo is traditionally served mixed in with rice but you can serve it alongside any grain you prefer. {serves 6-8} 6 cups COOKED, PARTIALLY BOILED (AL DENTE) rice 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 pound organic green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces 2 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron steeped in 2 tablespoons hot water 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 to 4 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (roughly the juice of 2 lemons, plus more to taste) sea salt fresh ground black pepper 3 tablespoons butter Directions: 1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute

for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion softens. 2. Add green beans and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until green beans soften slightly. Take care not to burn green beans. Turn down heat if necessary. 3. Add chicken, turmeric, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes. 4. Add saffron water, tomato paste water, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken has cooked through and green beans have softened, but not mushy. Adjust seasoning and add more lemon juice if necessary. 5. Mix bean mixture with PAR-BOILED (AL DENTE) rice as follows. 6. Melt 2 tablespoons of oil in large non-stick pot. Then place 2 spatulas full of rice in pot, add a layer of green bean mixture on top of the rice. Repeat, alternating rice layer and green bean layer in the shape of a pyramid. Your top layer should be a rice layer. Using the handle of a wooden spoon poke a couple of holes in the rice to allow the steam to escape. Cover and turn up heat to medium-high. Cook for 10 minutes. 7. Turn the heat down to low. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel or a couple of layers of paper towel. Cook for 40 minutes. 8. Remove lid. Scatter the green beans rice mixture on a serving platter Serve immediately. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.  PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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Wine Pick of the month

By: David Akhlagi

Executive Director at The Wine Cave

Napa Valley’s Well Made Petite Sirah



etite Sirah is an interesting wine, because it illustrates the difficulty of getting the consumer to try something he or she might not be familiar with. The problem with Petite Sirah in particular is that despite the considerable quantities of it made in California, not all of it is very good! The grapes can vary in ripeness and the wine itself can be too high in alcohol and above all too tannic. Then too, because Petite Sirah does not fetch as much money in the marketplace as, say, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, there is little reason for vintners to make it as good as they possibly can. When Harry Waugh, visiting from London, tasted his first California Petite Sirah’s, he found too many of the wines suffered from “oxidation and volatile acidity,” While

Petite’s qualities were strange to Harry, he did find in the best of the wines what he called “a fairly full-bodied Burgundy type,” a description that doesn’t sound like modern Petite Sirah. Incidentally, Harry also found, in many of the wines, a “peppery” aroma that mystified him, but that today certainly is a marker for a well-made Petite Sirah. About Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2011, Napa Valley: Out of a 1920s era field blend block has risen a legacy of richly aromatic Petite Sirah’s, voluptuous in the mouth, central to Stags’ Leaps’ commitment to Rhône varietals. "Petite Sirah craves the company of other Rhône varietals”. "She blossoms in their presence. The flavors, structure, and elegance express themselves with greater intensity and purity from the soft touch of cross-blending.” The winery’s long association with prime Petite Syrah growers in the Napa Valley has resulted in an optimum choice of fruit every season. Matching food: Melting pot cooking is a craze that’s borne from multicultural diversity. It’s a phenomenon from a new generation of chefs who are experimenting with their families’ traditional recipes, and playing with flavors that are fun and creative by introducing alternative, ethnic twists.  Please visit us on- line @

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B o o k b y R a m i n Ja h a n b e g l o o


n April 2006, Canadian-Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo was waiting at the airport in Tehran for a flight to Brussels. He had arrived early, knowing he would be double-checked by security, something that had become routine for him. But on this day the routine was broken and missing his flight became the least of his worries.


petition against the imprisonment was initiated, with Umberto Eco, Jürgen Habermas, Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty and Howard Zinn among the signatories. International organizations and human rights groups joined in. The media reported the case extensively. Without ever being officially being charged, Jahanbegloo was finally released in August of that year. 

Jahanbegloo was arrested and detained in solitary confinement in Iran’s infamous Evin Prison. Sorbonne-educated, and author of almost thirty books, he was a prominent promoter of intercultural dialogue, and a philosopher of non-violence in the tradition of Tolstoy and Gandhi. He was hardly someone to pose a threat to a country’s security. Yet, the Iranian Authorities accused him of spying.

The winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations in Spain and an advisory board member of PEN Canada, Ramin Jahanbegloo is an internationally celebrated philosopher and currently York-Noor Visiting Chair in Islamic Studies and Associate Professor in Political Science at York University in Toronto.


• 35

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* No credit history required for a credit card, car loan or home mortgage. For an RBC Royal Bank credit card, newcomer must be a permanent resident who arrived in Canada within the last 12 months. Provided you meet all of Royal Bank of Canada’s eligibility and credit criteria, you may be eligible for a secured or unsecured RBC Royal Bank credit card even if you have no Canadian credit history. Automotive and residential mortgage products are available to permanent residents and foreign workers without a Canadian credit history, provided you meet eligibility and credit criteria. To take advantage of these offers you must show proof of entry into Canada and provide supporting documents such as a passport and landing papers or permanent resident card. For full terms and conditions visit 1 No annual fee is available on select RBC Royal Bank credit cards. See branch for details. 2 Offer only available to First-Time Home Buyers who obtain a 4, 5 or 7 year fixed interest rate closed or a 5 year variable rate closed residential mortgage with Royal Bank of Canada or on one RBC Homeline Plan® mortgage segment. To qualify for this offer, clients must have or open a mortgage payment account with RBC Royal Bank. To be eligible: (i) the mortgage application date must be on or after March 10, 2014 and mortgage funds must be fully advanced within 120 days from the commitment start date, and (ii) client must have a minimum mortgage principal amount of $100,000. Not available in combination with any other offer. 3 Conditions apply. To get an Apple iPad mini device, you must be a new Eligible Personal Client, open one of the Eligible Personal Deposit accounts with RBC Royal Bank during the promotional period and complete the criteria. Offer is not available to existing clients who had a Personal Deposit Account with RBC Royal Bank before April 14, 2014. Offer available from April 14, 2014 to July 31, 2014. Apple is not a sponsor of, nor a participant in, this promotion. For full terms and conditions visit † Based on market capitalization. Other conditions apply to all offers. Each of these offers may be withdrawn or amended at any time without notice. For complete Terms and Conditions visit any RBC Royal Bank branch or visit Personal lending products and residential mortgages are offered by Royal Bank of Canada and are subject to its standard lending criteria. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. 26770 (05/2014)

Omid Foundation: Empowering & Transforming the Lives of Young, Disadvantaged Women in Iran By: Jina Aryaan


n October of 2014, the Omid Foundation held its first major fundraiser in Canada at the Arta Gallery. Over 200 guests came together in support of the organization’s goal in empowering disadvantaged and vulnerable young girls in Iran. In 2004, Omid Foundation’s founder, Marjaneh Halati established an organization committed to helping young, neglected, and abused women in Iran rebuild their wrongly constructed foundations. A decade has passed since the foundation’s first establishment. Today, the Omid Foundation has three registered organizations located in Iran, England, and the United States. Recently, the organization expanded into Canada and its registration is currently in progress. The guest list for the fundraising reception ranged from local artists, businessmen and educators, to prominent politicians and city leaders, such as the Honorable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Olivia Chow, Toronto mayoral candidate and former Member of Parliament, Sarkis Assadourian, Member of the Deputy Judges Council and former Member of Parliament, as well as Majid Jowhari, the federal Liberal candidate from Richmond Hill. Whether or not the attendees were connoisseurs for the fine arts, everyone sensed and appreciated the genuine feelings captured by the beautiful paintings of local and international painters, especially the artwork by the girls at Omid’s care in Iran.


he girls who are being supported by the Omid Foundation share similar backgrounds, many of these young girls have run away from abusive homes, or religious households with oppressive views on marriage. These marginalized women have been victims of homelessness and poor living conditions, and most often sexual, physical and emotional abuse. They share similar outlooks on their lives due to their exploitation and untimely exposure to the world of drugs and prostitution, lead by their desperate financial needs due to their family’s early childhood negligence. The remarkable foundation supports nearly 200 women on any given cycle. These women are between the ages 15 to 25, and some of them are sheltered by Omid’s operational centre. The foundation operates on a 3-year program established to provide the young women with psychological counselling, vocational training, and education to help them adopt emotional, social and academic competencies. Moreover, Omid offers the young women a positive and effective outlet to express their repressed thoughts and feelings through individual and group therapy sessions, artwork, poetry and creative writing, as well as theatre and photography workshops.


Fortunately, the foundation has an 85% success rate in providing the women with the necessary tools to ensure them employability and the continuation of their academic careers. Many of those who complete the threeyear program continue on to university, and pursue accounting or administrative studies.


uring the Toronto fundraising night Yasamin Dadashi, one of Omid Foundation’s Toronto Chapter committee organizers opened up about her personal journey with the organization and revealed, “when [she] first watched a documentary about the Omid Foundation called the Glass House, six or seven years ago, [she] was ashamed by [her] long-standing ignorance.” Ms. Dadashi continued; “It was painful for me to watch young women, around my age, who didn't believe in themselves, who were made to think that they are worthless, who felt helpless and lost. But it was relieving to see that someone cares about these forgotten and abandoned young women.” Her introductory speech was followed by Minister Reza Moridi’s brief remarks supporting the cause of the Omid Foundation and reading of the greeting letter from Premier Kathleen Wynne to the founder of the foundation, Ms. Halati. After Minister Moridi’s remarks, Ms. Halati further discussed the organization’s goals and objectives, its success stories, and its great appreciation of the many supporters. Community activist and fellow member of the Omid Foundation's organizing committee, Bijan Ahmadi claims that, “In the past decade, the Iranian-Canadian community has achieved significant success. We have to leverage this success and use our acquired skills and current resources in Canada to help improve the lives of those in need in Iran. While politically the two countries are far apart, humanitarian efforts should continue through credible organizations like the Omid Foundation.”


mid Foundation has helped numerous girls break the vicious cycle of abuse and violence in which they’ve been born in. Through this successful foundation, these young Iranian women are provided with the opportunity to transform from a vulnerable and defenceless girls into emotionally stable and strong independent women with aspiring dreams and the courage and skills to pursue them all. If you wish to know more about the organization, please visit the official website at For more information on how you can get involved with the Omid Foundation, please contact Omid’s Toronto Chapter at  Jina Aryaan is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She is currently involved in various campaigns and aims to promote youth activism while pursuing a career in the field of law. PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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The Importance of an Outstanding Early Childhood Education is Immeasurable


arge amounts of private and public research highlight the enormous importance of early childhood learning. Despite this, far too many children entering their formal school years are unprepared and fall behind as a consequence. At TMS, we inspire and engage children as young as 18 months of age in the creation of a foundation for life that ensures so many positive outcomes. We know this to be true because we have seen results for nearly 55 years. There are many exceedingly positive cognitive outcomes that result from the foundation TMS assists each student to develop. These include: ■■ Very high level math and language skills ■■ Excellence in concentration and higher level thinking ■■ Outstanding confidence and independence Expert, caring, and compassionate teachers guide the social and emotional development of TMS students to outstanding results. At a critical time, our youngest students: ■■ Embrace interacting in ways that are positive, supportive and collaborative ■■ Regularly contribute to the development of a psychologically safe atmosphere where it is easy to try new activities and take risks as they explore their potential ■■ Begin to practise making positive contributions that will make the world a better place

We know this to be true because we have seen results for nearly 55 years.


ith over half a century of experience as a school, we know the long-term outcomes associated with the development of an unparalleled foundation for life at an early age include: ■■ The opportunity to choose one’s university program ■■ The capacity to go beyond throughout one’s career ■■ The ability to make positive choices that have positive consequences throughout one’s life. 

At TMS School, we are highly successful in assisting students to be engaged and enthused as they build strong foundations that will enable them to achieve their full potential in university, career, and life. We deliver a unique, engaging, and highly effective program that guides each student to develop the skills and attitudes required for outstanding life-long learning. Learn more at www. Better yet, come for a tour and see what an unparalleled education looks like.\


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P E R S I A N TRIBUNE D igita l ver s i o n s avai l ab l e

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Clean drinking water should be a human right in Canada By David Suzuki with contributions from Michael Dan, a neurosurgeon, philanthropist and First Nations advocate who accompanied David Suzuki to Shoal Lake.


anada is among the world's wealthiest nations, but our wealth is not equitably distributed. Many communities, particularly northern and Aboriginal, suffer from poor access to healthy and affordable food, clean water, proper housing and other necessary infrastructure. An ironic example of this disparity is at Shoal Lake, about two hours east of Winnipeg. There, two First Nations, Shoal Lake 39 and 40, are next to the City of Winnipeg's main drinking-water supply, but Shoal Lake 40 has been on a boil-water advisory for decades. Shoal Lake's story is complicated. To begin, the Ontario-Manitoba border runs through the middle of the lake. Winnipeg has drawn its drinking water from the Manitoba side through a 153-kilometre aqueduct since 1914. I visited Shoal Lake during the national Blue Dot Tour in support of environmental rights. Driving east along the Trans-Canada Highway toward Kenora, we crossed the aqueduct before arriving in Kejick, home of Shoal Lake 39. Chief Fawn Wapioke from Shoal Lake 39 and Chief Erwin Redsky from Shoal Lake 40 greeted us. We then participated in a traditional water ceremony organized by Shoal Lake 39 elders. Chief Wapioke explained that lake water taken for Winnipeg requires the community to maintain artificial water levels, which affects fishing and wild rice harvesting. I also visited neighbouring Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, reached from the mainland by a short barge ride. Originally on a thin point jutting out from the lake's west side, the community was cut off from its neighbours in 1914 by a dike and canal built to channel swampy water from the drinking-water intake pipe, converting the peninsula into an island.



The canal blocks access to the west, and Shoal Lake blocks access to the east. In summer, when the barge is running, there's no problem leaving Shoal Lake 40 via Shoal Lake 39 and Highway 673. In winter, it's possible to cross Shoal Lake by snowmobile or on foot, and a makeshift winter road has provided access to the west for the past few years. But twice a year, during freeze-up and spring thaw, it's unsafe to cross the lake by road, barge or foot, isolating the community from the outside world, often for weeks at a time.

•Environment enjoy clean water, the people of Shoal Lake 40 suffer from substandard water, which puts their health at risk every time they turn on the tap. This is more than just unfair, and more than just an environmental problem. It's an abrogation of the basic right of all Canadians to have access to clean, safe drinking water. Canada may be a wealthy, developed country, but the fact that such deplorable conditions persist in places like Shoal Lake, and in hundreds of other First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across Canada, is a national shame and must be resolved immediately. It's yet another reason why the right to a healthy environment needs to be recognized by all levels of government in Canada — and ultimately, in our Constitution. 


he situation is so serious people have died waiting for medical attention to arrive from Kenora, only an hour away on the Trans-Canada Highway. Stories abound about women miscarrying, houses burning down and other personal and public safety issues. "We were told that the City of Winnipeg's removal of a secure land connection to First Nation No. 40 has directly led to the deaths of nine First Nation members," says a letter from the International Joint Commission to the U.S. and Canadian governments. The commission also said First Nations weren't adequately compensated. Less than 20 years ago, commercial fishing made Shoal Lake 40 economically self-sufficient, but Ontario's government ended that in the early 1980s over concerns about overfishing. Eighteen years ago, a boil-water advisory was issued and never lifted because the community of 250 was deemed too small to justify a water-treatment plant. Today, an open garbage dump and overflowing septic tanks mar the island. The human body is about 60 per cent water. In a sense, this means the people of Winnipeg have a very real connection to the First Nations territories at Shoal Lake, source of the water they use for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. But while Winnipeg residents

Canada may be a wealthy, developed country, but the fact that such deplorable conditions persist in places like Shoal Lake, and in hundreds of other First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities across Canada, is a national shame and must be resolved immediately.

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 27 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the long-running CBC television program The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. His written work includes more than 52 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, and family in Vancouver, B.C. Learn more at PERSIAN TRIBUNE

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•Events T h e 6 t h Ann u a l

J o y o f A g in g F u n d r a is e r F OR

The Mackenzie Health Foundation

Igniting the Spark in Your Relationship


n Sunday, November 9th, 2014, over 300 women gathered at Bellvue Manor in Vaughan to raise funds for the Mackenzie Health Foundation and learn about healthy aging by maintaining a healthy relationship. The event was organized by financial planners, Tina Tehranchian and Janine Purves, and their team at the Richmond Hill branch of Assante Capital Management Ltd. Christine Bentley, News Anchor and journalist, was the Event Emcee for the morning. The event started with the beautiful music of Penelope Dale (Soprano) and Richard Maddock (Pianist). This was followed with a speech by Ingrid Perry, CEO of Mackenzie Health Foundation. The keynote speaker and moderator, Valerie Gibson made a fun and engaging speech about the importance of communication to keep the spark in the relationship, using excerpts from her books, The Later Dater & Cougar. An expert panel consisting of Dr. Oren Amitay, Dr. Michelle Crispe, Dr. Stacey Grossman, and Dr. Jessica O’ Reilly answered audience questions on the topic. Next, financial planners, Tina Tehranchian and Janine Purves, also the Platinum Presenting Sponsors, delivered a fun and entertaining presentation about love and money, and established the recurring theme of the morning that communication is ultimately the key to a prosperous and successful relationship. Dan Trommater kicked off the second half of the morning with a sensational magical treat. The fitness break sponsored by Soul2Sole Latin Dance Co., got everyone off their seats and gave the audience a Salsa lesson.



Christine Bentley presented the closing remarks to wrap up the morning. The event helped raise over $30,000 that will be used to fund a second permanent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the Mackenzie Health Foundation. The 3 Tesla MRI scanner will produce images in greater detail allowing physicians to diagnose conditions like breast cancer and cardiovascular disease illness.


he sponsors of the event included an array of national and local businesses including: Assante Capital Management Ltd. Richmond Hill Branch, CI Investments Inc., RBC, Dick & Jane Romance Boutique, Oak Ridges Retirement Community. For additional sponsors, please check the website. The silent auction had something that catered to anyone’s liking including an iPad Mini from Staples, 5 day stay at The Oasis at Sunset resort in Jamaica, a Niagara on the Lake Package, Raptors and Toronto FC tickets and a chance to be on the air on 105.9 The Region. 105.9 The Region was the Diamond Media Sponsor for the event. Dolce Media Group, Homes Publishing Group, Persian Tribune, Snapd Vaughan, The Liberal and Sirius XM-What She Said were the other media sponsors. Fair print was the printing sponsor and Fiori Bevilacqua was the florist sponsor. On the Spot Massage provided massages and LOKI A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon provided hair touch-ups – the proceeds of which were donated to Mackenzie Health Foundation. 


Out and About with

Persian Tribune

Ambience Design Group Event Photo: Sinziana Iordache and Gennifer Buscemi

ARCHIVES Reception Photo: Ryan Emberley

Ambience Design Group Event

ARCHIVES Reception Photo: Ryan Emberley

Ambience Design Group Event Photo: Sinziana Iordache and Gennifer Buscemi

Ambience Design Group Event Photo: Sinziana Iordache and Gennifer Buscemi

Ambience Design Group Event Photo: Sinziana Iordache and Gennifer Buscemi

CEMA Dinner Event Photo by Alexander Gershtein


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Persian Tribune

Person of The Month Dr. Hossein Amanat, and his International Contribution to Modern Architecture


orn in 1942 in Tehran, Hossein Amanat began his professional education in 1961 at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, and received his Master’s Degree in Architecture in 1966 Magna Cum Laude (Highest Honours). Upon his graduation, he was chosen to design the Shahyad (later Azadi) Monument. The monument, and the way it is connected with the prominent icons of Persian architectural heritage, has become a symbol of Tehran in particular, and of popular culture in modern Iran in general. Amanat has gone on to create some of the more distinguished modern buildings in Iran. Among them are five faculties and the library at Aryamehr (now Sharif) University, the Iranian Heritage Centre, where the traditional Persian bazaar layout and the rich craft of brick laying and vaulting of Iranian masons were employed in a contemporary style, the School of Business Management of Tehran University, the Pasargadae Museum near Shiraz, and the Iranian Embassy in Beijing, one of the most distinguished buildings in the diplomatic quarter of the Chinese capital.

Shahyad (Azadi) Monument (Tehran) 46


In 1972, Amanat was selected from an international call to architects to design the Seat of the Universal House of Justice at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and later for three additional administrative buildings in the same complex. In creating this unique complex, Amanat captured the soul of Western classical architecture, and united it with the Eastern principles that lie at its heart.


n 1981, Amanat opened the firm of Arc Design International based in Vancouver and continued his architectural practice designing buildings throughout the world, including the Central Library for the Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. It is another illustrious piece of architectural design, positioned in the middle of a lake at the heart of the new campus. Now under construction, the Central Library for the Communication University of China in Beijing, with its vast open reading rooms and light-filled atrium, utilizes the latest technologies to index and access vast media collections in addition to a sizeable collection of bound volumes. Three community centres in the United States (in

Aryamehr (Sharif) University (Tehran)

Seat of the Universal House of Justice (Haifa)

Texas, Virginia, and Washington State) designed by Mr. Amanat are either started or nearing completion. Other recent projects include twin 25 storey residential towers in San Diego, California now completed, and two 36 storey residential towers in San Diego, and twin 30 storey residential towers along the Skytrain Millennium Line in Burnaby, B.C.


r. Amanat has won numerous awards and honours for his outstanding work internationally, and has received the highest praises and reviews for his work, including the 1985 Tucker Award for excellence in building, the 1995 Annual Marble From Greece Competition, and the 2001 American Concrete Institute Award. He is also included in 101 World Contemporary Architects, Tokyo, 1985. His works have been published in many architectural journals such as Architectural Review, March 1974, and July 1977, and Architectural Record, July 1985. His contribution to modern Iranian architecture will remain a gift unto eternity. 

School of Business Management (Tehran)

The Iranian Embassy (Beijing)

PERSIAN TRIBUNE Volume 1, Issue 12  

Persian Tribune magazine is the first entirely English language monthly print & online magazine that targets the rapidly growing Iranian com...

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