Many stories have been writen about Ronald Reagan as the politician, the statesman, and the actor. The story most relevant this time of the year is the one about friendship.
Years before Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California and was a simple, struggling "B" movie star, the Shah and Her Imperial Majesty invited him and his lovely wife, Nancy, to Iran as their guests. A deep friendship was formed. Then in 1981, one of his first acts as the President of the United States was to invite the Royal Family to America to reside.
President Reagan was newly appointed and such a decision was quite controversial but he knew a "Friend" needed help and refused to delay assistance a second longer. Anyone analyzing this action can only conclude it was a selfless act that carried more negative ramifications than positive ones; yet, President Reagan never blinked an eye. Why? A friend needed help!
Now, many of us would help a friend in need within our resources and even pride ourselves being good neighbors. However, I have witnessed the opposite this past year.
Her Imperial Majesty started the Prince Alireza Pahlavi (PARP) Foundation to offer fully funded academic scholarship to Iranians atending the post graduate Iranian studies program at Harvard University. To finance such a venture, the foundation initiated a modest fund drive a year ago. Her Imperial Majesty even painted five oil paintings to auction for this campaign.
Day in and day out, I scan the list of gracious contributors and ask myself, "Where are her friends", Why this lack of support?"
This time of the year, many make donations to worthy causes. Please consider the PARP Foundation. Let's make it a happy hoilday for a person, who has done so much for so many, never for the glory but out of love for her fellow countryman and woman.
The Iranian community is a proud one for good reason. Let's keep this tradition alive.