Married to LA
Nobel Laureate treated like a bride by L.A. Iranian
By Bahar Mirhosseini
May 20, 2004
The evening of Saturday May 15, 2004, in an unprecedented move,
Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi married the L.A. Iranian community.
public engagement party yesterday afternoon, in UCLA's Royce
Hall Auditorium, the Nobel Laureate received multiple standing
ovations and outbursts from a few dissenters opposed to the entire
thing. The Ebadi Organizing Committee, consisting of active and
well-connected members of the L.A. Iranian community, worked tirelessly
like parents exhausting themselves over the planning of their adult-child's
At a private high profile gala held in an upscale UCLA conference
facility, guests purchased $100 seats in support of Ebadi's
Nobel Peace Prize victory (any moneys remaining after expenses
will be donated to Ebadi's human rights organization).
Prior to the event, the black tie guests enjoyed cocktails and
hot Iranian tea, mingling among chilled shrimp and baklava like
sweets on a large balcony overlooking the University. Meanwhile
members of the Ebadi Organizing Committee, like the bride's
best friends and immediate family, rushed around checking last
minute details such as flowers, silverware, and seating arrangements.
As in a big fat Iranian wedding, hundreds of guests all wanted
to congratulate the one -- Iran's one and only Nobel
bride. When the honorable Ebadi walked across the balcony,
in a way much akin to the procession of a bride, community members
trailed after her, aggressively vying for her undivided attention,
stampeding her with hugs, smiles, and the digital camera flashes
of an Iranian paparazzi.
As Iranians, we are a family thirsty for
world renowned role-models, thirsty for national symbols we can
love. We invest in our first Iranian Nobel Laureate our sense of
pride -- even after she sobers us with reminders that she
is not a hero, that she is just an attorney doing her job. And
as mortal as even the most honorable can be, in the bottom of our
heart of hearts we esteem her with hope for the future of Iran.
Thank you to the Ebadi Organizing Committee, for the months of
planning behind this polished party. The candles, mirrors, and
flower arrangements set the ambiance for celebrating a Diaspora's
love of Shirin Ebadi. Like any Iranian wedding, Ebadi tirelessly
posed for photographs with the decked out guests at each table.
After guests went home for the evening, members of the Organizing
Committee stayed at the facility assisting the employees with cleaning
up the left-overs of a once in a lifetime wedding.
Like with any
kind of love, the real relationship begins after the hype and buzz
of a honeymoon wedding have died down. The true test of love between
Ebadi and our L.A. Iranian community is in the ways we will
support her without a glamorous gala or cold shrimp.
Our true test
of love, for Ebadi and for Iran's destiny, will be in
the ways we maintain a continued support for the causes of human
rights and democracy, in the ways we support this most qualified
attorney in overcoming the everyday challenges of meeting our homeland's
most basic human needs. Tonight, in a beautiful wedding, Nobel
Laureate Shirin Ebadi married the L.A. Iranian community.
May is Mamnoon
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