A new Iranian year is approaching again. This past year has been very eventful for me, both good and not very good things has happened but the number of them is itself a record in my life. I just hope this year would be similar.
A few days into the previous year's Neu-rouz I visited Barcelona with a group of my friends, with the invitation of my friend, Junko. A week after that I started a one-month trip around Europe. Along with seeing a lot of beautiful and historic places I learned a lot, met a lot of people and came to know myself better. Then on May, I went to Bilbao and spent a few days with my good friends, Ramon and Veronica. That was also unforgettable and nostalgic. I knew these are unique moments in my life. On the way back from Bilbao I stopped at St Sebastien(Donosti) and just wandered in the streets and enjoyed a magnificent city in a pleasant spring day. On June I finally left France after two great years of my life in Toulouse. However, the end wasn't so sweet and ended in some bitter memories. I visited my family after two years. My father, my mother and my sisters, seeing them after all this time had a very strong emotion with it, specially the first moment when I walked out of the exit gate in Mehrabad airport after everyone else had left and there he was my father alone waiting for me.
There were a couple of marriages and a lot of parties in my hometown, so I tried to spent as much time as I can with my family and friends, because I knew I would not see them for another three or four years. On my way to US I spent a few days with my family in Istanbul, again, unforgettable memories. But it was also kind of sad. We all knew that these last days are the final days we are having as a family together. My older sister has finished her studies and is trying to get an admission in a European university. My other sister has just started her undergrad studies and here I am in US and my parents are all alone again for the first time in 27 years. I don't know how am I going to deal with a similar case if I become a parent. I know it will be unbearable.
I passed my candidacy exam last month and now that I'm here after one year, I look back at the year passed and I feel I have tried my best and feel no regrets in the decisions I have made during the year and I look forward to the rest of the days.
The threat of war lingers above my country and having tasted the bitterness of an 8-year war, I know that anything short of a peaceful resolution will be a disaster for my country and probably for the rest of the world. But most of all, I'm worried about all the people I know and care about who might get hurt if anything happens.
A more general thought that now in the new Iranian year sometimes comes to my mind is the different cultures being resolved and disappear in each other. World is becoming a smaller place day by day. The consequence is the daily impact of people of different backgrounds on each other. Clash of cultures only lets the dominant one to survive. This is an inconvenient truth and seeing this I feel sad to realize I might be witnessing the disappearance of all the dear things that makes me who I am.
Having a unique new year as the start of spring being celebrated only in a few countries is not that bad by itself. But when being in a different country, the new year comes and you can't really feel anything. There is no atmosphere of new year. You don't see people rushing in the streets to buy gifts and preparing for the new year. You don't see anyone buying gold fish from the boys with the fish tanks in the street corners. You don't feel the renewal of the world just by looking at people. We just try to imitate a new year celebration but the truth is it is just for preventing us from feeling left out.
Last Wednesday, I celebrated the last Wednesday of the year with a few friends. This is part of the new year celebration. We were supposed to make a fire and jump over it but it turned out that making a fire in United States is not as simple as it seems. So we compromised the whole thing and did the celebration indoors. But all in all, it is always great to have friends and celebrate the special occasions with them. We sure had a hell of a time!