What it is like to be Iranian in America today

Today, I have been reading a powerful article in the Huffington Post about the experiences of being an Iranian in today’s America, under Donald Trump. The author has written a very wonderful reflection.

 

He discusses how his experiences have changed in the climate after the 9/11 attacks, and how isolating it can feel as a muslim in mainstream America even in a large city with a larger immigrant community like Boston or Chicago, my home. I think it is a very interesting article because while the author talks about how depressing the islamophobia has been to deal with in the 21st century, he is given hope by all the people who are speaking out about it now that Mr. Trump is our president. That was not the case in the earlier years of this century, and while there is still a long way to go, it does show something has changed in the society for the better.

I have had many similar experiences, and I think it might be useful to tell about them. I arrived in this country in the year 2000, just over a year before the attacks of 9/11. I am publicly muslim, even though it is somewhat harder to see a man as muslim than a woman because we have no formal headwear. I belong to a mosque in Chicago, where I have attended prayers since I arrived in the United States. While some people give all immigrants strange looks, in a suit and tie I did not experience anything until the terrible attacks in 2001 on the World Trade Center.

 

The name Faraz and the color of my skin soon began to attract other attention that was not at all positive. It was even places like Starbucks as I waited for my coffee in a line that when my name was called, older white people in particular would look around in alarm. This made me sad, especially .

 

I am relatively lucky in my condo development, because many of the residents have known me for over a decade. However, some of the newer residents and the tenants in the rental units have been rather standoffish from time to time, and it is hard to explain in any other context than fear and bigotry.

I am a strong believer that by knowing one’s neighbor more closely, we will build the trust and love that is missing in so many parts of our society right now. That is why I am always somewhat forward when I encounter suspicion in my community. I do not say “you are a racist,” because that does not help. But I go out of my way to smile, and say hello to people who are giving me looks, and to get involved in my community through charity and volunteering so that I can show that I believe that I have much in common with my neighbors and their goals in life.
So while I do not talk a lot about myself as a muslim, that is only because I believe that my being American comes first! I hope we will all take this time of trial to come together, rather than to grow further apart. For those of us like me who are new to the community, it would mean everything.

My favorite tools for condo management: my pressure washer, drill, and the rest

Hello! Welcome to another of my blogs! Today I want to tell you about some of the tools I use for my job as a condo manager! It is a very busy job, where anything can happen. So I need to be prepared for all different kinds of chores and repairs every day. I hope this is useful to anybody reading this who is also a property manager, or for people who want to have handyman tools around their house for their own repairs!

 

The most important tool I have for all jobs is my drill. I can fix almost all small things with a drill. If it is tightening up shelf brackets or adding some weatherstripping around the outer doors on a condo, it is all easy with my drill! I have a Dewalt cordless drill set that I bought for only $500, but it does absolutely everything! I very much like being able to show up with my case and be able to solve problems. In fact, that is one of my favorite parts of this job–being “handy” and solving little problems like when a hinge is sticking, or somebody needs to have their faucet replaced. It is the variety of this job which keeps me interested.

I find that a pressure washer is another one of the most useful tools I can have at my disposal. You can read more about it at bestpressurewasher.reviews. If you are a property owner or even someone who just owns their own property, you will know how many maintenance jobs are created my mold, dirt, and that kind of thing around properties. I find that I can use a pressure washer for almost any outdoor task. I use them to remove mold and staining from decks and porches that are made of wood, and to clean the bricks on the condos I manage, because many of them are red brick and they begin to look dull over time. I also use my pressure washer to clean the concrete walkways and the windows from the outside because it is so fast and easy. For commercial use, I recommend checking http://bestpressurewasher.reviews/top-rated-commercial-power/.

 

My property iPhone is something I bought after my first few months working as a property manager. Rather, I switched my personal things to a new phone, because my old phone was so swamped. Even if you run a very tight ship as I try to do, you will always have at least 10 calls every day from different people. Tenants call with little things or to ask about scheduling for recycling and trash, or plumbers call about invoices, there are so many things! Then there is all of the emailing, and I also find myself very attached to my calendar for scheduling maintenance, inspections, and all of those little things I have to keep track of. I found I could not deal with all of it on my personal phone so I decided to dedicate on iPhone for only work purposes, and to keep my old one for work only. This helps me isolate my stress much better and keep my home and my work life separate.

I do not know what I would do if I did not have my iPhone especially for scheduling. I would have to have a very large calendar or a day diary to keep track of all the maintenance appointments, payments, and events, and I cannot always carry something like that around to every property. It is much easier when there are a million things to keep them all on my smartphone and make sure that I do not overbook myself. I also like to be able to keep track of rents and fees on my banking apps so I do not have to constantly log on to websites to check if people are on schedule. It is simply so much easier to have everything in one place, so it is my suggestion that every property manager have a smartphone to use as an organizing center!

 

I would be very curious to know what other tools my fellow property managers use! I carry many small things around in my SUV when I am going between properties, because I need to have lots of little things. I carry plumber’s tape for leaks, duct tape for assorted things, and stuff like wood glue and gorilla glue. Let me know what you think I should add to my toolkit!

 

P.S. For more info on good quality pressure washers, visit bestpressurewasher.reviews.

Iranian Films

I know that sometimes I can discuss rather mundane topics, such as my pressure washer or my schedule, but I would like this blog to be about culture as well! I am very passionate about all elements of Iranian culture including music, history, and film, so today I want to talk about film!

 

Most Americans may not think of Iran when they think of great art, but we have been a very artistic civilization since the beginning. The early Persian empires made pottery which was sought after all over the ancient world. That is not even to mention our rugs, which you surely must have heard about. Islamic and Persian art and culture is to be seen everywhere from the woodwork in the great mosques of the world, with their intricate patterns to the tapestries and rugs which were woven for so many of the great houses of Europe, where they have been preserved much more stably than those in Iran itself. So we have been making great art for many years now, and it is as much a part of our culture as yours!

Some of our great movies and filmmakers are beginning to be more appreciated here in the West. There are now many film festivals which pay tribute to the great directors of Iranian cinema across Europe, and films from Iran are regular contenders to win the best foreign film awards at the American Academy Awards. Maybe you have heard of films such as A Separation, which won many awards a few years ago.

 

Iranian movies are a large part of what is considered “new wave” film, and modernism. They have elements of magical realism, as it is called here, but they also have a reputation for being much less polished and artificial than Western movies.

 

One Iranian film became very famous this year, which is called The Salesman. It was nominated for an Oscar and eventually won, but the director did not attend the awards because of the travel ban on many Muslims that is in place now. This raised a lot of attention about how many great artists from the Middle East are working today, especially in film.

 

In contrast, the mayor of London, who is the city’s first Muslim mayor, held a free showing of The Salesman in Trafalgar Square on the same night as the Oscar’s were held here in America. That just goes to show what a difference there is even between the USA and the UK.


If you have not seen them already, I would very much encourage you to go and watch The Salesman and A Separation, among the other great Iranian films! There is a helpful list on IMDB if you are unfamiliar with the titles to look for. I recommend the films of Abbas Kiarostami in particular. He is perhaps the most famous of Iranian directors, and since he has died recently many of his films are easy to find.