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Opening speech, by Persian Circle’s Director

 Dear Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen:

 On behalf of Persian Circle, I am delighted to welcome you here tonight for the first tribute to the Iranian-Canadian Academia.

 Any person’s life journey can be described as a series of challenges, both personal and social. We all invest our utmost efforts into overcoming the problems we encounter along the way as we grow into more mature and successful human beings. Of course, throughout our journey, our surrounding environment plays a major part in our evolution. The social relationships that are established along the way are stepping stones for us to overcome these challenges with greater ease as they are presented to us.

 For those who have established social and cultural roots in their environment over many generations, their comfort level and social network has evolved over the years. Yet this luxury is not available to those individuals who have come to this country looking for a chance at a better career and a better life. Therefore, we can clearly see how much greater these challenges must be to overcome for someone who does not have these social and cultural roots as aids during their life journey in a new land. Even the thought of an individual who chooses or is forced to leave his or her country and comes to another and face such barriers can be overwhelming. This makes the achievements of those celebrated tonight even more astonishing.

 With that background, I would like to share with you three main thoughts. My first point is addressed to all Iranian professors and researchers. On behalf of the Iranian-Canadian community, I would like to say that we are both very thankful and proud of the many accomplishments you have displayed throughout your careers and present day work. We are proud of your many talents, your perseverance, your curiosity to always learn more and to push your understanding to higher levels and all in all proud of your never-ending efforts to set your goals higher and higher and still surpassing them. Lastly we would like to thank you for setting the example that even as first generation Iranian-Canadians, through hard work and sheer determination you were able to beat all odds against you and succeed by all measures in your adopted homeland.

 My second point is addressed to all of the second generation Iranian-Canadians. I would like you to look around tonight and find role models for yourselves within our first generation of established Iranian-Canadians and learn from each and every one of their experiences when facing the challenges outlined earlier. Let them be an open road for you to explore all of your career goals and display your true potential as the upcoming generation of Iranian-Canadians. Mostly, I would like you to be able to present yourselves as future role models to the third generation of Iranian-Canadians that will follow in your footsteps.

 My third and final point is addressed to our honourable guests whom are not part of the Iranian-Canadian community but have kindly joined us tonight in our celebration. Let us stand behind the core idea that all of us work together to form the society in which we live in. We must therefore be able to acknowledge each and everyone’s cultural backgrounds and form much stronger relationships between ourselves to grow as individuals, as a community, and as a society. Tonight, the Iranian-Canadian community would like to use this event as a showcase to all the other communities in Canada that we have indeed established a very strong and successful link in the chain of our society.

 Day by day, we see that our community is growing and becoming more culturally diverse. It can be said that a society works much like an orchestrated symphony, where the different instruments represent the different cultural communities within that society. Yet the basis of an orchestra lies in its harmony. If there is harmony within the orchestra then the performance is flawless. The same can be said for a society; if we all work in harmony and in equality then we will grow not only individually but as a group as well. The final result is a more successful, stable and peaceful future for all of us.

On behalf of Persian Circle I would like to thank you all for your attention and hope that you enjoy the remainder of the evening.


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