Diary Of An Iranian Teacher
سه‌شنبه 18 اسفند‌ماه سال 1383
David Letter
My dear friend:
I am so proud of you!!  It takes courage to stand up to injustice and unfairness. All of you should be commended for your character and beliefs. I can't think of a more honorable profession than teaching. Teachers are so important to society and to the education of our children. You are shaping the minds of future generations. That is an enormous responsibility. I think it should be respected and paid well accordingly. You have a right to expect and demand a proper wage for your labor. I'm sure the principal and his superiors, are paid very well for their efforts. I am so proud of you my friend. I hope you all get the money that is rightfully due you. I mailed out your package this morning before I went to work. I hope that you like it. It will arrive in about ten days I was told. It's really no big deal, but it comes from my heart. I shopped around looking for something that I thought you might need. I enclosed a few post cards of my city for you to look at. I'm hoping perhaps we will meet face to face sometime. That would be nice. I thought about your question about funerals.......I'll try to answer you. In America, when someone dies, the family  has a public "showing" of their deceased loved one. Usually it lasts for one day, but sometimes may last for two days. Mourners come to the place where the body is laid out for viewing, to pay their respect to the deceased and their family. The deceased ones family greets the relatives and friends, and are consoled by them. Children usually do not attend the "showing" because of their age and sensibilities. It's also customary for family and friends to get together at their home, and bring food and drinks, and reminisce about the deceased. It is felt that by talking  about the deceased one, that their memory will live on in their hearts. Also, at the funeral, it is customary for the family to say something about the loved one. Usually it's about what the loved one meant to them, or a nice memory of the person. When it comes to the actual burial, the religious leader would say a prayer, and then the deceased is laid in the ground. Now that's pretty much the most common way. It's also the Christian type of funeral. Now, Jewish funerals are different. My brother in law is Jewish, and he practices the Jewish religion. Their funerals are a bit different from the Christian one. I will send you some information on it. I haven't been to a Jewish funeral in a long time. I don't remember all the traditions. I never asked you how you felt about me being part Jewish.  Although I'm a Christian, I have Jewish roots on my mother side of the family. How do you feel about me? I think of you as my friend and brother, I don't consider where you're from or your religion, or your politics. I'm your friend. I accept you the way you are.  I never thought about what you might think of where I'm from, or my religion, or my political views, and so forth. What's your opinion on Americans in general. (not the government, but the average citizen)? How do we seem to you? I'm just a little curious. I grew up so differently than most. I have had the privilege of being exposed to many different nationalities while growing up. I've had the honor of having wonderful mentors of all nationalities while growing up. I've traveled a lot, and found the similarities in all people. So when I look at another person of a different race or nationality, I see my mother, my father, my sister, my brother in them. We're truly all the same in heart. Don't you agree? I know, I may sound like a dreamer or that I live in a fantasy land. But what I say comes from my heart. I truly believe it. It's probably my religious up bringing. In the Christian faith, we are taught to love our fellow man. When we give to those in need, we're taught that it's like giving unto God himself. Because that's how God wants us to live our lives. Not all Christians follow these things, but they are supposed to. I hope I don't sound as if I'm preaching to you. I'm just sharing my thoughts with you. I know I said this before to you, but I'm glad we are friends. I hope you know that you can tell me anything, without fear of judgment or criticism. Good friends are like that. I want you to think of me as a good friend. well, I better say good-bye for now. It's getting late, and I'm a little tired from work. I'm going to go to sleep. Take care my friend. Best wishes to you and your family.
                                       Your friend,

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