A Note of Appreciations to All Participants to Friendship Festival 2017



Greetings! I am still struggling to find the right words to express my deep appreciations for your concerted and well-harmonized efforts to make our festival magnificent. It was the best of all these years. It was beautiful, sincere, with a strong and penetrating message across all hearts. It was an exemplary and manifest occasion that showed how the college, the city, NGOs and the people in between shared same sentiments, thoughts and artistic expressions against unnecessary social divisions, biases, borders and the separation between “I” and “We” etc.
Every one performed her/his part masterfully and gracefully and the result was far bigger that the sum of elements.

I think with this festival, we can claim together that we build a firm tradition of friendship at Oberlin. My heartfelt congratulations!

Personally, the only thing that bothers me, is if on my share, I failed to appreciate you enough.
Each of you added a significant value and indispensable contribution to the event.

Al, made sure that the event is well-advertised and brought many friends from other organizations. He inspired Joyce Parker and 15 other Kendal residents to make those beautiful pots. Polly Carroll made lots of fantastic friendship cards. She made our multicolored essence more manifest. My sister could not believe her eyes to see so many unique post cards created by one person. We still have some cards to be used for future occasions.

Kathy Spencer, gave unprecedented driving energy to our circle, connected us with the business and media community, beautified the hall with her flowers and quilts, added to banners that Al created so thoughtfully, and did still more. My sister said, through her organizational mastery, Kathy can easily run affairs of a large city.

Nanette, lent her beautiful poster to the festival and added a significant artistic karma to our circle and did more.

Grover, lead our festival skillfully and with humiliation. He brought all music bands and played a great role in making our OFC a significant organization on the campus and beyond.

Delaviz, made every effort to design and run our website that is a key for our publicity. Together with Grover and Ellie, she helped our budgeting. That is why we could have a huge amount of food for the festival. Delaviz is full of innovative ideas.

Ellie, made all kinds of efforts voluntarily to put the banners, to make sure of our budgeting, to run our circle’s agenda with full and contagious enthusiasm, and together with Dela to arrange excellent food service to the festival. In the end, together with Fiona, Dela, Grover, Brian, and Kathy she tirelessly and pleasantly cleaned the entire hall in beautiful manner. Ellie also did one of our posters.
She was the top star in courses she took with me.

Monica, together with Kathy, met the city officials to make sure that the City Proclamation is coming. She accompanied me and Kathy in our radio talks and in our presence at the Business Community. She coordinated many other important tasks including the raffle venture in the festival. She has been an excellent spokeswoman for the circle in many public occasions. Monica also secured the visit of Eisenstein for next year.

Brain, spent lots of time in communicating with American Greeting officials and other city mayors and did lots of important works to keep the festival going beautifully and thoughtfully and ending well.

Fiona served the occasion with her art, with running enthusiastically to every remaining task, with her passionate help in cleaning and above all with her great friendship ideas. Fiona is the source of powerful imaginations.

Mohit enhanced our occasion’s artistic expression with his beautiful dance, good presence and more.
Like Grover, Mohit’s music talents has made our circle much more pleasant whenever he performs.

Judy Riggle’s hand banner was amazing. It will stay with us on every festival. He power of imagination is great. I was so impressed when I heard that she has been the foster mother of 9 kids.

Adeline of Bead Paradise did a great job in making friendship bracelets.

Meeko Israel, brought joy-and-passion-storm to the event trough interactive poetry. He did so well and in full conviction. He is indeed an organic part of our festival as all of you are.

The city manager delivered his proclamation tactfully and had a very attentive and kind presence in the festival. Even his mistake in saying Friday instead of Saturday represented the delicacy of human error factor. Our shared vulnerability. He told me how impressed he was by the experience of the festival and its healing power for our society.

Claudio, our Italian poet was so deeply impressed by the message of the festival. I have no doubt, the festival and its concepts will impress his future artworks well known in Oberlin and beyond. His performed piece added to our international accent.

No doubt I have missed to mention a great deal of what every individual has done. So my fear of doing injustice in appreciating all works is still remaining.

My sister and nephews were deeply impressed by every one of you. They will not miss future festivals.

You should all feel proud for being ambassadors of universal friendship and for creating a successful model of institutionalizing friendship in a 21 century society. Together we have defied wall and war ideologies.

I can only add that all of you brought Rumi back to life:

زین ترشرو خاکها صورت کنیم
خنده پنهانش را پیدا کنیم
Our mission on earth is to make faces from these grim looking soils
and to discover their hidden smiles.

I love you and cannot thank you enough