Promoting Democracy and Protecting Freedom

It is a crime to remain silent in the face of evil, it is said. Thus, I am speaking up and urging other good men and women to raise their resonant voices while they can before they are brutally silenced by the ever-creeping Islamofascism.
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Jamsheed sat in the park, staring at the lush green trees that surrounded him. It was his usual spot, a quiet corner where he came to read and escape the noise of the city. But today was different. As he looked up, he saw a woman walking towards him, her long hair swaying in the breeze.

Esther had come to the park to take a break from her hectic day. She saw Jamsheed sitting alone and decided to approach him. “Hi, do you mind if I sit here?” she asked, pointing to the empty bench beside him.

Jamsheed looked up and saw her beautiful brown eyes and something inside him stirred. “Of course, please, go ahead,” he said, smiling.

Esther sat down and they started chatting.

Esther: “So, what kind of books do you like to read?”

Jamsheed: “I like historical fiction. I think it’s fascinating to read about different eras and cultures.”

Esther: “Oh, me too! Do you have any favorites?”

Jamsheed: “Yes, ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. Have you read it?”

Esther: “Yes! I loved it. It was such a moving story. Have you read any Jewish literature?”

As they talked, Esther mentioned that she was Jewish, and Jamsheed felt a twinge of apprehension. He knew that their families would not approve of them being together. But he couldn’t resist the pull he felt towards her. And their little chat continued.

Jamsheed: “To be honest, I haven’t read much. I’d love some recommendations though.”

Esther: “Well, there’s ‘The Chosen’ by Chaim Potok. It’s a classic.”

Indeed, they talked about everything from books to music and found they had a lot in common. As their conversation continued, Jamsheed was surprised by how easy it was to talk to her, and how comfortable he felt.

Jamsheed: “I’ll definitely check it out. What kind of music do you listen to?”

Esther: “I like a bit of everything, but I have a soft spot for traditional Jewish music. What about you?”

Jamsheed: “I like classical music. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. There’s something so timeless about it.”

Esther: “That’s interesting. I don’t know much about classical music, but I’d love to learn more.”

The master conversationalist that he was, Jamsheed transitioned to a new topic, weaving it in effortlessly. “Speaking of cultural experiences, Jamsheed, have you ever had the pleasure of trying Persian cuisine?”

Esther: “No, I haven’t. What’s it like?”

Jamsheed: “It’s delicious! You should try some kabobs and rice pilaf. And of course, there’s the famous Persian dish, ghormeh sabzi.”

Esther: “That sounds amazing. I’ll have to try it sometime. Have you ever celebrated any Jewish holidays?”

Jamsheed: “No, I haven’t. But I’d love to learn more about them and maybe even join in on the celebrations.”

Jamsheed: “That would be great. We have a holiday coming up next month called Hanukkah. It’s a celebration of miracles and light. Maybe we could celebrate together?”

Jamsheed: “I’d love that. And maybe I could introduce you to some Iranian Zoroastrian traditions too.”

Esther: “I can’t wait to learn more about your culture, Alireza. And to share mine with you.”

As they talked, Jamsheed and Esther realized that they had much more in common than they had initially thought. They laughed and shared stories, and before they knew it, the sun had started to set.

Esther: “Wow, I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I should probably get going.”

Jamsheed: “Yeah, me too. It was great talking to you, Esther. Can we do this again sometime?”

Esther: “I’d like that. Maybe we could go see a movie or something next time?”

Jamsheed: “Sounds perfect. I’ll text you later.”

Esther: “Great. See you soon, Jamsheed.”

From that moment on, they started meeting regularly. They explored each other’s cultures and traditions even more.

One day Esther asked: “So, Jam, tell me more about your Zoroastrian culture. I don’t know much about it.”

Jamsheed: “Well, it’s one of the oldest religions in the world, dating back to ancient Persia. We believe in the power of nature, and we believe the fire is a symbol of purity.”

Esther: “That’s really interesting. Do you have any special rituals or celebrations?”

Jamsheed: “Yes, we celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. We also have a festival called Sadeh, which is all about celebrating the winter solstice.”

Esther: “Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun. In Jewish culture, we have a lot of festivals and celebrations too. Have you heard of Hanukkah?”

Alireza: “Yes, I have. It’s the Festival of Lights, right?”

Esther: “Exactly! We light candles on a menorah for eight nights to celebrate the miracle of the oil in the Temple. And then there’s Passover, where we celebrate our freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt.”

Jamsheed: “That’s really fascinating. I’d love to learn more about it.”

Very soon they found they had much to learn from each other. But they also knew that they had a lot to overcome if they wanted to be together.

As they continued to explore each other’s cultures, Jamsheed and Esther found that they were growing closer and closer. But they also knew that there were still obstacles in their way.

Esther: “Jamsheed, I need to be honest with you. My parents are very traditional, and they won’t be happy if they find out that I’m dating someone who isn’t Jewish.”

Jamsheed: “I understand. My parents are traditional too, and they wouldn’t approve of me dating a Jewish woman. But I don’t want to let that stop us.”

Esther: “Neither do I. We’ll just have to find a way to make it work.”

Jamsheed: “Agreed. And who knows? Maybe by exploring each other’s cultures, we can help bring our communities closer together.”

Esther: “I like the sound of that. Let’s do it.”

As they hugged each other goodbye, Jamsheed, and Esther knew that they were embarking on a journey that wouldn’t be easy. But they also knew they had each other, and that was all that mattered.

One day, Jamsheed ‘s mother called him into the living room. “Who is this girl you’ve been spending time with?” she asked, her voice full of suspicion.

Jamsheed: knew what was coming next. “Her name is Esther. She’s Jewish,” he said, bracing himself for the inevitable backlash.

His mother’s face turned red with anger. “You cannot be with someone from a different religion! What will our community say?” she exclaimed.

Jamsheed’s father nodded in agreement. “You must think of our family’s honor,” he said.

Jamsheed was torn. He loved Esther and couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. But he also loved his family and didn’t want to upset them.

Meanwhile, Esther was also facing opposition from her family. Her parents were worried about the reaction of their Jewish community to their daughter being with a Zoroastrian man.

But despite all the challenges, Jamsheed, and Esther remained committed to each other. They found solace in each other’s arms and continued to explore each other’s cultures. They knew that they were breaking barriers, but they believed that love could conquer all.

One day, Jamsheed, had an idea. “Why don’t we invite our families over for dinner at some nice place away from our homes?” he suggested to Esther.

Esther was hesitant. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Jamsheed nodded. “I think it’s the only way we can make them see our love is real,” he said.

So they arranged a dinner and a feast that combined Iranian and Jewish cuisine. Jamsheed’s parents arrived first, and Esther’s family followed shortly after.

The atmosphere was tense at first, but the conversation started to flow as they sat down to eat. Jamsheed’s mother was surprised by how much she enjoyed the Jewish dishes, and Esther’s father was impressed by the Iranian hospitality.

As the night went on, the families started to relax and enjoy each other’s company. And by the end of the night, they had all come to accept Jamsheed and Esther’s love for each other.

Jamsheed and Esther felt elated. They had overcome the challenges and opposition and had brought their families together for the first time.

Months passed, and Jamsheed and Esther continued to date, exploring each other’s cultures and growing closer with each passing day. They knew that their families’ disapproval was still a major hurdle, but they were determined to make things work.

One day, Jamsheed invited Esther to meet his family at his ancestral home. She was nervous, but also excited to finally visit Jamsheed’s home with her own family and get to know the people who had raised the man she loved so much. As they walked into the house, Esther felt a sense of apprehension. But that feeling soon disappeared as Jamsheed’s family greeted her warmly.

Jamsheed’s mother took Esther’s hand and said, “Welcome to our home, Esther. We’re so glad to finally have you at our ancestral home.” Esther was touched by the warmth and kindness in her voice and felt a sense of relief knowing that Jamsheed’s family was willing to accept her.

Over the next few hours, Jamsheed and Esther’s families talked and laughed together, sharing stories and traditions from their respective cultures. They found that they had more in common than they had ever thought possible and that their differences only made them stronger.

As the evening wore on, Jamsheed’s father stood up and made a toast. “I want to welcome Esther to our family,” he said, “and to thank her for showing us the beauty of Jewish culture. We may be from different backgrounds but are all part of the same human family. And I can see that Jamsheed and Esther’s love is bringing us closer together.”

As Jamsheed’s family raised their glasses in a toast, Esther felt tears prickling at the corners of her eyes. She had never felt so welcomed and accepted in her life. And as she looked over at Jamsheed, she knew that they had truly overcome the challenges and opposition that had once seemed insurmountable.

From that day forward, Jasheedand Esther’s families continued to spend time together, learning from each other and sharing their traditions. Jamsheed and Esther’s love had brought them all closer together, and they knew that it was a love that would last a lifetime.