I had a secret Iranian dinner.

It was 6 years ago and not in a formal restaurant. I had to pay in advance, confirm a limited number of guests, and then they would give you an address of a house in the suburbs of São Paulo.

“They” actually was “She”, an Iranian middle-age women with a good hand for cooking and an idea to tell the story of her people through food.

I remember she explaining how women were well educated in her country. Compared with men, they were the majority in the Universities and Iran has more female students in engineering than any other country in the world ().

She also told us about Persian heritage, home carpets, palaces, beautiful desert and gardens (). I was infatuated.

Photo by Traveller.

I would never forget that night. I also remember being resistant to go there. I had no idea what I was going to eat, in a place at the other side of the city, and more expensive than our local favorite restaurant at the corner.

I was uncomfortable with the unknown, with that idea of an experience from Iran, a country that hasn’t punched my curiosity at that time. As I was trying to move away, I was actually digging a deeper whole into my ignorance, and thickening my bubble. I was creating a nuclear wall of arguments, but they weren’t strong enough… I’m glad.

I left that night promising to myself that I would travel to Iran to see all these beautiful things, but I never did. Instead, I went to live in the US.

I can not remember meeting a single Iranian person in the US. I did meet many people from the Middle East and west Asia, but none from Iran.

But I surely met the Persian culture. I saw Persian paintings, carpets and sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum, I learned about Rumi, the Persian poet and a Sufi mystic, and I also had a lot of Kebab and Stews with saffron and pomegranate, typical Iranian.

I’m not sure if Donald Trump have had a Kebab once is his life. Or if he knows that Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up half of the population.

Few years ago, on that night, I remember seeing many photos on the wall, black & white pictures from people looking uncomfortable in front of the camera, postcards with landscapes of the city and many paintings.

Today it feels like a dream, but I know it was true.

On that night, we almost gave up and ordered one of our local favorites, a Kebab. It was a great idea to go that secret Iranian dinner in São Paulo.



Co-founder of Farfarm.co

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