UK: WFWP event with Birmingham’s Iranian Society

 

By Patricia Earle, WFWP UK (Birmingham, United Kingdom, 8. July 2017)

When you hear the word ‘Iran’, perhaps your first thoughts are of Ayatollahs, or nuclear weapons treaties, or human rights concerns. Since returning to Birmingham in 1992, we have had the pleasure of getting to know quite many Iranian people who were visiting, or have fled to, or have settled in, the UK. Many of those were individual families but, in the last two or three years, I have made friends with several wonderful women who have developed the ‘Birmingham Iranian Society’, which is doing great work in bringing various factions of Iranian people together. They are also managing to find a very good balance between maintaining the best elements of their Persian cultural heritage and, at the same time, integrating successfully into our British society.

In July, I was invited as the local representative of WFWP to have a stall at their Iranian Cultural Fair, teaching women of all ages some card-making skills. In fact, it didn’t require much ‘teaching’ as they all seemed to have a lot of natural creative ability, making so many beautiful cards of different designs, and for different occasions. You can see from the pictures the results of their efforts, and the delight they took in expressing themselves in this way. It was so nice to make more friends in such a natural way, and I could share very freely about many things, including the various activities of WFWP.

There were stalls for health and beauty, children’s activities, films, singing and musical performances and, of course, wonderful Iranian food. All of this contributed to the feeling of a family festival, and a sense of pride in their Persian heritage. It was a privilege to be invited and involved in the occasion, and our 2 organizations have established a genuine partnership, supporting each other’s events and activities, in a way which is clearly to our mutual benefit.

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