On Wednesday, 17 May, Persia held its third Dinner and Discourse. Hosted at an exclusive venue in London’s St John's Wood, the event brought together a diverse group of women and men interested in exploring the timely issue of immigration and the manner in which it enriches our perspectives and informs our decisions.
In response to emerging social trends that impose illusive divides among us, Persia's pioneering Dinner and Discourse series draws attention to the need for engaging in candid and constructive discourse with people of all backgrounds. The series promotes exploring important issues with a view to create cohesion and cooperation. It also draws attention to the contributions by extraordinary women, whose lives are dedicated to creating a progressive, but more importantly, inclusive world.
Persia’s first Dinner and Discourse was inaugurated last January by the international best selling author and historian, Dr. Nina Ansary. In her remarks, she emphasised the need for each of us to learn how to better our lives and those of others, inviting everyone to escape the culture of apathy that grips modern life and instead engage with the spaces we have access to, both on and off line, to create better conditions for all.
The second Dinner was enriched by the insight and views of human rights lawyer extraordinaire, Mehrangiz Kar. Sharing lessons from her experiences in Iran and elsewhere, she highlighted the need for a culture of human rights and the impact we yield when we learn to stand shoulder to shoulder.
At the most recent Dinner, Dr. Bahiyyih Nakhjavani spoke about her newly-published book, Us & Them, highlighting the challenges and advantages of life for Iranians living in post-revolutionary Iran and the west. Drawing on her experiences growing up in Uganda, UK and the United States, she invited the participants to reflect on the definition of “home”, the limits to cultural branding and identity politics, and to discover the strange and mysterious gifts of living in exile.
Persia is grateful to the sponsors, supporters, presenters, and participants in its Dinner and Discourse series and will gradually expand the series to a more diverse group of participants. In this light, Persia’s next Dinner and Discourse will feature journalist and author, Heidi Kingstone, in association with Farkhunda Trust. Persia and Farkhunda share the mission of supporting education for women in Afghanistan.