Hello. My name is Nazanin (Naz) Mirsadeghi. I was born in Iran and became a U.S. Citizen in September of 2006. I speak English, Persian (Farsi) and a little bit of Spanish.
Why did you move to the US?
I moved to the United States in 1996 to join my husband who had just started working in New York City after finishing his studies. I also wanted to continue my own studies and raise my family here.
What do you want people here to know about your country?
Iran is a country with one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The Persian Empire, which was founded by Cyrus the Great, dates back to 550 BC. Iran is known for its rich history and culture; literature and poetry; and its high-quality food products such as caviar, pistachios and saffron. The four distinguished seasons and extreme weather changes create a breathtaking range of beautiful landscapes. The hottest place on earth, that reaches the blazing temperature of 159 F has been recorded on the “Loot Desert” in central Iran; while in “Mount Damavand” the temperature drops to 15 F, well below freezing. Iran also is home to many wondrous creatures and endangered animals like the “Asiatic Cheetah”. With only about 70 cheetahs left in the world, Iran is the only place on earth that this animal has survived. If you get a chance to travel to Iran, you will find the people warm, friendly and welcoming towards tourists and visitors from other nations. I also recommend everyone try the Persian cuisine. There is a wonderful place right here in Elmsford called “Shiraz Kitchen”!
Wild Persia from Mani Mirsadeghi on Vimeo.
What surprised you the most about the United States?
The “melting pot” phenomena! Getting to know the people who came from different backgrounds and cultures has been an unbelievable experience for me. I also was--and still am--pleasantly surprised by the curiosity and willingness among people to learn more about other cultures and traditions.
What do we share? What is different? I think we all share the desire to do good. No matter where we have originally come from, what our beliefs are, what traditions we follow or what language is our mother tongue, the sense of having a responsibility towards our neighbors and our community is embedded in all of us. In additional, I appreciate the deep culture of respect for individual rights that is well manifested here.
What would you want others to know about you, or other Persians in the US?
Persians are very family oriented. They are very social and won’t miss any opportunity to get together and celebrate various occasions with music, dance and delicious traditional dishes! They are innovative, and care deeply about education. Putting some misconceptions aside, you will get to know Iranian-Americans as writers, artists, physicians, engineers and entrepreneurs in your community.
What do you think of the Greenburgh Library?
I have been a regular member of the Greenburgh Library for almost 20 years. My children – now grown up - have benefited from the variety of programs offered by the library. We never left the library without a heavy and full bag of books, CDs and DVDs, and we enjoyed many wonderful events held at the library for many years. I still visit the library at least twice a month.
What is your favorite part of the library? What surprised you?
I have been part of the “GPL Writers Group” for the last two years. The meetings offer an incredible support to anyone who loves to write, in any genre and at any level of experience. It feels more like family gatherings where each member throws their full support and encouragement to help one another. I have also taken as many as “Learning to See: Poetry Workshops” as I could, which is another wonderful resource at the Greenburgh Library. In addition, I enjoy the various events held at the library, from the lectures and music performances to art exhibits and book signings. The variety of the programs offered at the Greenburgh Library always surprises me the most.
What makes the Greenburgh Library unique? I have never seen a group of staff friendlier and more dedicated to help the patrons. No matter which department you are in, there is always someone ready to help you find a book, a magazine or a movie. The librarians and the staff go above and beyond to assist you with your needs. It is very much obvious that they love what they do.
Where do you see the library in 5-10 years?
I would like to see the library continue its offering of various programs, workshops and events. It would be great to see the library offer new workshops as a trial, then continue what would be more popular.
Do you think the library will still be a part of your life in 5-10 years? I see myself spending more and more time at the library. As we go through different stages of life, the type of materials we are interested in changes. Ten to fifteen years ago, my focus was more on providing my children with the best educational resources available, so we spent a lot of time at the children’s section of the library. Now that my children are grown, I have more time to focus on my own interests which may include advancing my knowledge of a language, learning more about my favorite subjects or simply reading for pleasure. All of them are possible with the vast collection of material available at the Greenburgh Library.