In the run-up to an event at UCLA tonight titled "What Would a Persian Spring Mean For L.A.?," ZÃ³calo Public Square has published a lovely essay from Iranian American journalist Ashfin Molavi, who writes about how immigrants from Iran have helped shape Los Angeles, just as it has shaped them. And how within the city's vast human mix, the cultural interchange crosses diaspora lines, with different groups influencing each other in ways they may not realize.
Molavi writes about visiting a local Persian restaurant with friends years ago and being greeted by the mustached maitre d', who bowed in the customary way and spoke easily in Farsi, but with an accent Molavi couldn't place. It was then that he learned the man was not from Iran, but Mexico. Not only was Molavi impressed, he writes, but he felt a special sense of acceptance: