Where do I come from?

I was born in Tehran, Iran on October 6, 1959 and moved to Shiraz when I was 8. Shiraz is a beautiful and peaceful city (as I remember it). It is famous back home as "the city of birds and flowers". It is located a day's drive north of the Persian Gulf and is surrounded by secluded mountains and a rich concentration of plants and wild life. You can find anything from panthers to deer to beavers around Shiraz. It is also located along the migratory path of African and European birds. I've seen flocks of pelican, heron, geese and ducks that numbered in thousands and I've seen clouds of sparrows that flue in millions.

Shiraz is also a host of many historical sites including Persepolis, the ruins of the original Persian capitol of the Achaemenids empire (30 miles to the north). Many legendary poets and writers such as Sa'adi and Hafez lived and died in Shiraz. It also used to be the host of many world art festivals. I still have vivid memories of plays and concerts performed on the site of the ancient ruins. The 2500 year old granite walls and marble columns provided a priceless backdrop to many memorable performances. Some plays were done at night under nothing but the full moonlight. That was back in late '70s, my teen years, when I first became exposed to the influential contemporary artists such as Peter Max, Stanly Kubrick, Federico Felini, Jean Michel Jarre and the likes.

I came to US in January 1978. I arrived in New York's JFK after a 12 hour flight on a 747 Jumbo Jet. The in-flight movie was Logan's Run and dinner was prime rib. Ahh, the golden years of air travel. Upon arrival, I was offered a free candy from an American Indian with full feathers and a gold pin of IRAN/US flags of frienship (this was before the hostage thing) from a beautiful blonde for $2. Down the hall, a bald headed Krishna asked for a donation so, I gave him the candy (I kept the pin 'cause it still smelled of her perfume, so, I'm a sucker for blondes - so sue me). One more flight and I was where I wanted to go, Bloomington, Indiana.

I stayed with my uncle for a couple of months trying to perfect my English by watching the Gong Show every day. When that failed, I went to Ann Arbor Michigan and studied some serious English for the summer. I went back to Bloomington and enrolled in Fine Arts program.

A couple of years later, I moved to Ames, Iowa to study architecture. In 1983, I dropped out of school and did odd jobs for a while until 1986. Then, I went back and started taking classes one at a time while I worked two part time jobs as a graphic artist and a bartender until I graduated in 1992. One month after graduation, I became employed as an art director for an advertising firm in Des Moines, Iowa. Three years later, in 1996 I took a month off to see the "Wild West" and decided then to move to Phoenix.

Me at 5


Me at 16

Mom and Dad

Dad with Hooka

Shahpur Cave




Sa'adi Tomb


Freshly Arrived

With my teachers


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