Persian Thanks: Embracing American Culture Our Way

By Jami Zamyad and PAAIA Editorial Staff

The yearning for togetherness that lies in the soul of individuals brings people together, which in turn helps in creating a community. In Persian culture social rituals and gatherings have great importance and play a key role in nurturing a sense of community. Sharing food is an integral part of these traditions. It is served in abundance and with great love. The freshest ingredients are used to create delectable, aromatic meals that satisfy all senses and bring warmth and comfort to the gathering.
PAAIA has launched Persian Thanks to bring that great tradition to our fellow Americans. “We were looking for ways our community could embrace American culture, Persian style. Sharing Persian food with our fellow citizens on Thanksgiving, which is the most American of American holidays, seemed a natural choice,” said Mahasti Afshar, Executive Director of PAAIA. “I hope it will become a new Iranian American tradition.” 
During the week of Thanksgiving, PAAIA Chapters nationwide will take Persian food to homeless shelters as a gesture to show that we care, and that we wish to give back to America as it has given to us. The food is generously donated by local restaurants and grocery stores, both Iranian and non-Iranian.
In this inaugural year of Persian Thanks, PAAIA Chapters in California will serve more than 400 individuals in partnership with the following restaurants, stores, media, and shelters:
Covenant House (Los Angeles, CA)
Family Recovery Center (Oceanside, CA)
Human Option (Irvine, CA)
Venice Community Housing (Venice, CA)

Baran Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)
Cafe Pomegranate (San Jose, CA)
Char Fasl Restaurant (Agoura Hills, CA)
Darya Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)
Hakopian Catering (Glendale, CA)
House of Kabab (Irvine, CA)
Rex Bakery (Los Angeles, CA)
Samaritan House (San Mateo, CA)
Super Irvine (Irvine, CA)
Super Jordan (Los Angeles, CA)
Whole Foods (San Mateo, CA)
Yekta Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)

Hafteh Bazaar
Time TV

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