Thursday, September 08, 2011

(Mohammad Shafiei, Sharon Kraus, Kazem Nasseri, and Linda Afrazi)

2011 GSC Iranian Reunion

In the mid-70's Glenville State College had a number of Iranian students enrolled. Sharon Kraus and I had many of these folks in class. The majority of the students were hard workers and soon became special friends. Our good friends, Kazem and Sondra Nasseri, decided that there should be a reunion of these folks and it was held on Saturday, September 4th, in Nutter Fort at Kuz's Corner, a party facility which they own and rent.

Many folks traveled some distance - from the
D.C. area, Connecticut, and even Calgary, Canada. Mohammed Shafiei is with his daughter Mina. Mohammad is one of those folks we see more often since he and his family live in Clendenin. His wife, Debbie, is a tremendous cook of Iranian foods. At GSC, Mohammad was known as "Frenchy" - no one could (or would) explain the derivation of the name.

Sondra and Kazem's family helped so much with the reunion: son Gordon Nasseri and wife Betsy; daughter Terri Shaffer and husband Mike; and daughter Miriam and husband Vin Pelletier. Mariam is holding their daughter, Minah on the left, and Gordon and Betsy's daughter Zoey on the right. Vin in on the far left.

Below is our long-time friend, Sharon Kraus with Salim Rahin. Salim is another individual that we see more often. Salim owns a restaurant at Riverwalk Plaza in South Charleston, WV. We have always known Salim as Mahron and at his restaurant - Graziano's - he is called Sam. Go figure! We enjoy his family. His wife, his brother's mother, and his mother were with him. His mo
ther, Atekeh, speaks very little English. She is a sweet lady who communicates well with smiles, handshakes, and her eyes. She has mastered the English phrase - "I love you!" What else important is there to say?!

Below is the master chef, Taghi Sarrafi. In the background is Sondra (left) and Mahron's wife, Fatema. Sorry, both had backs to the camera. On Friday before the reunion, Taghi and Kazem traveled to Gilmer County and bought a lamb. They prepared the lamb in the proper fashion as dictated by their cultural customs. The lamb was most delicious. Taghi and his famil
y are a joy. They live in Calgary, Canada.

Now the food....

The rice was prepared in a special way (to we Appalachians) by cooking it with tadig. This is rice with a crust of potatoes. The jar contains pickled vegetables called torshi.

Below we have venison stew in the white pot, regular meatballs in the silver crock pot, and Debbie's famous Iranian meatballs that were cooked with an egg in the middle. This dish is called kooftah tabrizi. Scalloped potatoes were also on the buffet
as well as mac and cheese, salad, and a vegetable tray.

In the foreground is a yummy dish known as ghormeh sabzi. This green herb stew is an important element of Persian cuisine, often said to be the Iranian "national dish." The stews range from dark green to dark brown. If I had to list cultures whose foods I would have to eat for the rest of my life, Persian would be high on the list.

The lamb legs and ribs are in the alumin
um pans. (Yes, amazingly there are four!) Another special dish is in the crystal bowl next to the lamb. It is abgoosht. This stew is usually made with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric, and dried lime. Abgoosht is served usually with pita or other flat breads.

Ali Alibakhshi and his daughter Sara started the buffet line. In the background in the red shirt is another former GSC student, Kazem Mahdavi.

Desserts included fruit pizza, pineapple upside-down cake, brownies, cookies, and other yummies.

Sharon and I really enjoy visiting with Ali. He is such a kind and gentle man. Ali is a dentist in the D.C. area. His daughter is certainly a pretty lady. Sara is a senior in high school.

Sohrab Afrazi and his wife, Linda, live in Connecticut. They are a charming couple. Wish we could have had more time to visit with them.

Below are Mahron's mom, Atekeh, and Sohrab.

I noticed that cousins Zoey and Minah were communicating well. I love to watch the kids at these get-togethers.

Here are the folks who attended the 2011 reunion.

Below are the former students Sharon and I taught and Sondra, as department secretary, helped to understand America.

We had special entertainment during our reunion. Javad played Iranian music on his violin. Javad and his wife, Barbara, came from Connecticut with Sohrab and Linda. He certainly is an accomplished violinist.

We leave you with Minah seeming to say, "You all come back - ya hear?"


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