I was not able to use my car today, so I took a cab. My driver was a nice and chatty African American and was talking about business in Dallas. Dallas highway system does not make cab driving a very profitable business. Delays caused by accidents usually cost more than what a driver could make. Most taxi drivers have leased their cabs from a company or an original owner.
Kevin, the cab driver, told me that he has leased his from “Sean” who is from Iran, make no mistake I did not reveal my nationality. I assume “Sean” is an abbreviation or some nickname. He added that “Sean” has a number of cabs and the good thing about him is that he takes good care of his drivers. Kevin was especially happy that Sean let them have their cabs for Christmas and holidays usually free. He said that Sean also renews his fleet regularly. So he was very happy working on contract for him.
Usually talking to people in Dallas many know one or two Iranians. Some are colleagues, most are dentists or physicians and some were a classmate in college or in graduate school. The people I talked to usually assume I know these other Iranians. The other day in Starbucks someone told me: “I know this guy and he is from Iran, his name is Ali. Do you know him? He is such a great guy!” Now Ali is one of the five most popular names in Iran. And I already count 4 persons named Ali in Dallas as my friends. I am certain there are dozens of them in the area. How in the heaven’s name I would know this other Ali. So I politely answered: “I heard that name, but I have not met him yet.”
Nonetheless It is very pleasant when one hears people praising these unknown Iranians: “He is such a great dentist; I have been with him for 5 years now and have no complaints”. “Mo was the greatest guy in college, really smart.” “She was from Isfahan, and she showed me these fantastic photos from there and told me I am always invited” “Last time they went for vacation in Iran, they brought back some really good pistachio, it was nothing like Whole Food stuff much much better, they brought me a whole pack.”
I do not know these strangers, and probably I would never meet them in the real life, but to all of you, Iranian strangers who are doing a great job out there being great decent individuals: Thank You.