"Damn those New Years' people," Razia says about this culinary tradition. Spoken like a woman who doesn't have time to waste. But it's only seven ingredients. So what's the big deal? You don't just throw the almonds, pistachios and walnuts in a bowl and call it a day.
I have anxiously reflected on this year's Nowruz greeting by Obama as potentially a 2009 redux. Back then, Obama squandered a chance to make a deal with Iran, because (a) he was too impatient for Iran's complex decision-making dynamics and (b) refused to hear out Iran's fundamental demands.
Three-year-old Artin Rahimian stands in line to visit his mother in Iran's Evin prison. It's been two years since Faran Hessami and her husband, Kamran Rahimian, were arrested for their role as educators for the Baha'i faith community, Iran's largest religious minority.
Nowruz is the only holiday celebrated by all Persians, of every religious background, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Baha'i or of no religion. For a sense of this, multiply the food, festivity, family and tradition of Thanksgiving times 1,000.
Niloufar Talebi's The Persian Rite of Spring makes an entire culture, in which poetry is one of the most important and prized art forms, intelligible to all audiences, pulling together the pieces of a puzzle for both Iranian and non-Iranian audiences.
If you understood Nowruz, you would understand the people of Iran. And you would understand what the economic sanctions, covert operations, and the words -- yes, the words -- of war are doing to a people on the brink of renewal.
No holiday is dearer to the hearts of the Iranian people than Nowruz. But this year, many of my friends in Tehran will not be taking vacations. Instead, they're planning to take to the streets yet again, in bold defiance of the warnings of the regime and the pleas of their parents.