I was lucky enough to be on a right place, at a right time. A very few incidents like this has ever happened to me in my lifetime. And that incident was the “unveiling Ceremony of Cyrus the Great Statue” in Zoroastrian Cultural Center of Los Angele, California, in October 27th 2019.

In my trip to Los Angeles in October, I heard about this ceremony through Iranian radio’s announcement. The ceremony was open to all. So, my friend and I decided to attend that uplifting and not-everyday-happening event.

The first aspect of my visit that impressed me the most was the Center’s building. It was relatively a decent, spacious place with a nice Fire Room that I, after teaching the Zoroastrian religion for a long time, was waiting to visit. The outside of the building was decorated with golden alphabets and a golden statue of Zoroaster with the three essential pillars of his religion: Good Thought, Good Words, and Good Deeds. These three pillars of humanity are not only the base of Zoroaster’s religion, but, the essence of all religions/ethics in the whole world.

The room was packed with interested people and delicious cookies were served before the ceremony started. The event started at 1:00 pm and the master of ceremony was Mr. Hassan Khayyatbashi whom his shows I used to watch on Iranian Television before the revolution. That was another sweet reminder of the past for me.

The event started by the Procession of Los Angeles Daff Ensemble, which was very well played and was very entertaining. The program continued by the welcome speech of Zoroastrian Center, and speakers were: Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Councilmember, Mr. Homi D. Gandhi, whose the title of his talk was “Cyrus the great-Why a Statue”. The third speaker was Dr. Farshid Delshad.  The title of Dr. Delshad’s speech was: Cyrus, King of “Babylonia” & Worshiper of “Marduk.”

Mr. Bijan Khalili was another speaker who talked about “How Cyrus the Great Conquered Babylon With No War According to Different Sources.”  The last but not least speaker, was Dr. Khosro Mehrfar who talked under “Cyrus The Great & U.S. Constitution.”

All the speeches were very informative and academic, especially the speech on how the American forefathers used the manner and attitude of Cyrus in ruling countries which was, according to the speaker, by kindness/love rather than creating fear among people.

At the end was a show titled, Coronation of King Cyrus by Queen Cassandana. Entourage lead by the queen Cassandana followed by Los Angeles Daff Ensemble, two Achaemenian Generals & entrance of Cyrus the Great.  Mr. Aaveen Marandi who portrayed as King Cyrus, performed, Babylon, the “Victory Speech”.

Now was the time of unveiling the statue of Cyrus the Great that was placed on the courtyard of the Zoroastrian Cultural Center.  Mr. Blemenfield ,the member of the Los Angeles City Council, in his speech earlier mentioned that he was very satisfied with the placement of the statue since so many drivers and passersby would see it everyday.

At the end of the ceremony, we all went out, music serenaded, happiness and cultural pride were in the air and while two drones were flying over audiences’ heads and taking pictures, the statue was unveiled.

As Mehdi Akhavan Sales said: There was a pure and beloved moment!

Mahvash Shahegh