The last time I was in Los Angeles was in 1999, exactly 20 years ago, as that was the last stop of my ‘Tour around the world in 80 days’ with my boyfriend at that time. We stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel at Hollywood Boulevard. This is where the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 and due to it’s historical value we’d chosen The Roosevelt Hotel. Also the fact that Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane) used to live there was probably one of the other reasons as I was fascinated by her life while I was growing up. I remember that Ziggy Marley and his band just arrived in the same hotel back in 1999.
The next day, after my arrival, I had a screening of Finding Farideh, a matinee screening.
I invited the former director of the orphanage in Tehran, who played an important role in my adoption process, Miss Emilia Karpaty. She was the heart and soul back in the ’70 of the international Farah Diba Orphanage. Every foreign parent who adopted a child knows her and therefor every adoptee knows her too.
It was an emotional moment to meet her and her sister at Archlight Cinema in Culver City before the screening, knowing that she was in my life prior my Dutch parents… gaining a piece of my own history… what a special day! And what a thrilling day it was!
I also invited two Iranian adoptees who are living in LA region. In 2012 I created a Facebook group Iranian Adoptees Worldwide and we have now around 80 members from all over the world. Raana is an Iranian adoptee raised in the US and Keyvan is an Iranian adoptee raised in Sweden. We are all from the Farah Diba orphanage and were all three adopted in 1977!
So busy times for me before screening as I was also meeting the Iranian-American moderator Parisa (crewmember of AWFF), our PR agent and all of this happening in the last 20 minutes before showtime! Hectic and so worth it.
Afterwards I met the audience and did a Q & A… love doing this! Thank you to everyone I met that day, it was a memorable day!
What a brilliant start of my journey in Los Angeles…
41 years later… we meet again!
Keyvan, Farideh, Emilia and Raana