My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She's had a harder life than most people I know, and has been luckier than a few, and despite all the negative experiences in her life she only sees one thing: how much she has, and how much of that she can share with other people.
Some of the people she sets out to help are people I wouldn't have the patience to deal with. People who are so far gone only someone like my mother sees a way of helping. Some of these people don't particularly like my mother. They don't trust a woman who doesn't live like a traditional Iranian woman. They'd rather sit at home and be bullied by their husbands, children and traditions then to open up to the example of my mother. My dad and I laugh about them, but my mother, while frustrated, perseveres.
Then there's all the young kids my age who come from Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and dozens of other counties. Having left their mothers at home to study or live in Amsterdam, they've found a mother in mine, and a home in the Mezrab. A place which my mother views as her own home and fills with her warmth.
My mother, Parwin, is currently visiting her family in Iran for the second time in 25 years. For a few short weeks my mother will be a daughter and a sister again.
Here's a clip of her singing in the Mezrab