Today March 20, 2010 marks the exact moment of the Spring Equinox, when the Sun passes over the Equator and for the Northern Hemisphere, marks the begining of Spring. It also is celebrated in Iran and dozens of other countries as Persian New Year, a tradition that predates the recent Islamic history of the region.
My own ties to Iran come from having Persian Sons whom have brought me a great deal of satisfaction as I watch them grow and prosper and in the case of my youngest, continue his preparation to contribute to a better world.
One blog that always gets top billing for being as I have noted many times, has been Thomas PM Barnett's Blog. This post led me to this article that as Tom writes, shows why Iranians are, "...one skillful and resilient population."
The lead off paragraph in the Financial Times article by Najmeh Bozorgmehr, reveals much about the relisence of people who have been resilient in the face of an imploding economy struggling under the weight of growing sanctions.
Ordinary Iranians are expanding an informal network of savings funds because the established banks are struggling under the impact of international sanctions and bad loans totalling $45bn (€33bn, £30bn).
There is no estimate of how many of these funds exist, but the anecdotal evidence suggests their number is growing and middle-class people are becoming involved in this parallel financial system.
Obtaining loans from banks is becoming more difficult, forcing people to make their own arrangements.
About 30 drivers in a taxi agency in Tehran have shares in sandogh , or fund, number three. Each share costs $2 per day; every month four members of the fund receive loans of $600 each. All member are guaranteed one loan per share during the 10 months the fund is supposed to last.
I can attest to be a witness to the same resilience in Iranian-Americans who have demonstrated the same ingenuity in helping each other gain a toe hold to the American Dream and then expand upon that purchase to add much to the fabric of American Culture.