tv [untitled] February 26, 2012 6:30am-7:00am PST
mayor, mayor ed lee. [applause] >> thank you very much for that wonderful music. thank you. thank you. thank you for being here tonight. if i may say -- thank you. if i may say [speaking foreign- language] welcome. welcome to our wonderful city hall. it's my pleasure to welcome you to the third annual arab heritage month celebration here in our wonderful city of san francisco. no many of you know, too, there has been a lot of spotlight on
our arab-american countries. people are wondering what it is that is going on. the whole world is struggling to find out what the right thing to think and do and understand is. here in san francisco, we have a tradition, especially when it comes to immigrants -- comes to emigrants, who they are, where they come from, and what they want to do. that's the beauty of being here in san francisco. it happened to my heritage. it's happened to many, many generations of visitors who come to this city. now it's happening for your generations of arab americans. it's our pleasure, and as the mayor of our great city -- i know it is felt at the board of supervisors that we welcome and celebrate our diversity.
we do our best to understand, to dialogue, and to create more understanding. we celebrate that. that is our strength in san francisco. that's why we have these wonderful celebrations. thank you to the ensemble for sharing your music here and creating a cultural connections. [applause] thank you. we have a wonderful city of san francisco. i know that we pride ourselves in being an international city. begins with celebrating all the diverse cultures and making sure everyone is recognized, that we have our education institutions reflect that, our cities, official events, reflected that but i know i have benefited greatly, not only as
an attorney, but as someone who has worked in the city to have worked with so many leaders of the arab-american community. the business leaders have done very well here. knowing, also, the challenges that you face -- i also know there are so many examples of arab-american leadership in the technology world. just look at silicon valley and see how successful arab- americans have been. we are now recruiting those very companies to come to san francisco to make sure that we work with you for job creation. i am also very excited about so many small-business owners who are of arab-american descent. you have done so well in working in all of our different neighborhoods. i want to continue working with you. i also want to work with those leaders who have been in the cultural world. thank you very much for your
contributions. [applause] and i also want to work with people like michelle and the arab film festival. thank you very much, michele. my wife, anita, has really loved going to those film festivals, too. [applause] that's why i want to signal to all of you that you have been educating me and the community so much. i am very excited. anita and i want to work very hard with our friends to take my first visit to the middle eastern countries so i can touch the kinds of bridges you have been building. i want to do that. those of the same bridges' we have built in our asian communities. everyone of you who have come
here and been successful in education, arts, and businesses, you have gone back and build those bridges so others can continue coming, and to make sure that we have that type of cultural appreciation. that's why i'm excited. whether you are from palestine, yemen, morocco, all of these middle eastern countries -- we welcome you all here with pride. [applause] i want to be able to visit all those countries myself. i want to know where it is you came from and what it is that you are so proud of, having left, and want to continue improving, and where your children want to visit for generations to come. with that, i would like to recognize for the outstanding lifetime achievement award somebody who i have admired that is among you today, whose years in leadership of this ensemble
is only one aspect of what she has done. the day-to-day work she has done, right down the street in our tenderloin health clinic, year after year, providing service to so many people. at night, teaching kids and youth, and training and practice in all this wonderful music so she can represent her community so well. on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, if i may recognize the wonderful and well deserving -- lifetime achievement award. for the arab heritage month. please come on up. thank you. [applause]
thank you. q'again, without these sponsors, we would not have been able to throw this wonderful event for you all. thank you for your continued support. >> thank you. thank you. >> of course, as a mayor, i'm very privileged. i will ask the supervisor to join us, as well. please come up, too. join us. [applause] >> yes. ross has always taught me how to say it the right way. as the mayor of san francisco and on behalf of our city, i want to issue an appropriate proclamation celebrating the arab heritage month, and also to
present this, not only to the whole group, but personally to someone who has really helped create the bridges of understanding the cultures through the film festival, the arab-american film festival in san francisco. thank you very much. [applause] >> i want to, again, thank you, all, for coming tonight. it's been my pleasure to celebrate with you this wonderful month. i also look forward to visiting the countries of the middle east. i know that they will appreciate a mayor of san francisco
creating the bridges over there, as well. thank you. >> thank you, mr. mayor. thank you. we're very proud of you. thank you to everyone for being here tonight. today is a good day for the community. we are proud americans and we are very proud that we are a descendant of a people -- people who greabuild great cities like damascus, they wrotbeirut, like, and much more. we are here in our city hall to proclaim that we, as arab- americans, have a lot to offer. we are ready to go towith everyt
of all the residence for our beloved san francisco. thank you, sir. thank you, mr. mayor. we're looking forward to work with you to make this wonderful city even better. [applause] >> [speaking foreign language] i am ross mirkarimi. thank you dearly for bringing me up. i have been in office since 2005, but long before i was elected, this is a commemoration, a recognition that i am very proud to be a part of for many years, because i am iranian-american, the first iranian-american elected to office in san francisco. said there is a great affinity between our communities and one
that i have not lost sight of since taking office when we were the first city hall in the united states and opening our doors for the persian new years. many in our community have celebrated together. this is not an occasion i would miss. very proud to be here. [speaks for the language] >> thank you, mayor lee and supervisor mirkarimi. next i would like to introduce the ceo of art.com which has sponsored a moderate iraqi art exhibit. he will give a few words about this amazing collection. >> thank you. thank you, nearly peter i am and and a grid myself, a french- american. i became american in the beautiful city of san francisco three years ago, so i can relate a lot to what you said earlier. i am here today because we are presenting a collection, an important collection of original art from iraq, and i
wanted to share a very brief story about how i came across this article and why we are sharing it today. it is back in 2003, there was just a ceasefire in baghdad, right after, you know the second world war,. and someone flew straight into jordan, hired two bodyguards, hired a four-wheel drive, and went straight into baghdad. why did she do that? because she knew that the baghdad art scene was one of the most vibrant in the arab world and actually in the world. there was a lot of very good talent that had been under the operation of the former regime still building a fantastic collection of art. she went to the bag that school of art. she asked to meet with the top 10 young artists there.
she got a few their paintings and smuggled them back to france. she had a show, and i fell in love with this art. tin years later, we sell art online. i wanted to find a way to expose people worldwide to this fantastic art. i call that lady about six months ago, and it turned out that she still has a fantastic art from the artists, and i bought everything over the phone. it was the goal to bring it to the u.s. and then expose it, you know, to the broader public in multiple ways. our mission is to make art accessible to all. what we're doing, we found a way to provide very, very high quality, a vibrant art, from original art all the way to an edition that is open to reproduction so everybody can enjoy it. what really moved me with this art, as you'll see over there, is entering a very, very hard
time for the iraqi people, those painters, some of them very famous, some of them very young and not famous whatsoever, through the power of art and self-expression and were able to get out of their misery and coming up or something beautiful. it is a great testament to the power of the human being. i personally own many of these, and every time i look at the painting, i season been different. it really makes me happy. i hope it will be the same for you. thank you for the opportunity. [applause] >> on behalf of my firm and myself, i would like to thank you all for it to pay less for joining us. on behalf of the arab-american community -- [speaking foreign language] you're welcome to join us
anytime in the middle east, your honor. thank you very much. [applause] >> can we have another round of applause for the mayor and a supervisor mirkarimi. thank you all. [applause] thank you also much. [applause] ♪ >> again, thank you all for coming, and the party is just getting started. we will have -- we will be having a close a call musical session, and you'll see the beautiful modern art from iraq in the north court. and we have a dance by a sudanese group as well.
again, i would like to thank all of our sponsors. including the law firm in san francisco. another one is in his third year of supporting us, and he has never had the chance to write a check. hopefully all you other business owners well. also, the best sandwich in town. i do not need to explain that. and the market which is a national phenomenon. they just did an amazing article about them in "food" magazine. and the excellent and test. please support them, because they have supported us throughout the years. again, i would like to close with the musical selection. thank you. [applause]