Archive of ‘Support’ category

It’s okay to get political.

[ This little boy’s ball says “BE KIND TO ALL” ]

I don’t even know where to start…

But I’ll start with what I saw today.

I went to SFO to protest against Trump’s unlawful, ill-advised ban against refugees and citizens of 7 primarily Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran ( where my family & I are from ), Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

[ The lawyers were working behind this post ]

This is what I saw:

+ I saw a mother protesting with her kids—her toddler by her side and her baby in a stroller—and each of them had a poster. The baby’s poster was the size of a flashcard.

+  I saw HUGE crowds on both the 2nd and 3rd floor of International Arrival with people of all ages, and religious and cultural backgrounds—not just Middle Easterns—protesting against the ban. It was beautiful.

+ I saw so many signs that said “Jews for Muslims”.

+ I saw protestors wave the American flag and the Iranian lion flag.

+ I saw tons of lawyers helping… They had name tag stickers on their shirts that said “Lawyer”. There was an area on the 2nd floor next to the protestors where they were working to get the people released—many of them had their laptops out ( they looked very busy ).

[ One of the many areas where people donated food and drinks for protestors ]

+ I saw multiple areas with donated food and water for protestors. People would go around the crowd passing out water bottles to anyone who was thirsty.

+ I saw LOVE and UNITY.

That’s also what I heard and felt.

The crowds were loud and passionate and peaceful and loving all at the same time.

There were drums and music, and even a Chinese dragon dance.

We chanted:

+ “We are people, we are not illegal.”
+ “The people united will never be divided.”
+ “Let the families out. Let the lawyers in.”
+ “All the walls have got to go from Palestine to Mexico.”
+ “No ban, no wall.”
+ “You come for one, you come for all.”
+ “Tell me what America looks like. This is what America looks like!”

& “Move Trump. Get out the way. Get out the way, Trump. Get out the way.”

[ Artist, Naomi Alessandra, created these incredible signs to bring awareness to who this ban is actually keeping out. Read about Samira’s story here & follow her on Twitter for updates ]

[ Award-winning Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, who delivered this beautiful acceptance speech at the 2012 Oscars wrote this statement about the ban ]

If you don’t know who these people are who are being detained at airports or on the way to the U.S. I encourage you to learn about them with me.

Learn about Samira Asgari, a research scientist who was moving from Switzerland to Boston to start her post-doctoral fellowship at a Harvard Medical School laboratory. She was stopped from boarding her connecting flight into Boston.

Learn about Marzieh Moosavizadeh, a 75-year-old grandmother who’s held a green card since 1997 ( 21 years! ) and visits her family in the U.S. almost every year. She was detained at LAX.

Learn about the 5-year-old boy—an AMERICAN CITIZEN and Maryland resident—who was detained for 4 hours at Dulles airport.

Learn about these people and their stories so when someone says this is a ban against terrorists you can say, confidently:

No, this is NOT a ban against terrorists. This is a ban against Muslims. This is a ban against humanity. 

If you’ve read articles about other people who are being wrongfully detained or are unable to travel to the U.S. with their green cards or visas, please link to those articles below. Or if you’d like to share your personal story with the community, please share your experience with us below. We want to hear from you. 

Last week, on Saturday, January 21, I participated in the Women’s March in San Francisco and that too was incredible.

It was my first march and it meant so much to me for so many different reasons.

It’s amazing to see all these important issues… Women’s rights ( which are human rights! ), LGBTQ rights, immigration, education, the prison system, the Black Lives Matter movement, the environment and so much more… All come together into one, united, powerful movement.

If you’re feeling down… If you’re angry… If you feel helpless… Go to a peaceful protest. Your presence makes a difference.

You CAN make a difference.

Whether you choose to write, protest ( I highly recommend it! ), create art, sing, donate your time and / or skills—you’re making a difference.

Thank you to everyone who stood with me and continues to stand for what’s right.

<3,
Bita

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Did You Know? Teal Is the New Orange.

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[ Teal pumpkin + JOY Consulting Co. business cards + cute bunny thumbtacks! ]

HI GUYS!!

I didn’t get very festive for Halloween ( I did put out 3 white pumpkins next to the TV. LOL! Does that count? You saw them on Snap. ) BUT—if we lived in an area that got trick-or-treaters, I’d FOR SURE put out A TEAL PUMPKIN.

Here’s why:

FARE, which stands for Food Allergy Research & Education, is making Halloween more exciting & FUN for kids with food allergies through their “Teal Pumpkin Project“.

They explain:

“Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits.

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.

Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated. This is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.”

To participate:

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[ The Mint Ball! ]

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[ Staring into the yonder. ]

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Some of my favorite items to have on hand are bubbles ( YES, PLEASE! ), mini slinkies ( such a throwback, I love it! ), bouncy balls, temporary tattoos & fun stickers! Basically all the things we wanted in our goody bags when we were little, minus the candy.

Okay, SO! If you participate ( I hope you do! ) share a photo of your teal pumpkin on social & tag @JOYFETTI & @foodallergy so we can see!!

This year ( like I do most years, HA! ) we’re taking my niece & nephew trick-or-treating and then checking out the neighborhood where I grew up—the houses go ALL OUT there! I love it! We’ll do a little walky walky & a little sippy sippy ; ) I’ll share it on Snapchat so be sure to come along! ( username ⇢ JOYFETTI )

Happy ( almost ) Halloween!!!

xx,
Bita

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[ It totally looks like she’s pooping, right? ]

Some fun items for trick-or-treaters:

 

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How I Cope with Hate & Terror

"Freedom is like a language in that if we don't use it, we lose it." - Bita Ehsanipour on joyfetti.com

On Thursday, November 12, Beirut was attacked by ISIS and innocent lives were taken. The next day, on Friday, November 13, Paris was attacked and more innocent lives were senselessly taken.

Atlas, where does it hurt quote by Warsan Shire on JOYFETTI

You may have seen this quote by Warsan on your Facebook or Instagram feed, and it speaks volumes to the hate, hurt and terror in our world today. Our entire world is hurting.

The other day I was thinking, “What can I do to add love? What can I do to add light?” And I thought about how I personally react to terror.

1. I educate myself.

I’m fortunate to have friends and family from different ethnicities and religions, who are passionate about helping people around the world. So when the local news didn’t talk about the attacks in Beirut, my friends did. I read about the attacks in Beirut on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Then I Googled to learn more—about the attacks in both Beirut and Paris.

Here in America, we’re fortunate to have access to so many different news sources thanks to the internet. We don’t have to rely on our TV screens.

We’re responsible for our own knowledge and understanding.

Some wake up and go to bed with the news. Personally, I’d rather start my day on a positive note—by working out, reviewing my goals, and setting my intention for the day—and I like to end my night on a positive note as well. But ignorance is definitely not bliss. So I don’t avoid the news. I make a point to actively inform and educate myself by tuning into the news (typically ABC & CNN), reading articles on the internet and letters from those actually “living it”, reading tweets (I love using Twitter as a news source), and talking with friends and family. I also seek out poetry. Have you read Warsan Shire’s poem “Home”? It’s an extremely powerful, moving poem that speaks to the experience of being a refugee. You can read her full poem here—it’s AMAZING. I hope you read it.

Here‘s some more beautiful poetry speaking out for refugees, on The Guardian’s website.

Home by Warsan Shire on joyfetti.com

2. I practice kindness.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that MLK Jr. quote on joyfetti.com

Did a stranger ever make your day? Hopefully your answer is “YES!”

My answer is definitely, “yes!” I make a point to practice kindness because really, why not practice kindness? The world can be an ugly place, but it can also be beautiful. And every day we have the power to make it more beautiful just by being kind to one another. So I practice kindness, because like I said before, why not?

But, consider this: Practicing kindness is free—it doesn’t cost you anything—and when you lift someone’s spirit or “restore their faith in humanity” (a bit cheesy, but stick with me) you lift your own spirit as well. Just think about it… Didn’t you feel REALLY good about yourself the last time you did something thoughtful for a family member, a friend or a complete stranger? Some say there’s no such thing as a completely selfless act, because when we do good we feel good. I say… So what? I’m thankful it feels good to do good. Hopefully more of us give into that aspect of our biology, and more often, because our world needs more good.

3. I celebrate my freedom.

Fear is a dangerous emotion. A healthy amount may be necessary, sure, but when we let fear control our lives it prevents us from EXPERIENCING life. When I was younger, I let fear talk me out of many things, and it stills creeps in at times, but I make a conscious decision to keep my fear in check.

Saturday, I had plans to see Hardwell live. I couldn’t help but draw a correlation between my Saturday night plans and the horrific attacks on Paris, at the Bataclan concert hall. It would’ve been easy to give into fear and stay home—avoid concerts, avoid crowds—but instead I celebrated my freedom and went to the concert (& he was incredible). On Sunday, I had tickets to the Vikings/Raiders game. Again, it would’ve been easy to stay home out of fear, but I choose to celebrate my freedom and enjoyed the game and our amazing seats.

Freedom is like a language in that if we don’t use it, we lose it.

4. I choose love.

Have you read Antoine Leiris’ letter to ISIS? Antoine’s wife of 12 years, Helen Muyal-Leiris, with whom he has a 17-month old son, was killed in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Friday. On Monday, Antoine shared a letter titled, “Vous n’aurez pas ma haine”, (“You Will Not Have My Hatred”), on Facebook. What’s beautiful about Antoine’s letter is the strength with which he chooses love in a moment when many would understand him choosing hate. You can read Antoine’s full letter translated in English here, on ABC News’ website. It’s so sad, so beautiful and so well written. I started bawling while reading it.

Another powerful letter I came across is Sarah Jameel’s letter, “A Love Letter to Beirut, Paris and Beyond From Sri Lanka”, which you can read here, on the Huffington Post website.

People cope with sadness, hate, hurt, and terror in many different ways. For me, these four actions help me feel empowered, rather than helpless, and help me add love and light, rather than spread hate and fear.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Beirut and Paris, and the innocent refugees who are seeking a safe home. I hope the love of the world surrounds you and strengthens you.

<3,
Bita

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