Dr. Christen Behzadi, MD
Drs. Pedram & Christen Behzadi in Tehran, Iran
My life was proceeding along as planned. I knew what I wanted to do with my life , be a doctor and I was well on my way. Then, I met my medical school classmate , Pedram Behzadi and after a very enchanting few years courting I was on a new path bringing people together through culture.
Pedram comes from Persian/Iranian culture and they have many cultural celebrations throughout the year. Those celebrations were key in helping me to learn and understand Persian cultural perspective . Sometimes his family would invite many classmates over for these "kabob" nights for our medical school classmates. They were inviting all of us just for a simple dinner. It was not just dinner, it was a completely immersive cultural experience in Persian/Islamic culture. Our class was not very diverse and to see the incredible effect these experiences had on everyone and how interested all of us became in the culture, I always remember that.
From that moment I always wanted to spread the message of connecting people through culture and celebration. My first book on the topic was published in 2013 and since then I have had the honor to work with hundreds of families in helping them navigate the sometimes tricky terrain of bringing people from different backgrounds together.
Celebration is such an interesting and disarming way to bring very different people together in a spirit of harmony. And if it is done correctly, it really can decrease biases. The research studies have shown this. As for me, I've lived it seen it and felt it. Some things cannot be an academic exercise and bringing people together is a matter of the heart it is something that must be felt.