By Iman Sadri
July 5, 2017
Yesterday was a historic day for the Iranian American community. The Freedom Sculpture was unveiled in Los Angeles on Fourth of July. The $2.2 Million structure is meant to embody a replica of the Cyrus Cylinder from Ancient Persia. The boldness and beauty of the structure will captivate the attention of those who drive past it on Santa Monica Boulevard, near Century City. However, it is the virtues of the Cyrus Cylinder itself – those of humanity and inclusivity that will capture the hearts and minds of those who learn of its significance.
The Freedom Structure was the imaginative brain child of the Farhang Foundation. Funded largely by donations from a multitude of countries and designed by artist Cecil Balmond. 75,000 spectators were estimated to have been a part of the 4th of July unveiling festivities. Max Amini was the Master of Ceremonies. Music was provided by Arash and Ebi.
Farhad Mohit, of the Farhang Foundation and founder of Flipagram called the Freedom Structure, “The Statue of Liberty of the West Coast.” The timing of the structure’s unveiling could not have come at a more opportune time. The recent Trump Travel Ban has restricted many Iranians from traveling to the U.S. and has put a false stain on the perception of Iranians by Westerners. The Travel Ban, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last week, has caused much anxiety and hardship for countless families.
Despite the Travel Ban currently affecting modern day Persians – the Freedom Structure is a reminder of the benevolence that Ancient Persia was known for. According to the Farhang Foundation the Freedom Structure is, ” Inspired by the humanitarian ideals of freedom, respect for cultural diversity and inclusiveness that originated with Cyrus the Great of Persia 2,500 years ago.”
Even though it will be illuminated at night, it is the idealogy of the Freedom Structure of altruism and benignity that shines the brightest.
Iman Sadri is the founder of The Persian Observer and @HollywoodSmileTV.