Being the ﬁrst male offspring in my family, everyone loved and pampered me. My mother, my father, and my beloved sisters looked after me with utmost tenderness and care. Our mother, a housewife, was a model mother for us and a wonderful wife to my father, warming his heart and giving him ever-growing conﬁdence. With outstanding devotion and perseverance, she did everything she could to make us feel we lacked nothing. From a very young age, my sisters Sonya and Hawi rushed after school to help my mother with her housework.
My father’s business was located in the Tabriz bazaar, on Saray Khan Street. I used to help him by bringing my mother’s home-cooked meals to him, and usually to his Russian guests, too. I tried to help him in other aspects as well, for example overseeing his workers and taking care of the shop while he was away. I always strove to be a good child to my parents.
The Tabriz bazaar was a good place for me. Surrounded by family and relatives, I was immersed in the arts and secrets of commerce, acquiring skills that would prove extremely valuable in the future. My father, Agha Aziz, always worked very hard to make a living.
At that time, Aziz’s business was ﬂourishing, and many business trips took him abroad. On one of his trips to Germany, he visited his cousin Agha Youssef Khakshouri and met his whole family. Youssef ’s eldest daughter, Gollar, was a stunning little girl, seven or eight years of age.
Gollar: I remember the big, tall uncle who came from Iran. I loved him very much. He played with me a lot, and we spoke Persian, which I’d missed. At that time I still knew Persian; later on I stopped speaking and only understood, and it took a few years to go back to speaking.
One day, Uncle Aziz took me to sit in his lap and told me: “One day you will be my daughter-in-law.” He was joking, of course, but apparently there’s a kernel of truth in every joke…