Originally from Tehran, Iran, Fary Moini will be representing both her home and adopted countries while riding on the 2011 Rotary Rose Parade Float.
A member of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary club, Moini exemplifies this year's Rotary float theme “Building Communities, Bridging Continents.” The design features seven bears and one koala outfitted to represent countries around the world where 34,000 Rotary clubs form a global network of volunteers.
Moini is Rotary International's representative on the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO. In January 2002 she volunteered with the Rotary Foundation in Peshawar Pakistan, working in a refugee camp. In November 2002, she volunteered with the Rotary in Jalalabad Afghanistan - charged with overseeing the development of a Rotary school that now has more than 5,000 male and female students.
While in Afghanistan, Moini oversaw the installation of a satellite-based computer lab at Nangarhar University and coordinated the distribution of 12,000 English dictionaries.
In July 2005, she was a Rotary volunteer at the Don Bosco Boys School in Nairobi, Kenya. Because she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Tehran, she assisted in the medical clinic where she also taught First Aid and English.
Among her numerous awards are the Lifetime Channel's Lifetime Achievement Award, Hometown Hero and San Diego Magazine's 50 People to Watch.
What brought you to La Jolla?
A few years ago, after my divorce and returning from Nairobi (Kenya), I was looking for a cozy, nice apartment to start my new life and I found it at La Jolla Village Drive.
What makes this area special to you?
The first time I came to visit a friend in San Diego, they brought me to the La Jolla Cove and actually the natural beauty of the cove was the reason I moved from Washington D.C. to San Diego.
La Jolla is also very convenient in so many ways - it's close to the main highways, close to the offices where I have most of my meetings, and it has great restaurants and cozy coffee shops.
I love the farmers market on Sundays where I do my shopping and enjoy coffee with my dear friends after early walks. I love being close to the beach and I enjoy the clean air. No doubt it is an absolutely gorgeous and unique place.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
Parking. It is such a headache.
Who or what inspires you?
Nature and people. There are many inspiring people and among them are the generous and selfless Mother Teresa and the compassionate, kind and wise Dali Lama.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
Here's my list: Eleanor Roosevelt because she was smart, wise and I love the quotes she left behind; Barbra Streisand and her magical voice; Dr. Maya Angelou; Beethoven, such a brilliant composer but a bitter man in personal life; Michelangelo, he left so many masterpieces that are breath taking; Steve Brown who is my hero and mentor; Jan Percival, a dear friend and great Rotarian with a warm personality; and Rick Clark who always amazes me with his talents and compassionate heart.
Tell us about what you are reading.
I just finished “Half the Sky” by Nick Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, and I just started “Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa” by Kay Danes.
What is your most-prized possession?
My dad's letter, my mom's beautiful set of pearl earrings, and my glorious sister's diamond necklace that is always close to my heart. These loved ones are not physically around me, but they left me great memories.
What do you do for fun?
I like reading, hiking, doing yoga, having a great dinner with friends and listening to classical music.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Never be afraid to experience new things, it is exciting and you have only one life to live. Be kind and compassionate toward all and leave a legacy behind so you will be remembered always with blessing.