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Hoover Tastes the World

Pedram and Noveed Motevalli went to Afghanistan last December. Both seventh-graders at Hoover Middle School, the Motevallis saw the presidential inauguration, and visited relatives in Afghanistan.

“They’re happy, and they say it’s gotten a lot better,” Pedram said. “There are lots of Internet cafes there, I guess because Internet access is important to them.”

“Economically, new people are coming in there and making mansions,” said Noveed, adding that they’re better than new mansions in the United States – many are constructed out of marble. Roads are another story. “We would go in an SUV, and it would still bump.”

The Motevallis, with Afghani and Iranian relatives, were among the many past and present Hoover students celebrating the school’s diversity at Taste of Hoover on Thursday, March 17. Students played zithers by Hoover’s gym as high-school students performed Indian Nritya dances inside the gym. The hallways were lined with display tables portraying cultures from Slovenia to Afghanistan. In the cafeteria, students and parents sampled cuisine like samosas, Indian turnovers filled with potatoes.

“This school is so diverse, so this lets kids see other cultures’ food or customs,” said Jessie Sethi, a Hoover parent who helped organize the annual event.