The American dream
The nomination of Barack Obama, an African-American with highly exotic roots, as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency is the most heralded example of the realization of the American dream.
On a far less dramatic level, the American dream has also been achieved in my own family. A century ago, my two sets of grandparents immigrated to this country from Poland and Belarus, both then part of the Czarist Russian empire. They came with few resources and no knowledge of English.
They fled to escape the pogroms and religious persecution that their ancestors had endured for many hundreds of years. In America they sought and found a refuge and a tolerant environment in which their children could employ their talents and fulfill their ambitions.
During the two generations that have followed my grandparents' arrival here, the family has produced two doctors (one of whom is a medical school cardiology professor), four school teachers, two artists (one of whom was also a college professor), a dentist, an art historian, a pharmaceutical chemist, a social worker, an investment banker, a Republican politician, three wartime soldiers, an Air Force career officer, a lecturer at the former Royal Iranian air force academy, a musician, several corporate executives, and this humble journalist.
For me and my relatives, the "American dream" is a magnificent reality.