Her father Masoud is Persian and her mother Sylvia is Black. Merieta shared with us what life was like growing up as the mixed race daughter of a Persian father and a Black mother – in Jackson, Mississippi.
We first met the Bayati’s in The Swirl World on Facebook after Merieta was kind enough to share a gorgeous family photo. The Bayati’s are beyond beautiful, not only in appearance but especially because they represent a loving and cohesive family unit.
Of course we were beyond excited at the prospect of obtaining the back story on a “Persian Swirl,” so we asked Merieta if her parents would agree to an interview. Thankfully, they said yes and Mr. and Mrs. Bayati were gracious enough to consent to answering our many questions about what Swirling, Persian Style – is like.
(Make sure you read their complete profile – we have a surprise at the end!)
With great joy and pride, The Swirl World presents Mr. Masoud and Mrs. Sylvia Bayati!
Where do you live?
We live on ten beautiful acres where deer roam occasionally; squirrels are in motion constantly throughout the yard and a variety of birds singing to their own tune in Jackson, Mississippi.
How long you have been together?
We are blessed to be together thirty-five years as of September 1, 2013.
What are the names and ages of your children and grandchildren?
We have three daughters and one son: Merieta-30, Myron-27, Milan-25 and Mitra-24.
Two granddaughters include: Mariah-4, Malayah-11 months and two grandsons: Trenton-7 and Damian-5 years old.
How did you meet?
Sylvia says, “Our first encounter was on the first floor of the library at the university that we attended and future encounters were made in the building where Masoud had engineering classes. I was a business major.”
What was your defining moment – that moment when you each knew you were in love?
Sylvia: After three months of a whirlwind summer romance, I prayed and talked to God about him. Mesmerized by him, my heart knew I wanted to spend my golden years with my now husband, Masoud.
Masoud: The thought of her not being with me when she had to go home and being excited to see her every day and evening was my sign of committing to her forever. In later years, engraving the words: My heart belongs only to Sylvia.
How did you families and friends respond to the news of your relationship?
Sylvia: My mother was not pleased about me marrying outside my race in the beginning but, my father would say, “Go ahead and let them marry.” Eventually, my mom grew to love him! There were lots of stares from all races in the beginning years. Remarks such as “A white man marrying a black woman?? We’ll see how long that will last.” The Caucasian judge who performed our wedding stated, “Come and see me if he acts up.”
Masoud: My parents hated the fact that I married a Black woman. It was unacceptable to them, but I married the woman I knew would make me happy forever. Even as years went by, they were still very bitter over our relationship. I loved my parents to death, but I had to do what would make me happy and I never looked back.
What do you like most about your mate?
Sylvia: What I like most about my mate is that he is a “can-do” and a “take-charge” type man. God has blessed his hands and he can fix mostly anything he puts his hands to. I can travel from the east coast to the west coast by car, plane or whatever and feel safe. The car can break down in the desert or snow and he takes charge in fixing it.
Masoud: My wife’s patience and not nagging even when it was warranted due to long working hours. Her writing a relationship book to bring balance in not only our marriage, but other marriages and relationships as well. Her unselfishness and caring and faith to bring positivity in the lives of others are what I like most about my wife. We talk things through and listen to each other; appreciate, validate and respect one another.
What advice would you give to others?
Because finances play a big role in breakups, stay out of debt as much as possible and don’t live above your means. Become great friends. If you can remember that you’re a team and during the difficult times, recollect what drew you to your precious mate in the first place, that certainly helps.
Pray, keep the faith and things will work out for your good. Nothing is more important than family, great friends when you find them, and good health.
My husband still tells our children a funny story about our relationship to this day: “Your mom could not walk straight without running her hands along the fence and she thought she was doing it to be cute, but I thought she was retarded! Somehow I still loved her and eventually we got married!”
Our children fall on floor laughing. These are the small things in our family that become priceless.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us and our family.
Masoud & Sylvia Bayati
Editor’s Note: Sylvia Bayati is also an author! If your relationship has gotten into a rut, maybe Sylvia’s new book, The Sexless Marriage: A Relationship Guide can help you get back on track! It’s available for purchase on Amazon.
—–>Join in the Fray: As a special treat to our readers: Post a comment or question below to enter a random drawing for a free copy of Sylvia’s book!<—–
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All rights reserved. Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, Dallas, TX, USA. Photos used with permission.