Nader -- lessons from his parents
I grew up in a small New England town - Winsted, Connecticut.
My father, Nathra Nader, owned and ran a restaurant - the Highland Arms - on Main Street.
Mom and Dad were immigrants from Lebanon.
At home, dinnertime overflowed with talk of current events, led by my parents - and good old-fashioned Arabic cuisine prepared by my mother - Rose Nader.
There was no television playing in the background - because there was no television.
In this nurturing environment, my parents raised my brother, my two sisters, and me to be self-confident, independent, and caring of others.
Many of today's children grow up in a domestic scene quite different from the world we grew up in.
Today, it's X-box, television, videos, DVDs, computers - non-stop screens and noise.
And junk food.
Compared to today's commercialized household scenes, ours was a peaceful other world.
My Dad was a concerned and patriotic American.
He worked long hours at the restaurant.
But he wouldn't let business get in the way of expressing his opinions.
People knew that when they put down their nickel on the counter top at Mr. Nader's restaurant, they would get a cup of coffee and ten minutes of conversation.
One day, a customer came into the restaurant and said: "Mr. Nader, how do you expect to make a profit and deliver your controversial opinions every day?"
To which my father responded: "When I passed the Statue of Liberty in 1912, I took it seriously."
And he did.
My Dad also taught me that without justice, liberty was not possible.
One day, when I was ten, my Dad took me for a car tour of our little town.
He pointed out all of the institutions - the library, the hospital, the high school - that were built with charitable contributions.
Some of the wealthy citizens of our town made an enduring effort to share their wealth.
"Imagine if all the well-to-do gave the way these people gave," Dad told me. "We'd live in a much better and stronger society."
Here is one of my favorite pictures of Dad.
It shows him (center) walking down Main Street in Winsted, leading a group of citizens of the town to protest yet another Congressional pay increase.
Dad believed that our political leaders should set an example for the people by showing restraint in setting their own pay.
Fifteen years ago, my parents put together a book - It Happened in the Kitchen .
The book contains Mom's wise advice on rearing children and many of father's classic sayings.
The book also includes recipes for dozens of traditional, nutritious and delicious dishes we grew up on - hummus, tabooli, lentil soup, fatoosh, stuffed grape leaves, burghul, kibbi - and many others - and some of my favorite Arabic desserts.
The 184-page book became something of a best seller when it was published in 1991.
To this day, people approach me at airports and say they remember my appearance with Mother on the Phil Donahue Show in 1991 that highlighted It Happened in the Kitchen .
We have obtained a few remaining copies of the Kitchen Book.
For a contribution of $100 or more to our campaign - which as you may know was driven into debt by a multi-million dollar dirty tricks operation perpetrated by the Democratic Party - I will sign a personalized copy to you of this wonderful book of recipes and sayings from my parents and get it in the mail to you in time for the holidays.
It Happened in the Kitchen will make a lasting gift for you, your family and friends during the holidays.
And your generous donation will help us wrap up this campaign on a happy fiscal note, so we can concentrate on Bush's illegal war, which has cost so many American and Iraqi lives.
Let your friends and family know about this offer by forwarding this letter to your e-mail address book.
Please go to our contribution page and give as generously as you can.
If you want to donate $100 or more and receive an autographed copy of It Happened In the Kitchen , click here.
Thank you for your ongoing generosity and bright horizons.
Contributions are not tax deductible.
Paid for by Nader for President 2004 General Election Committee
202.265.4000 — P.O. Box 18002,Washington, DC 20036
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