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Merely once in my life have I welcomed the new year in Times Square, and I had the impression that I was the only New Yorker in the crowd.
Being a New Yorker, I only go to the top of the Empire State Building about once every thirty-five years, and I have been to the Statue of Liberty just twice.
There are fewer than 200,000 of them today, dwindling in numbers since their persecution by the first Muslim caliphs starting with Abu Bakr, for whom Islam, in the mode of Mohammed, meant submission or death.
The Muslims defeated the forces of the last Shahinnshah, Yazdergerd III, at al-Qadisiya in 635; two years later they seized the capital of Ktesiphon, and, in a grievous loss for civilization, destroyed its vast library, including its scientific texts, for the Zarathustrians were highly accomplished astronomers.
Theatrical depictions of the Three Wise Men are even more problematic.
For the best of intentions, their jeweled turbans and bedecked camels in Christmas pageants relegate them to the realm of charming fantasy.