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Iranian-American Museum: A Proposal to All Iranian-Americans

By A. Mehdipour

The recognition of Iranian-Americans contributions to their host country is long over due. Erecting a museum, to a large part, enables us to achieve a deserved recognition. I think this is not only important to us for others to become aware of the impressing experiences and achievements of some of us and our contributions to the U.S. but also for ourselves. This seems rather imperative in light of the continuous misrepresentation, mis-information, and distortions that all of us have witnessed in most mass media in this country since 1980. This may assist us to show the real faces of Iranian-Americans through fact and manifestations of their ingenuity, determination and hard work rather than misrepresentation. When we consider the intended and unintended consequences of the proposed museum as a social, cultural and educational center we notice what a unique opportunity this presents for creating a nourishing environment for all of us.

Most of us may have seen or heard of scattered and sometimes unsubstantiated statistics and other forms of information on a few professors, engineers, wealthy and/or famous Iranian-Americans but we do not have a clear picture of who these people are and what they have accomplished beyond a short description. For example, how many of us know what inventions have been credited to the Iranian-Americans over the years. What a better way for these inventors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists come together for networking and collective ventures that would benefit the entire Iranian-American community as a cohesive social, political and economic force.

Many of us have established numerous associations, centers, societies, and foundations with relative success for years but some of us have also sensed the absence of an inclusive center with the potential of connecting all of the existing Iranian-American collectives. This museum may provide a fertile ground for us to create a microcosm of the desired democratic society most of us dream for our country of birth. The potentials of such a museum is as numerous and vast as of our imagination.

This observation and proposal stems from my years of research for writing a book about Iranian-Americans with a tentative title of: "Celebrating immigrants: Iranian-Americans contributions to the U.S. society." One of the objectives of this book is to provide a base for a museum. A few people among us have suggested creating data bases for networking and capacity building in conversation on needs of our community during the past decade. However, those sporadic conversations and gatherings, as far as I know, have not reached their intended goals.

I am submitting this proposal to all Iranian-Americans at this time because my book is at the final stage of editing and hoping to receive comments, suggestions, and pledges in any forms and kinds in order to establish the Iranian-Americans musuem.

... Payvand News - 5/19/05 ... --

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