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How the Face of Iranian-Americans is changing in the Bay Area on the eve of War

On December 7th, 2007, Beyond Persia-in collaboration with ANAR- is hosting a concert highlighting famous Iranian-American Musicians at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco.  The event's honorary Host committee is made up of San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, as well as Iranians, Supervisor, Ross Mirkarimi, Dr. Elahe Ensani and Ahsha Safai, among others.


The performers are contemporary Composer/Pianist Arjang Rad, favorite young crooner, Hamed Nikpay and the legendary rock band Kiosk, whose emersion from illegal underground music in Iran has recently exploded into what Dr. Abbas Milani fellow at the Hoover institute refers to as being responsible for changing the face of Contemporary Iranian Culture. The show will be emceed by Maryam Sayyad (daughter of the beloved Persian Actor, Parviz Sayyad) and will feature the comedy of Stage Actress, Sheila Vossough.



The evening which is intended to promote Peace and help stave off war, includes a pre-show reception for all guests, an Iranian art exhibit silent auction, and  raffle.  For the VIP ticket holders, there will also be an elaborate post show Persian dinner with the evening's celebrities in the foyer of the Palace of Fine Arts, and dance party with DJ Aykut until 1AM.  Proceeds from the concert and silent auction, will be donated to the Agape Foundation whose mission is social change through non-violence.


The event also celebrates the 1st anniversary of Beyond Persia, a San Francisco based non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts of Iranian Diaspora.  In the past year Beyond Persia has exposed over 600 pieces of artwork as well as the art of over 80 individual Iranian American artists, musicians, photographers and filmmakers, either for free or at cost, through a variety of art exhibits, film screenings, concerts and their unique website


"We hope that with frequent exposure to contemporary culture of Persians abroad, both the American public, as well as our own 1st generation of Iranian Diaspora who've been removed from this level of artistic sophistication for various reasons, will feel a kinship to this culture by way of its art, and therefore its people.  With the help of colleagues like Anar, we aim to humanize Iranians as more than the 'Islamic Fundamentalists' we've been reduced to in the news, as we strive to showcase our collective talents-not like immigrants, but in an elevated way that fuses us with other up market Americans and befits our proud history." says, Beyond Persia's Founding Director, Lale' Shahparaki Welsh.


Anar, a collective of younger Iranian-Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, aspires to connect the modern generation of Iranian-Americans with a broad spectrum of individuals and activities in the community, from artists to academics and politicians. They have a vision of creating a community of active, diverse, and engaged Iranians.  Ahsha Safai, one of the group's charter members and former assistant to Mayor Gavin Newsom says: "We chose to help put on this show with Beyond Persia because they are a dynamic organization that is bridging the gap between both Iranian-Americans and the larger Bay area community. They are full of brilliant ideas, creative energy, and wonderful leadership with business acumen to back it all up.  They represent everything that is good about the emerging power-house that the Iranian-American community is becoming."


Ahsha Safai is running for the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco in District 11.  One of his main goals for the Iranian-American community to encourage a greater number of younger Persians to engage in the political process and pursue a career in public service.


Tickets for this event are on sale via City Box office, keyword: "SOLH" which means peace in Farsi. Ticket prices start at $50 and $35 for students with a valid ID. VIP tickets (if still available are $100 each and include preferred seating, post show dinner, dancing and meet and greet with the shows artists.

For more information visit



PR manager, Laleh Hashemi:

... Payvand News - 12/01/07 ... --

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