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The Moazamis Reach for their Philanthropic Roots


Source: PARSA Community Foundation

Although distant from their homeland, Mohsen Moazami and Laleh Amirteymour keep their customs alive and strong, thanks to a deeply-rooted dedication to philanthropy that goes back generations. Living in Silicon Valley, Mohsen is a member of the Executive Staff at Cisco Systems, and despite their busy schedules, he and Laleh dedicate a considerable amount of time to philanthropic causes. For the Moazamis, philanthropy does not mean writing a check or tending to an obligation, rather it is a long-established ancestral tradition of hands-on engagement, inspired by their forefathers’ tending to their constituencies.  “Laleh and I come from a political upbringing,” says Mohsen. “Our fathers served on Prime Minister Mossadegh’s cabinet, so we were both immersed in the notion of public service early on.”

Mohsen Moazami and Laleh Amirteymour

The couple has “hot spots,” areas that lie closest to their hearts. In the several trips the couple has made to Iran in the past three decades, Laleh has made a point of delving into local children’s projects. Back in the United States, the Moazamis have worked extensively with academia, particularly Stanford University, where Mohsen earned a master’s degree. He was one of the founding members of the Iran project at the Hoover Institution and helped fund the program.

Two other Persian non-profits have captured the imagination and personal involvement of the Moazamis:  they support Child Foundation, an Oregon-based organization with the goal of helping children stay in school, and Los Angeles-based Relief International with the objective of providing emergency aid and led by Dr. Farshad Rastegar. “Both organizations' staff exhibit personal sacrifice and they make a point to keep us informed,” says Laleh. “For non-profits such as these, success is a matter of track record.”

Laleh and Mohsen have recently opened a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with PARSA Community Foundation. After learning about what a DAF can do for the them and the Persian community, the Moazamis felt that establishing such a fund would be a win-win situation for everyone. They enjoy the simplicity of coordinating their charitable giving through one consolidated account at PARSA while garnering recognition for the collective philanthropic contributions of the community at large.

In honoring their familial tradition of giving, the Moazamis contribute towards those in need, regardless of region. As Member of the Board of India Operations at Cisco, Mohsen travels to India frequently and is witness to abject poverty in stark contrast to those more fortunate. “Living side by side to the wealthy, these people are born, live, and die on the streets,” he says. “I hope we can do something meaningful to alleviate poverty, but we must recognize that no single individual can do it on their own.”  Mohsen and Laleh may not be able to change the world by themselves, but if everyone did as much as they, we might just be headed towards a world with less suffering.


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