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Community in the Making: Iranian Alliance's Across Borders' 3rd International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora


New York --- Iranian Alliances Across Borders recently brought to a close its Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, held at New York University’s Kimmel Center on April 28-29, 2007.  This conference, and the featured Abjeez concert, was the satisfying culmination of many months of hard work and anticipation by IAAB’s entirely volunteer staff, consisting of young professionals and students.  The event convened a diverse crowd of academics, activists, artists, professionals, and others for a weekend of community building and conversation regarding the unique opportunities and challenges currently facing the Iranian diaspora community.


Attended by more than three hundred people from all across the United States, as well as Iran, Europe, and Canada, the conference consisted of six panels covering a wide breadth of relevant issues including identity, culture and expression, transnational collaboration, and the needs of the community.  Saturday’s events also included four workshops dealing with distinct topics such as Persian language study, women’s literature, documentary filmmaking, and student internships in Iran.   On Sunday, an open forum gave participants the opportunity to discuss the role of the Iranian diaspora in political hostilities between the US and Iran, and to hear about the experiences of organizations working in this field. 


Together, these events provided attendees with a wide range of options and opportunities to learn, engage, and discuss some of the most critical issues currently facing the Iranian diaspora.   A full schedule of the conference as well as information on speakers is available online at


In general, conference participants had an overwhelmingly positive response that was, in many cases, also deeply personal.  “The two days I spent at the conference were amazing.  I felt like a born again Iranian.  I have never been so proud to be an Iranian or a woman.  The incredibly well organized conference, the panel discussions and the small workshops were food for the brain,” said Homa Watts, a conference participant.


The diversity of the speakers and audience, and the way in which it was organized and envisioned made the conference a place for deepening understanding, venting concerns, and real community exchange.  Halleh Nia, a 2007 conference attendee said, “Attending the conference gave me a whole new perspective on how young Iranians have come together to share their heritage not only with each other but also with people from other cultures.” 


The inclusiveness and warmth characteristic of the whole weekend is, in fact, what sets IAAB apart from other organizations, not only in the eyes of the participants, but also for it’s members.  “I have come to see the IAAB conference as the most defining characteristic of second generation activism,” said Professor Maboud Ansari. In its own way, IAAB is building community from the inside out—friendship by friendship, alliance by alliance. 


A multi-volume CD compilation of the entire weekend’s panel presentations is available for purchase at $30 per panel or $150 for all 6 panels (not including shipping). To order a copy, please contact  


For more information about Iranian Alliances Across Borders, please visit


... Payvand News - 5/22/07 ...

... Payvand News - 5/22/07 ... --

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