PARSA Community Foundation
international awards not only recognize the accomplishments of their
winners, but encourage excellence in the fields they honor. Iranians around
the world have frequently been the recipients of such awards recognizing
leaders in a variety of fields. These awards signify not only the Iranian
community's desire for excellence, but also its lasting contributions to
science, arts and business. The stories of these awards and awardees can
inspire us all to reach the same levels of accomplishment.
Awards in Cinema
international awards in the past 25 years, films from Iran and by Iranians
continue to be celebrated worldwide.
The Cannes Film
Festival, founded in 1946, is one of the world's oldest and prestigious film
festivals. The private festival is held annually in the resort town of Cannes,
France. Cannes' Special Jury Prize in 2007 was given to Iranian-born Marjane
Satrapi's animated film Persepolis, which shared the prize with Still Light by
Carlos Reygados. Persepolis is an adaptation of a comic book of the same title,
which also won the Angoulême Coup de Coeur Award at the Angoulême
International Comics Festival in 2003.
In 1997, Abbas
Kiarostami won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) Award at the Cannes Film
Festival for Taste of Cherry. In 1999, he directed The Wind Will Carry Us, which
won the Grand Jury Prize (Silver Lion) at the Venice International Film
Festival, the oldest film festival in the world. Kiarostami has won more than 75
international awards and has been a jury member of film festivals, most notably
the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, 2002 and 2005. He was also the president of
the Camera d'Or Jury in Cannes Film Festival 2005.
winner at Cannes is Jafar Panahi, whose film The White Balloon won a Camera
d'Or in 1995. Panahi's The Circle (2000), portraying the plight of women in
today's Iran, won him the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film
Festival. Panahi also directed Crimson Gold in 2003, which brought him the Un
Certain Regard Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. It went on to win a
number of best film awards and opened to excellent critical response.
The Berlin International Film Festival is another one of the world's leading
film festivals and has been celebrated annually in February since 1978. Panahi's
Offside was nominated for competition in the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, where he
was awarded with the Silver Bear and the Jury Grand Prix. Berlin
has also paid tribute to Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, whose Turtles Can Fly
won the Glass Bear and Peace Film Award in 2004. Ghobadi's first
feature film, A Time for Drunken Horses (2000), was the first Kurdish film
produced in Iran. The film won Caméra d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. His second
feature was Marooned in Iraq (2002), which earned him the Gold Plaque
from the Chicago International Film Festival.
In 1999, the first
Iranian film was nominated for an Academy Award. Majid Majidi's film Children of
Heaven was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the
Academy Awards. Majidi also directed "The Color of Paradise," which was the
Grand Prize Winner at the Montreal Film Festival. The Academy Awards got
another a taste of Persian culture when Iranian-born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo
was nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She co-starred
opposite Sir Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly in House of Sand and Fog.
Awards in Mathematics, Science and Medicine
Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is an annual six-problem, 42-point mathematical
Olympiad for pre-collegiate students and founded in 1959, is the oldest of the
international science Olympiads. About 90 countries send teams of up to six
students, plus one team leader, one deputy leader, and observers.
Maryam Mirzakhani is
one of the few women of Iranian origin to have won international awards in
mathematics. Recognized locally as a brilliant teenager, she found international
recognition after receiving gold medals in the International Mathematical
Olympiads of Hong Kong in 1994 and Canada in 1995 with a perfect score.
In the field of
robotics, students from Tehran's Sharif University and Qazvin's Azad University
won the first and second prizes in one of the leagues of the 2007 World
Robotics Competition, held in Atlanta, Georgia. In recent years, Iranian
youth have steadily remained among the top 10 medal winners in international
scientific Olympiads that are held in the fields of mathematics, physics,
chemistry, biology, informatics and engineering. In 2006, they also won 3 first
places in the World Robocup Championship held in Bremen, Germany.
Young talents such
as these draw their inspirations from the likes of accomplished scientists such
as Dr. Camran Nezhat, a pioneer and leading practitioner in the field of
laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Nezhat has won several awards and honors from
prestigious societies such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine,
American College of Surgeons, and the Excel Award from the Society of
Laparoendoscopic Surgeons and American College.
Awards in Journalism
an internationally-recognized name in journalism, is the winner of the
Courage in Journalism award as well as the Excellence in Journalism
award, among dozens of other prizes. It was her coverage of the Persian Gulf War
that followed Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990 that made her famous.
Thereafter, she reported from the Bosnian war and many other conflict zones.
From 1996-2005, she contracted with CBS to cover in-depth news reports as a
special contributor on 60 Minutes. These reports garnered a Peabody Award
in 1998, adding to the Peabody she was awarded in 1993. The Peabody Awards honor
distinction and achievement in America within the fields of broadcast
journalism, documentary film making, educational programming, children's
programming, and entertainment. Amanpour was also named one of the 100 Most
Powerful Women by Forbes magazine.
Awards in Business and Fashion
Google's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations, was
instrumential in turning the privately held company into an incredibly
profitable outfit. He has gone on to become one of Time Magazine's 100
People Who Shape Our World. He was also selected as the Persian
Person of the Year in 2007 by Persian Awards. Persian Awards is the
first organization to select and award leading Iranians from around the
world, based on the public vote.
also taken world of fashion by storm. Iranian-born, New York-based designer
Behnaz Safarpour introduced a line of women's apparel bearing her name in
2001. At the Parsons School of Design, she was honored with the Golden
Thimble Award, given annually in recognition of a major contribution to
the fashion industry. Sarafpour is a member of the CFDA, through which a
close relationship began after her nomination for the Swarovski Perry
Ellis Award for ready to wear.
Shahram Nazeri is one of Iran's most popular singers and a master of the
Persian classical and Sufi repertoires. His concerts in Europe, the Middle
East, and North America have been acclaimed for their poetry and virtuosity
and he has dozens of recordings to his credit. In September 2007, Nazeri
became the first Iranian to be awarded France's highest state award in arts
and literature, the order of Chevalier des Arts et Letters, for
lifetime artistic achievement. In 2007, Asia Society awarded him by Lifetime Cultural Heritage Award at their annual dinner, attended by
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Deep Dish, a duo of DJ and house music producers consisting of
Iranian-American members Ali Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi, have also been
the recipients of leading music awards. They were nominated for a Grammy
Award in 2001 for "Best Remixer of the Year" and nominated in 2005 "Best
Dance Recording" for Deep Dish's "Say Hello." In 2002, they won a Grammy
Award for "Best Remixed Recording" of Dido's "Thank You."
Prize and Awards in Human Rights
Nobel Prizes are arguably the most important prizes in their field, due to
the rigorous and lengthy selection process, starting with a nomination
process that includes and ending with final selection by a selection
committee of experts in their field.
On October 10,
2003, Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts
for democracy and human rights, in particular those of women and children.
The selection committee praised her as a "courageous person" who "has never
heeded the threat to her own safety." Her award has since become an
inspiration to the Iranian community and a message to the world that with
hard work and dedication, anything is possible.
received several honorary doctorates and international awards, including UCI Citizen Peace Building Award, the
Golden Plate Award by the
Academy of Achievement, Legion of Honor Award, International
Democracy Award, and the 2004 Lawyer of the Year Award.
Awards in Humanities
around the world have established themselves in their adopted countries,
they have begun to give back to their respective communities in large
numbers. As the President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vartan
Gregorian stands out as a trailblazer in this area. In 1986, Gregorian was
awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Established in the same
year, the award pays tribute to the immigrant experience and individual
achievement, and is awarded to U.S. citizens from various ethnic
backgrounds. The honorees are awarded for exhibiting excellent qualities in
their personal and professional lives and for maintaining the richness of
their heritage. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is recognized by the United
States House of Representatives and the Senate, and the names of all
recipients are listed in the Congressional Record.
In 1989, Dr. Gregorian was awarded the American Academy of the Institute of
Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Service to the Arts. In 1998,
President Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal. In 2004,
President Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest
civil award. He has been honored numerous cultural and professional
associations, including the Urban League, the League of Women Voters, the
Players Club and PEN-American Center. He has been honored by the city and
state of New York, the states of Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, and
Rhode Island, and the cities of Fresno, Austin, Providence and San
Many other Iranian-Americans have won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor as
well. 2008's Iranian-American honorees were Goli Ameri, Noosheen Hashemi,
Laya Khadjavi, Darioush Khaledi, Parisa Khosravi and Avid Modjtabai. Almost
30 Iranian-Americans have won the award since its inception.
The Ansari X Prize
have been the recipients of numerous honors in the fields described above,
Iranians are also establishing themselves as trailblazers in award-giving as
Anousheh Ansari, the Ansari X Prize was the first X Prize to be awarded.
An X Prize is a $10 million+ award given to the first team to achieve a specific
goal, set by the X PRIZE Foundation, which has the potential to benefit
humanity. The Ansari X Prize was given to Scaled Composites for their craft
SpaceShipOne. The spacecraft is capable of carrying three people to 100
kilometers above the earth's surface, twice within two weeks.
The Ansari X Prize created a whole new paradigm of prizes that seek to drive the
rapid development of new technologies and industries. Subsequent X Prizes which
are yet to be awarded include: the Archon X Prize for Genomics, Google Lunar X
Prize and Progressive Automotive X Prize. Through promoting excellence in
innovation and entrepreneurship, there are no limits as to what can be achieved
by not only in the field of technology, but all fields in which the Iranian
community sets its sights on.
by PARSA Community Foundation
This article has focused on the range of awards that Iranians have received
and given. PARSA CF invites to you to also learn about the two awards that
are given annually by our organization: the Philanthropist of the Year
Award, awarded to Paul Merage in 2008, and the Volunteerism and
Action Award, awarded to Ashraf Ghandehari Bahadorzadeh in 2008. Learn
more about the awards
PARSA CF About Other Awards
Do you know of
other Iranians who have received awards? Email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about them. PARSA Community Foundation
hopes to repeat this article in the future.
... Payvand News - 12/19/08 ... --