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Iranian Alliances Across Borders' 2nd Annual Essay Contest

Open for submissions until March 15th 2008


The Essay Contest aims to encourage writers and readers alike to think about issues that are important to hyphenated Iranians as individuals, as members of the Diaspora community and as members of the global community at large.  It is an opportunity for reflection and exchange: a chance for diasporas communities to learn about what matters to their youth, and a chance for the youth to develop and articulate their own ideas about the issues that affect them.

The contest is open to high school students of any background-Iranian or non-Iranian-who wish to share their responses to one of three questions:

  • When asked where you are from, what do you say? Is your response always the same?  Please explain.

  • Do you think it is important for members of the Diaspora to remain connected to their countries of origin? Have you found a need to explore your heritage?

  • Do relations between the United States and Iran ever affect the way you represent your Iranian heritage?  Please explain.

Essays will be judged by a panel of five distinguished judges from the Diaspora community: Mr. Maz Jobrani, Ms. Shabnam Rezaei, Ms. Tara Bahrampour, Dr. Persis Karim and Ms. Kamin Mohammadi.  IAAB will award the first place winner a full scholarship to the 2008 Iranian-American Leadership Camp (valued at $550), or $400 in cash if preferred.  The author of the second place essay will receive $250, and $100 will be awarded for third place.  Additionally, the top three essay writers will receive Dr. Persis Karim's A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian Americans and the top ten writers will receive a copy of both Persis Karim's Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing By Women of the Iranian Diaspora as well as a DVD of Maz Jobrani's Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.  Finally, the top ten essays will also appear in an e-Book published by IAAB in June 2008.

Essays must be received by March 15th, 2008.  Each essay must be the original work of the high school student submitting it, 1-4 pages in length, titled and in English.  All essays must also include a cover page with the student's name, grade level, home address, email address and phone number.

For instructions on how to submit your essay online, simply visit  Alternatively, you may mail your essay via postal delivery to:


Iranian Alliances Across Borders
7764 Brandeis Way
Springfield, VA 22153


Mailed submissions must be post-marked by March 15th, 2008.




  First place: Full scholarship to Camp Ayandeh or $400 if preferred

  Second place: $250

  Third place: $100


   Top three winners receive Persis Karim's A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian Americans

   Top ten winners receive a DVD of Maz Jobrani's Axis of Evil Comedy Tour as well as Persis Karim's Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing By Women of the Iranian Diaspora

   Top ten essays will also be published by IAAB in an e-Book in June 2008


IAAB's Mission Statement:
The mission of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) is to strengthen the Iranian Diaspora community and empower its youth. In particular, Iranian Alliances Across Borders strives to:

  • Raise awareness of the Iranian culture and community;
  • Promote leadership in the Iranian Diaspora community, with a specific focus on the younger generation; and
  • Connect Iranians across a variety of borders


... Payvand News - 02/08/08 ... --

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