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Building Connections at Camp Ayandeh 2008


Iranian Alliances Across Borders is pleased to announce the success of its third annual Iranian-American leadership camp, Camp Ayandeh.  Camp Ayandeh took place during the week of June 22-June 28th, 2008 at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. With 70 campers and 31 counselors and staff, this year marks IAAB's largest camp group yet.

On Sunday, June 22nd, the excitement was palpable as campers from all over the United States arrived at Emory University.  Of the 70 campers, there were 30 familiar faces of those who had attended Camp Ayandeh in previous years, but there were also 40 fresh faces of new campers eager to discover what the week would bring them.  Though Camp Ayandeh has grown over fourfold since 2006, the environment continued to be as warm, comfortable, and loving as previous years. Camp Ayandeh 2008 also retained its mission and unique commitment to both leadership and the Iranian-American community.

The campers spent the past week participating in activities designed to enhance their leadership skills. The curriculum challenged them to look inwardly, connect with other Iranian-American youth from around the nation, learn more about their culture and heritage, and of course - have fun!  Among the activities planned for the week were several speakers and panelists, a Ta'arof Tournament, communication and decision-making workshops, holiday celebrations including "Norouz" (Persian New Year) and "Shabe Yalda" (Winter Solstice), and of course, Vasati (Persian dodgeball).

This year, Camp Ayandeh hosted a diverse number of speakers including: Ms. Mahdis Keshavarz, of The Make Agency; Mr. Alexander Patico, a co-founder of NIAC; Mr. Mohammad Massoomi, co-founder of RadioJavan; Mr. Devin Stewart, professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Emory University; and Mr. Hossein Samei, professor of Persian Language at Emory University.

For more details on the day-to-day activities of Camp Ayandeh, please visit the Camp Ayandeh Blog.  For more information about Camp Ayandeh 2008, visit  Please keep checking back for information about Camp Ayandeh 2009 later this year.

About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran.  The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit

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IAAB's third annual Iranian-American Camp for rising high school sophomores to graduating high school seniors, is being held June 22-28, 2008 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Far from being simply a camp of leisure and recreation, Camp Ayandeh creates a positive, inclusive environment in which each camper has the opportunity to grow and develop. -Sharareh Hakimi

Arman Carter crowned as Ta'arof King 2008

The day began with an informative speech given by guest speaker Alex Patico at Cannon Chapel, where the Camp Ayandeh group spends the majority of the day. Alex differentiated between the norms of different cultures, focusing mainly on Iran and the United States. Campers learned about how we can be perceived as positive in our culture, while being seen as offensive in another. -Sorayya Aminian


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