PAAIA Launches Awareness Campaign of Iranian American Accomplishments Since Islamic Revolution
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) launched a national campaign on Nov 17, 2008 to raise awareness of the positive contributions Iranian Americans have made to the United States since their immigration from Iran during the Islamic Revolution thirty years ago. Nearly one million Iranian Americans reside in the U.S., making significant contributions to the public and private sectors alike.
PAAIA's campaign begins with the release of an online video profiling Dr. Pardis Sabeti, a Boston-based geneticist recently named by CNN as "one of eight geniuses who will change our lives." Dr. Sabeti developed the first statistical method to identify sections of the genome that have mutated due to natural selection rather than chance.
Dr. Sabeti, born in 1975, completed her undergraduate degree at MIT and continued her education at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar before becoming the third woman to graduate summa cum laude from the Harvard Medical School. There, she is currently an assistant professor in the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, as well as a Rhodes Scholar and the lead singer in a rock band.
Dr. Sabeti is one of several distinguished Iranian Americans to be featured in PAAIA's online video mini-series that showcases compelling stories about high-profile Iranian Americans.
"Because of Iran's current geopolitical image, it has become increasingly important to preserve the culture and positive identity of Iranian Americans, who so passionately work to contribute and support the United States," said Rudi Bakhtiar, former CNN anchor and PAAIA official, who produced the mini series.
Ms. Bakhtiar continued, "Iranian Americans' ability to overcome exile and reestablish their purpose and identity within only three decades is truly remarkable."
Several Iranian Americans hold tenured positions at top U.S. universities and serve in senior leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies--including Pierre Omidyar (Ebay) and Omid Kordestani (Google). In addition, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2008 report on immigrant-owned businesses, 21.5% of Iranian Americans are business owners. PAAIA's awareness campaign seeks to celebrate the extraordinary successes of Iranian Americans over the past thirty years.
More information about PAAIA's campaign and "Profiles of Iranian Americans" mini-series is available at www.paaia.org.
PAAIA is a 501(c)(4) "civic/social welfare organization" that is permitted by law to engage in issue advocacy and lobbying activities. As a social welfare organization, PAAIA can and should ideally have an affiliated political action committee to enhance its political influence building activities. The affiliated PAC will allow the organization to get directly involved in elections at the state and national levels by providing contributions to candidates running for public office.
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