Farvardin 9 1399 - March 28 2020
Metro Bank hit with fresh lawsuit by Iranian customers

Embattled lender Metro Bank has been hit with a fresh lawsuit by a group of Iranian customers who say their accounts were unfairly suspended without notice or explanation. The group of 17 claimants, who are expected to seek at least 1.5m pounds in damages, include dual British-Iranian citizens, Iranian citizens living in the UK and several UK-based businesses including an engineering firm and a consultancy. -Guardian 3/17/20

New Travel Restriction on Iranians: What You Need to Know

On February 29, 2020, President Trump signed a new Presidential Proclamation restricting the entry of individuals who have traveled to Iran in attempts to stymie the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States. These new restrictions go beyond the President's Muslim Ban and will further limit the entry of Iranians into the U.S. The Proclamation adds Iran onto a previous proclamation restricting travel to the United States from China and was put into effect on March 2nd at 5 P.M. EST. -NIAC 3/6/20

Jumping Over the Fire: Bay Area Iranians Carry On

The Iran I know and the Iran I see in the news have been stubborn puzzle pieces that simply refuse to fit together. The Iran I know is reaching under a bed for my grandfather's cane in Ahvaz at the age of four, one year before his death. The Iran I know is on the balcony of my mother's childhood home in Shiraz, sleeping under the stars with cousins in 2002. The Iran I know is jumping over beach bonfires late into the night for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. -Ida Mojadad, SF Weekly 3/5/20

IAPAC Proudly Endorses New Slate of Iranian American Candidates

Today, the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) proudly announces its support for a new slate of Iranian American candidates running for federal, state, and local office. The latest list of endorsements includes Alan Khazei and Sima Ladjevardian for U.S. Congress, Kimi Abernathy for Tennessee State Senate, Ahsha Safai for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), and Nima Rahimi for San Francisco DCCC. 3/4/20

Iranian Model Megan Pormer Spearheads Effort to Send Medicine and Supplies to Iran During Coronavirus Outbreak

Iranian-American model Megan Pormer, who made headlines after wearing a dress promoting peace between the US and Iran at the 2020 Grammys, is working with medical professionals and companies in Beverly Hills to send critical medicine and supplies to Iran. Over the past month, Iran has been ravaged by the coronavirus and the death toll continues to rise. -Clout 3/3/20

'I'm not a terrorist': Iranian Canadian who lost wife in Iran plane crash denied entry to U.S.

When Iranian-born Canadian citizen Farzad Alavi was denied entry to the U.S. on Jan. 10, he said a border officer told him the reason was his past mandatory military service in Iran - which the officer claimed effectively linked him with terrorists. "They're telling me I'm a member of a terrorist organization. It's very, very difficult for me to digest," said Alavi. -Sophia Harris, CBC News 3/2/20

Trump's Muslim ban: Iranian-Americans are treated like the enemy within

"I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you," US President Donald Trump said on Twitter in Farsi last month, presumably talking to the Iranian people. My reaction as an Iranian-American was one of sheer rage. This is a president who issued a ban targeting Iran and other Muslim countries, imposed devastating sanctions on the people of Iran, and threatened to bomb Iran's cultural sites. His administration has detained and deported Iranian students with valid visas, and treated Iranian-Americans, including US citizens, as suspects. -Azadeh Shahshahani, Middle East Eye 2/21/20

Why is the Justice Department trying to defend the officers who killed Bijan Ghaisar?

THE TRUTH about the death of Bijan Ghaisar, the young accountant shot to death by U.S. Park Police officers in 2017, has not become less true in the 26 months since he died. Ghaisar's killing was unwarranted, unjustified and unjust. That fact remains unchanged despite the meandering two-year FBI investigation, despite the Justice Department's gutless decision last year against prosecuting and despite the legal mumbo-jumbo now emanating from federal officials. -Editorial Board, Washington Post 2/20/20

Census 2020 "Write in Iranian" Campaign Launch

Today, Pars Equality Center (Pars) announced its Write In Iranian campaign for the upcoming 2020 Census. Pars is partnering with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) in an effort to increase awareness among the Iranian American community about the importance of participating in the upcoming census. 2/19/20

PAAIA Launches Campaign to Combat Increasing Discrimination Against Iranian Americans

Amid mounting tensions between the U.S. and Iran that have resulted in renewed discrimination of Iranian Americans, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) today launched Iranian Americans Are American to reaffirm that Iranian Americans are, first and foremost, American. This campaign launches as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admitted to inappropriately targeting Iranian Americans and breaching agency protocol last month when they detained hundreds of Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canadian border simply because of their national origin. 2/18/20

Commissioner: Officials overzealous in Iranian border stops

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said Tuesday that border officials in Washington state "got a little overzealous" when they detained Iranian and Iranian-American travelers at the U.S.-Canada border last month. As many as 200 people of Iranian descent were held up for as long as 12 hours as they crossed the border from Canada into Washington state the weekend of Jan. 5-6, following a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general. -AP 2/12/20

Iranian-Americans in the Age of Trump, the Travel Ban, and the Threat of War

I was born and raised in the United States to Iranian parents and, like many children of immigrants, grew up with a sense of alienation from my fellow Americans. Though raised in the most populace location of the Iranian diaspora in Southern California, my hyphenated identity seemed to be in conflict with itself as Iran was consistently vilified in U.S. media and politics. But rather than attempt to hide my identity, I became determined to move beyond the surface politics to understand more about Iran and, ultimately, to try to bridge the divide between my country of heritage and the country I called home. -Assal Rad, Common Dreams 2/11/20

Professor Of Cultural Anthropology Uses Her Work For Iranian Activism

Professor of cultural anthropology at UCI Roxanne Varzi is making her mark on the world of Iranian activism through her art and educational pursuits. In addition to being a UCI professor, Varzi is a writer, filmmaker and multimedia artist. Much of her work focuses on her Iranian identity and strives to educate others about Iranian culture and issues to break down the "Us versus Them" mentality that furthers the gap of understanding between cultures, most poignantly the U.S. and Iran. -Tatum Larsen, UC Irvine 2/9/20

Iranian American Civic Engagement Forum: February 22, 2020 at Stanford University

PAAIA's first Iranian American Civic Engagement Forum of 2020 is being held on February 22nd at Stanford University, in collaboration with the Hamid & Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies at Stanford University and PARS Equality Center. PAAIA's Civic Engagement Initiative is a new program committed to encouraging and enabling Iranian Americans to get involved as concerned members of their communities, both nationally and locally. 2/6/20

Lawmakers say CBP admits breaching protocol targeting Iranian Americans

Customs and Border Protection admitted to inappropriately targeting Iranian Americans and breaching agency protocol last month when travelers were held at the northern US border, according to lawmakers who met with government officials about the incident. Last month, reports surfaced that Iranian Americans were detained at the Blaine crossing in Washington state in the wake of the US killing of a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. -Geneva Sands, CNN 2/6/20

Pars Equality Center CY 2019 Achievements

Pars Equality Center's mission is to catalyze social, civic and economic integration of immigrants from Persian-speaking and other countries into American society. As a community-based social and legal services organization, Pars Equality Center is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to helping the Iranian-American and other Persian-speaking communities realize their full potential as informed, self-reliant, and responsible members of the American society. 2/5/20

Iranian Americans fear 'othering' as U.S.-Iran tensions escalate

Activist Hoda Katebi rarely takes a break from organizing. As tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated in recent weeks, she became even busier. On a recent Sunday afternoon, the 25-year-old Iranian American sat in her Chicago apartment shifting between monitoring her Twitter feed, taking phone calls and texting via encrypted messaging: She and other organizers had word that an Iranian student was being detained at O'Hare International Airport. "This past week, I think I slept one night," she said. -PBS 2/4/20

OU's Farzaneh Family Center expands scholarship fund for Iranian students amid travel ban

The Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies recently expanded a scholarship fund supporting Iranian students amid the ongoing travel ban and sanctions against the country. Afshin Marashi, director of the Farzaneh Family Center, said the fund existed previously but was expanded after the existing fund was almost expended. The scholarship benefits international students from Iran who have been affected by travel restrictions implemented by the Trump administration. -Oklahoma Daily 2/4/20

Art therapy as a means to cope with grief

Concordia's Iranian community shows us how art-making can help heal past trauma - Whether it's venting, crying or spending time with your loved ones, grief differs from person to person. Poetry, storytelling and painting are forms of art therapy healing that took place on Jan. 16 at Concordia's Art Hive event in efforts to heal together rather than apart. -Gabriele Zambito, The Concordian 2/4/20

Border Patrol Detains Iranian-Born American Soldier at the Border, Seizes Their Phone

Earlier this month Customs and Border Protection seized the iPhone of an active duty American soldier as they were transferring through a U.S. airport as part of their directed orders. After questioning, the CBP sent the iPhone to a lab for forensic analysis, according to the service member and a CBP document obtained by Motherboard. The soldier, an American citizen born in Iran, told Motherboard they believe the questioning and seizure was due to their Iranian heritage. -Joseph Cox, Vice 2/3/20

Concert: Niaz Nawab, Erwin Khachikian & Rana Farhan to perform in San Francisco on February 28, 2020

Diaspora Arts Connection (DAC) presents Niaz Nawab, Erwin Khachikian, and Rana Farhan Live in San Francisco on Friday, February 28, 2020. After successful performances in Canada, the trio will perform their songs with Karmandan and Steven Toub. Join us for an evening of music and community. 2/3/20

Iranian students fear immigration hardships may amplify during political tension

Graduate student Gheysar Jebelli* tries to avoid news stories about his home country, Iran. They upset him and distract him from his academic studies. But when his friend texted him on Jan. 8 that Iran had fired missiles at an Iraqi airbase housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S.' assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, Jebelli became distressed. He kept his eyes glued to the headlines. Jebelli dreaded the worst: war. -Julian Roberts-Grmela, Spectrum, Univ of Buffalo 1/31/20

Fears of increased 'Iranophobia' grip Iranian-American community

In the weeks following the US killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soliemani, fears of increased "Iranophobia" have gripped some in the Iranian-American community amid the escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States...Responding to the attacks, the US announced it was imposing additional sanctions on Iran, including sanctions on eight Iranian officials it said were involved in "destabilising" activities in the Middle East. -Samira Sadeque, AlJazeera 1/30/20

Five Ways Writers Can Protect Their Rights at the U.S. Border

In the wake of the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, some 60 Iranians and Iranian-Americans were reported to have been stopped at the U.S.-Canada border and subjected to secondary screenings or pulled aside and held for questioning, in some cases for hours. One historian and writer, John Ghazvinian, said he was held briefly at John F. Kennedy International Airport over the weekend and questioned about his views on Iran. -Pen America 1/30/20

For Iranian UR students, overseas tensions take a toll

As hellish as it's been this January, three students told the Campus Times that being Iranian in America has never been easy.. They said they've grown accustomed to operating by a different set of rules in many contexts - when applying for jobs, visas, credit cards. "Being an Iranian has a lot of consequences and disadvantages," said the first student. "I had my bank account closed five times without giving me notice." -Efua Agyare-Kumi, Univ. of Rochester 1/28/20

U.S. border officers were told to target Iranian-born travellers, officer alleges in email

U.S. border officers working at multiple Canada-U.S. border crossings were instructed to target and interrogate Iranian-born travellers in early January, said a U.S. border officer in an email obtained by CBC News. The allegation follows reports that up to 200 people of Iranian descent travelling from B.C. - many of them Canadian or U.S. citizens - were detained and questioned for hours at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Wash., during the weekend of Jan. 4. -CBC 1/24/20

Brooklyn's Iranian diaspora feels the pain of war at home

Makaremi and other anti-war activists helped organize a protest in Foley Square on Jan. 9 to denounce the prospect of a U.S. war with Iran and end sanctions that have left his mother struggling to get the proper dosage of her heart medicine. "By policy there are rights of me that are being nullified," Sadra Shahab said. "I'm a U.S. citizen, but my mom cannot visit me in my own country, that means I'm just not like any other citizen." On his way to the protest in Foley Square, Shahab commented, "I'm not sure there's ever a good time to be an Iranian, but it's a bad time to be an Iranian." -Paul Frangipane, Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1/23/20

It's Not Just Washington State. Iranians Are Stopped At Borders All Over The Country.

Earlier this month, soon after President Donald Trump ordered the killing of a top Iranian government official and the nation vowed to retaliate, news broke that U.S. border agents held nearly 200 people of Iranian descent without explanation at the Washington state border with Canada. U.S. Customs and Border Protection disputed the claim that officers detained Iranian Americans at the Peace Arch border crossing, but dozens of news reports described otherwise. -Rowaida Abdelaziz, Huffington Post 1/23/20

Neither war, nor sanctions, are solutions in Iran

I was surprised to meet Ghanimat Azhdari in Geneva last June. When I was asked to speak at a gathering of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Indigenous Fellowship Programme. She was a young woman from the Indigenous Qashqai community, and despite the obstacles she had most certainly faced on her way, she was at the top of her field. She told me about her work promoting biodiversity and that she was headed to Canada for her PhD. So talented and ambitious. I was heartbroken to find Ghanimat's face among the victims of the Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 that crashed in Iran on Jan. 8. -Leila Arakami, The Star 1/23/20

NIAC Letter Regarding Etsy's U.S. Sanctions Compliance Policies and Discriminatory Treatment Towards Iranian Americans

The National Iranian American Council has sent a letter to Etsy concerning its apparently discriminatory treatment of an American vendor selling "Persian dolls" on its website. These dolls appear to have been made in America with American materials by an American, and under no circumstances should have been flagged as a prohibited item. -NIAC 1/22/20

Iranian students face hardships at home and abroad

Iranian students at Purdue are feeling the ramifications of recent conflict between the United States and Iran, even while on campus. One graduate student, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of potential consequences on future petitions for immigration or jobs, hasn't seen his family in six and a half years. His parents were able to visit his brother, who's living in Canada, but they weren't able to obtain visas to visit him due to the travel ban. And he couldn't go to Canada without having to reapply for a visa. -Sean Murley., The Exponent 1/22/20

Cut off from family, unable to travel: how US sanctions punish Iranian Americans

ollowing the US assassination of a top Iranian general earlier this month and Iranian airstrikes against US military bases in Iraq, Donald Trump once again imposed biting sanctions against the regime in Tehran. To Iranian Americans, many of whom have lived under sanctions in Iran or have family members there suffering through economic hardship, the fresh round of penalties is a painful reminder of the collateral consequences of escalating conflict. -Sam Levin, Guardian 1/20/20

Letter of Solidarity Standing with NIAC

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and its sister organization NIAC Action, are American civil-society organizations working on behalf of members of the Iranian-American community and the broader American public. At a time when our nation is bitterly divided, NIAC is an important voice in our public debate on issues of enormous consequence for all Americans - and particularly for Americans of Iranian heritage - including heightened tensions in the Middle East and the risk of war, policies like the Muslim travel ban and extreme vetting, the rise in domestic hate crimes, and the protection of civil liberties. 1/18/20

What It's Like When Your Two Home Countries Are on the Brink of War

I was born in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war [1980 to 1988], in a border town called Ahwaz. My family and I moved to San Francisco when I was very young, but most of my family still lives in Iran. My grandfather forced my mom and my dad to leave Iran during the war. He told them, Your kids can not have a good life here. They will do better things in America. I owe everything to my grandfather and my family who made so many sacrifices for me to be where I am today. -By Mana Mostatabi; as told to Leila Ettachfini, VICE 1/17/20

Iranian American Buckeyes reflect on Iran-US conflict

In the face of escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, Iranian Americans can be caught in the middle... Nealofar Madani, a third-year in public health and co-leader of the Iranian Cultural Association, said she has concerns about family visiting from Iran. Milad Vedaie, a third-year in environmental engineering and co-leader of the Iranian Cultural Association, grew up in suburban Columbus and is a dual citizen of America and Iran. His parents and siblings all attended Ohio State. He said he has faced discrimination because of portrayals of Iranians in the media. Madani and Vedaie said they embrace both aspects of their identity and want to change media narratives around Iranians. -The Lantern 1/17/20

'Space Unites Us': First Iranian-American Astronaut Was Gunship Pilot

Jasmin "Jaws" Moghbeli earned her fierce nickname during her time as a decorated helicopter gunship pilot who flew more than 150 missions in Afghanistan. The Marine Corps major, MIT graduate and college basketball player can now add another accomplishment to her burgeoning resume: the first Iranian-American astronaut. -MSN 1/16/20

'An American dream': singer Andy Madadian becomes first Iranian on Hollywood's Walk of Fame

At age 22, Andy Madadian fled Iran with nothing, moved to Los Angeles and started playing guitar at nightclubs to pay rent. Now 63, the internationally celebrated pop singer says he's ready for another "new beginning": Madadian is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first Iranian artist to earn the honor. -Sam Levin, Guardian 1/16/20

NIAC Responds to Baseless Accusations by Senators Cotton, Cruz, and Braun

In response to a letter sent by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Braun (R-IN) to the Department of Justice baselessly urging an investigation into NIAC and NIAC Action, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) issued the following statement: "At NIAC, we are proud of the work we do for our community. We will never stop working to advance peace and diplomacy or fighting for equitable immigration policies and the civil rights of all Americans. 1/15/20

Why do Some Iranians in the Diaspora Support a War Against Iran?

The killing of Soleimani has united Iranians who showed up in large numbers at funeral processions in numerous Iranian cities, despite some Iranians living outside Iran dismissing them as having been forced to attend by the Iranian government. Moreover, parts of the social media sphere have created an alternative narrative that leaves the impression that a majority of Iranians living outside Iran support American interventionism. -Mohammad Rafi, Responsible Statecraft 1/15/20

Local Iranians Say They're 'Angry For The American People, And People In Iran'

The Washington region is home to one of the largest communities of Iranian-Americans in the country. More than 31,000 Iranian-Americans call the area home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey, behind only the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan regions...The intense barrage of news has been especially hard on Iranian-Americans who have strong personal and family ties to people in both countries. -NPR 1/11/20

Federal civil-rights office opens investigation into Canadian border stops

The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is opening an investigation into the many reports of people being stopped and questioned for hours over the weekend at the Canadian border, according to a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal. The civil-rights office verbally confirmed the investigation Wednesday, and said it is sending investigators to Washington state, according to Subhan Cheema, Jayapal's spokesman. -Seattle Times 1/9/20

How anti-terrorism laws equip law enforcement to crack down on Iranian Americans

That the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani will reorder the Middle East is obvious - Iraq's parliamentary vote to expel U.S. forces, along with Iran's declared restarting of its nuclear arms program with "no limitations," offers proof enough. But that the killing will have repercussions within the United States, rattling the lives and liberties of many U.S. citizens and residents, is also a strong possibility - one that's no less ominous. -Aziz Huq, Washington Post 1/8/20

Coalition Statement on Reports of Mass Detentions of Iranians and Iranian-Americans at the Washington/Canada Border

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and its Iranian American coalition partners today issued the following statement following the recent reports of mass detentions of Iranians and Iranian Americans at the Washington/Canada Border: We write to share extremely disconcerting news and to share important information with you regarding new immigration incidents affecting Iranian Americans and Iranians in the U.S. Please read the below carefully and share this information with your friends and family. 1/7/20

Iran-Born Ivy League Professor Detained and Grilled About Soleimani at JFK

Until Sunday morning, University of Pennsylvania academic and historian John Ghazvinian-who left Iran as a baby with his family more than four decades ago and grew up in London and Los Angeles-traveled in and out of the United States with the same freedoms as any other U.S. citizen. But when he arrived from Cairo at John F. Kennedy International Airport via an Air France connecting flight from Paris-two days after the U.S. military killed one of Iran's top generals on orders from President Donald Trump--all of that changed. -Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast 1/7/20

Iranian-Americans Questioned at the Border: 'My Kids Shouldn't Experience Such Things'

Arriving at the United States border in Washington State early Sunday morning after a skiing trip to Canada, Negah Hekmati and her family were pulled out of line for further questioning by Customs and Border Protection agents. The family found itself in a room filled with fellow Iranian-Americans, many of whom had already been held for hours. -New York Times 1/7/20

Iranian Americans reportedly questioned at U.S.-Canada border in British Columbia

Mona Zabihian was on her way back to Washington after a Persian pop concert in Canada late Saturday night when she and four other Iranian Americans were pulled aside at the border. As their van slowed at the checkpoint, the U.S. citizens were asked a series of standard questions. Then they were given a slip and told to go inside, she said Sunday. The 27-year-old said she waited for about an hour before officials called for her questioning. -Los Angeles Times 1/6/20

Killing of Iranian general stokes fears of heightened surveillance in U.S.

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani stoked fears Sunday that people of Iranian descent in the United States would come under heightened surveillance and led to reports that Iranian Americans were being detained at the U.S.-Canada border, which Customs and Border Protection denied. -CNBC 1/6/20

"Iranian-American, Past Present Future"

On September 24th, 2019, in his UN address President Trump defended the United States' economic sanctions against Iran by invoking language that has become so familiar to us we fail to hear its ruthless and genocidal resonances. After stating that it was his duty and priority to "defend America's interests," Trump cited "Iran's blood-lust," its "menacing behavior," its "traffic in monstrous antisemitism," and accused Iran of single-handedly destabilizing the Middle East. The use of abstract and degrading terminology to discuss Iran has a long history in American politics. -Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi 1/5/20

IAPAC Proud to Endorse Yassamin Ansari for Phoenix City Council

Since she was a kid, Yassamin has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving others through public service. Yassamin began her career as a John Gardner Public Service Fellow at the United Nations, where she served as the youngest member of the climate team that advised former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and helped to deliver the historic Paris Agreement. Later, she was appointed as the Director of the Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington, DC, and worked with the Office of Governor Jerry Brown where she served as the Deputy Director of Policy for the Global Climate Action Summit. -PAAIA 12/24/19

Three years of waiting: Trump travel ban bureaucracy keeps Iranian couple apart

Every morning, Hedieh Yazdanseta gets up by 5am and pulls up the US state department's website on her phone, tapping in a case number made up of 13 digits and letters she has long memorized. She holds her breath as the page slowly loads, but disappointment quickly settles in when she sees her case is still in "administrative processing". For the past two years, those words have kept Yazdanseta and her husband, Mohsen Rahmani, thousands of miles apart and unable to start the life they want to live together -Lauren Aratani, Guardian 12/24/19

Iranian Families Divided by the Trump Travel Ban Tell of Holidays Apart and Lives on Hold

With the holidays and a long school break almost here and many families gathering together, we reached out to those who have been affected by President Trump's travel ban to see how they and their relatives are managing. Most of the people we heard from were Iranian or had ties to the country. -Aidan Gardiner, New York Times 12/23/19

Yalda celebrations begin for Newfoundland's Iranian community

On the eve of the winter solstice, members of Newfoundland and Labrador's Iranian community are celebrating as Yalda celebrations are set to begin. Yalda is an annual celebration on the Iranian calendar that falls on the night of the winter solstice, this year landing on Dec. 22. The day marks the longest and darkest night of the year. Azadeh Haddad and Sharzhad Mostaan came to Newfoundland from Iran, and are members of the Iranian students' association at Memorial University. -Alex Kennedy, CBC 12/21/19

Who is NIAC?

At our core, we are a team of young, forward-thinking Iranian Americans and allies who wake up every morning to serve our community. We are the thousands of donors and volunteers who believe that it's crucial to have an independent American civil society organization to give Iranian Americans a voice for peace, justice, and civil rights. -NIAC 12/18/19

Afshin Ghotbi: '1998 had a bigger magnitude for Iranians than Americans'

Whether Afshin Ghotbi is the most successful American coach working today is something that can be debated but when it comes to a variety of soccer experiences, surely this 55-year-old stands head and shoulders above the rest. Only one thing is missing: a job back in the USA. A top job anyway. It is now 21 years since he went to the 1998 World Cup as part of Steve Sampson's coaching staff when the United States, his home since the age of 13, lost 2-1 to Iran, the land of his birth, in Lyon. -John Duerden, Guardian 12/18/19

NIAC Congressional Fellow Ethan Azad is Fighting for Rep. Rashida Tlaib

"Get involved," encouraged Ethan Azad - the National Iranian American Council's Ali Youssefi Congressional Fellow - "and don't wait for people to make the changes that you want to see in the world happen because there's less of those people than you'd expect." Ethan is currently working in the office of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) as part of NIAC's revitalized Congressional Fellowship, named in honor of NIAC's former board chair Ali Youssefi. 12/15/19

IAPAC Proud to Endorse Sarah Beeson for Georgia State Senate

The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), today proudly announces its endorsement of Sarah Beeson for Georgia State Senate District 56. Sarah Zibanejadrad Beeson is a businesswoman who runs her family's company that has been based in Georgia State Senate District 56 for more than two decades. If successful, she will be the second Iranian American elected to the Georgia State Senate. 12/11/19

San Francisco State University Announces Additional $1 Million Gift from Alumna and Philanthropist Neda Nobari

San Francisco State University announced that the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies received an additional $1 million from alumna and Iranian American philanthropist Neda Nobari, building upon her generous gift of $5 million from June 2016 that established the first-of-its-kind center. Administered under the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, the center is dedicated to research and teachings that examine the historical and cultural experiences of the global Iranian diaspora. -SFSU 12/10/19

2019 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has released the findings of its 2019 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans, which reveals that tensions in both the wider U.S. society and between the United States and Iran are felt by the Iranian American community. 10/15/19

Iranian American Coalition Requests Information on Student Visa Denials for Iranian Nationals

A coalition of Iranian American organizations, including the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), and Pars Equality Center released the following statement after sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan requesting clarity regarding recent en masse visa cancellations and entry denials of students of Iranian nationality 10/8/19

Facebook And The Fake Iranian Opposition

The campaign of silencing the true opposition has now spread to Facebook. Coordinated attacks are waged against any Facebook page that espouses opposition to the policies of the Trump administration, Saudi Arabia, and Israel toward Iran, including economic sanctions and war, as well as military intervention in other countries. In addition, the Facebook pages of anyone who counters the efforts by pro-monarchist groups promoting Reza Pahlavi are also attacked. -Muhammad Sahimi 9/27/19

Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Harley Wallen's Eternal Code Starring Noted Iranian-American Actress Vida Ghaffari Had a Star Studded West Coast Premiere

"I was truly honored to be cast in the role of Nikita. Harley is an amazingly talented filmmaker and I had fabulous cast and crew mates to collaborate with. It was my first role as a scientist and has opened the door for me to play other scientists and academics. While I never did become an academic like my dad wanted, it's a nod to the family business if you will, which is education and I did play a super smart woman," said Ghaffari. 9/14/19

Second Annual MSP Iranian Film Festival: August 15-18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

MSP Film Society presents the second annual MSP Iranian Film Festival August 15-18, 2019 at the Film Society's Screen 3 at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Festival showcases acclaimed and award-winning new Iranian cinema, and presents a variety of themes, genres, and perspectives of contemporary Iran. 8/9/19

May The Force Be With You, Ilhan

I definitely understand what the young Somali emigre, now a congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, has been going through. I understand how it feels to be told "Why don't you go back to where you came from." Or, "If you don't like it here, you can just leave!" I got used to being called a damn "furner" by my supervisor, a semi-literate redneck from Alabama, who was the "Party Chief" of a seismic exploration crew where I worked fresh out of college. -Kambiz Zarrabi 7/19/19

Iran Judiciary Confirms Arrest Of French-Iranian Academic Fariba Adelkhah

Iran's Judiciary has confirmed the arrest of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said he had raised the issue with Tehran. Macron demanded an explanation on July 15 from Iran after the arrest last month of Adelkhah, a researcher with the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies, who is believed to have been arrested by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on suspicion of spying. -RFE/RL 7/16/19

Is The U.S. State Department Funding Attacks On Iranian Activists Abroad?

Considerable evidence emerged late this week connecting the U.S. State Department to a Twitter account that has engaged in online attacks against human rights organizations, Iranian-American activists, journalists, and others advocating against the escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran. The revelation is raising questions about whether the Trump administration is using federal funds to propagandize in favor of a potential Iran war. -Derek Davison 6/1/19

Iranian-American organizations campaign against U.S. war with Iran

Iranian-American organizations are actively campaigning against a U.S. war with Iran encouraging members of community to write to their members of Congress urging them to support the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act. 5/13/19

Benefit Concert In Sunnyvale, California for Iran's Flood Victims

A unique and entertaining benefit concert featuring local artists. Proceeds from this concert will support the victims of the recent floods in Iran. The program will include performances by Naser Sheikhzadehgan, Amir Nojan, Amir Abbas Etemadi, Narges Jajarmi, Safi Rouhi and other local musicians. We are also excited to present to you vocal music by Shiraz Arts Academy Choir conducted by Amin Assadi. 4/20/19

Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam presents two new sculptures in the Giardini Marinaressa alongside 2019 Venice Biennale

Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam will exhibit two large scale, stainless steel sculptures, as part of the GAA Foundation's PERSONAL STRUCTURES - open borders exhibition, in the context of the 2019 Venice Biennale. The sculptures, Dilemma of Man and Metamorphosis will be exhibited publicly in Venice's waterfront park, Giardini Marinaressa from 5 May to 29 November 2019. Akhavanjam's industrial yet delicate forms draw on philosophy, contemporary socio-political issues and Persian mythology, so that within each work a didactic tale is contained. Both works contain three visible figures, melded seemingly effortlessly into each other. 4/20/19

Tulsi Gabbard's Norooz Message: The Tropical Winds Of Hawaii

Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, a House member from the state of Hawaii, and a Democratic candidate for the Presidential election of 2020 has issued a delightful message for Norooz. In her message, she says, " the beginning of Spring is such a beautiful metaphor for a new start and beginnings." Her positive initiative and outreach should be welcomed and celebrated by the Iranian community anywhere in the world. -Farid Marjai 3/27/19

We Are Here, We Have Always Been Here

An international conference hosted by San Francisco State University brings together the Iranian American diaspora -- one that has flourished, noticed or not, in the Bay Area. -Ida Mojadad, SF Weekly 3/21/19

Norooz Spring Festival kicks off Persian New Year celebrations

People gathered in Union Square Saturday, March 9, 2019 to commence Persian New Year Celebrations. Norooz (also spelled Nowruz) takes place on March 21 this year, however traditional activities happen for the weeks before and after the actual date. This event was hosted by Norooz Outreach and is the first event in what they anticipate will be an annual recurrence. -SF Examnanier 3/11/19

Experience the Largest Nowruz Celebration in the USA: March 10 at UCLA

The most colorful and lively festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, The Farhang Foundation Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. This event has become the largest Nowruz festival in the United States. The special celebration brings together a variety of programming and excitement for all ages to enjoy. The daylong festival is free and open to the public for the 11th Annual Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) celebration at UCLA's Dickson Court, taking place on Sunday, March 10, 2019. 3/2/19

First Ever Persian New Year Party in the Florida Capitol

Every year, millions celebrate Persian New Year, or Norooz. This year for the first time ever, we are bringing the Persian New Year to the Florida Capitol! Join us we share Persian food, music, and dance to all of Florida! -Hosted by Office of Representative Anna V. Eskamani 3/1/19

First Iranian-American Woman to Win Oscar Turns to Iran-Themed Films

The first Iranian-American woman to win an Oscar, Rayka Zehtabchi, says she wants to build on Sunday's triumph of her documentary about menstruation by producing several films with Iran-related themes. -Michael Lipin, VOA 2/27/19

NIAC Action Endorses Yasmine Taeb for Virginia State Senate

NIAC Action is proud to announce its official endorsement of Yasmine Taeb, candidate for Virginia's 35th Senate District. Yasmine is waging a primary challenge against the Virginia Senate's Democratic Minority Leader, Dick Saslaw. 2/20/19

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