Farvardin 26 1400 - April 15 2021
3 Years Later, A Prisoner's Family Still Awaits His Return From Iran

Later this month, Bahareh Shargi will mark an anniversary: It will be three years that her husband has been stuck in Iran. Iranian authorities first imprisoned Emad Shargi, a U.S. citizen, on April 23, 2018. Though they eventually released him on bail, they did not allow him to leave the country and later returned him to Tehran's Evin prison. Now his family hopes that speaking out may help him. -NPR 4/8/21

How a shadowy, hawkish new group tied to Iranian monarchists is gaining influence in Congress

A new organization with ties to Iranian monarchists is cultivating relationships with the Republican Party, holding a series of online events with newer GOP House members, strongly advocating against diplomacy with Iran, and pushing for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate so-called "Islamic Republic agents and lobbyists" in the United States. -Bryan Metzger, Responsible Statecraft 4/5/21

Letter protesting the unjust prosecution and sentencing of Touraj Amini in Iran

To Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, We write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to express our concern over the imprisonment of Touraj Amini, a historian of the Qajar era and the Iranian Constitutional movement, who is also Baha'i. -Middle East Studies Association of North America 4/5/21

Iranian Americans Hope For a Better Year in Orange County This Nowruz

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, has not only been celebrated for decades by the tens of thousands of Iranian Americans who live in Orange County, but it is a tradition that dates back thousands of years. The word Nowruz means "new day" and for many, the tradition is about hope, letting go of the past and preparing for new beginnings. It's not just Iranians, many people celebrate the festivities. -Hosam Elattar, Voice of OC 4/2/21

A brush with... Ali Banisadr

As he prepares for a two-part exhibition in Florence, the Brooklyn-based artist Ali Banisadr discusses his life and work through the cultural epiphanies and influences that have shaped him. Banisadr was born in Tehran, Iran in 1976 during a tumultuous period, marked by the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and then the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. -Art Newspaper 3/31/21

From Iran to Le Cordon Bleu, This Atlanta Chef Brings Her Passion Project to Buckhead

Growing up on her family's saffron farm in Iran, chef Forough Vakili didn't realize there was any other way to eat besides using what's around you. Her fondest food memories revolve around picking saffron flowers with her parents at dawn and celebrating Iranian festivals and holidays, like Nowruz (or Persian New Year) when her mother made exquisite gingersnap cookies in the tandoor oven. -Swathi Reddy, Thrillist 3/26/21

Why end of Trump's travel ban is only partial victory for Iranian Americans

Iranian Americans have played defense for far too long. For years, the Trump administration's travel ban hung over our community like a dark cloud - unjustly separating families and loved ones and encouraging a dramatic rise in hate crimes and further discrimination directed at Iranian Americans. This includes the detention of hundreds of Iranian Americans by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the Washington State/Canadian border in January 2020. -Leila Golestaneh Austin, AZ Central 3/25/21

Why Do Patients Love Dr. Nowzaradan so much? Dr. Nowzaradan - "Half Ton Killer"

Younan Nowzaradan, popularly known as Dr. Now, is a famous Iranian-American surgeon, TV star, and author of books about weight loss. Vascular surgery and bariatric surgery are where he specializes in. He became very popular in the United States after the hit TV show "My 600-lb life", where he helped morbidly obese people to lose enough weight to go to surgery. 3/24/21

Persian New Year: Learning the traditions behind Nowruz & what it means to the Austin community

In the cycle of seasons through Earth, the second the sun crosses the vernal equator marks the start of Nowruz. In Austin, Nowruz began on Saturday, March 20 at 4:37 a.m. this year. The celebration is 13 days long and follows the succession of a variety of different rituals and customs to mark the beginning of spring. -Ashley Miznazi, KXAN 3/23/21

Celebrating spring with Iranian food in Florence and Tuscany

Spring solstice has just arrived, which corresponds with Persian New Year, celebrated by more than ten countries from the "-stans" (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, etc.) to Albania and by several ethnic groups not just in Iran by Iranians. Italy is home to several international communities, including a modest Iranian population of over 12,000, according to the country's office for statistics, ISTAT. -The Florentine 3/22/21

For One Persian Restaurant in SF, Nowruz Is a Time to Feed Students in Need

This weekend, at least 200 low-income Oakland students and their families will sit down to enjoy a Nowruz, or Persian New Year, meal: turmeric-tinged rice, a salad with pomegranate-molasses dressing, and the Persian-style "meatloaf" preparation known as kebab digi-all provided for free courtesy of Komaaj, a popular Northern Iranian restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District. -KQED 3/19/21

Gooz Fish

I've got two of four children in the car on an ambitious adventure to bring home a goldfish for the Persian New Year, which is exactly one week away. Every year around this time, as Nowruz approaches, the onset of immigrant-daughter guilt percolates. Will I gather the items for this year's sofreh-haft-seen? Yes woman, rally. I have to, I want to. -Nawal Qarooni Casiano, nqc literacy 3/18/21

North Shore's Iranian community celebrates new year with fun virtual event

The North Shore's Iranian community has celebrated one of its much-loved calendar events a little differently this year, holding an online Zoom gathering to mark Norouz. In light of the continued COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Nassreen Filsoof, president of the Canadian Iranian Foundation, said for the second year in a row the organization had put its annual Iranian new year events on hold. -North Shore News 3/17/21

Norooz Spring Dance

The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies and Diaspora Arts Connection proudly presents Norooz Spring Dance to celebrate the arrival of the Persian New Year, Norooz. Norooz is a celebration of nature, music, and movement. No matter where you are in the world, we want to bring Norooz to your home. -March 19 at 6:00 pm (PST) 3/16/21

Yassamin Ansari's likely win in runoff could have big payoff for Mayor Kate Gallego

Should preliminary figures hold, Tuesday's runoff election in Phoenix City Council's districts 3 and 7 represented an expected but nonetheless significant win for progressive Democrats. But the biggest winners may be Mayor Kate Gallego and activist Councilman Carlos Garcia, whose efforts at a civilian oversight office on police complaints now enjoy renewed life. -AZ Central 3/11/21

Farhang Foundation's 12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz

Farhang Foundation is proud to present our 12th Annual Celebration of Nowruz. This year's celebrations will be conducted virtually online. We've invited artists from around the world to join us for a virtual celebration, with live performances from the United States, Europe and Iran. 3/10/21

Iran Heritage Foundation Celebrating Norouz 1400

Join us for an online celebration of Norouz, to mark the eve of a new year and a new century. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis will give a brief introduction to the history of Norouz, a festival celebrated not only by Iranians but by many communities around the world. 3/10/21

National Iranian American Council's "40 under 40" campaign

From tech leaders and business gurus, to athletes and artists, Iranian Americans have made an enormous impact on our community and country. That's why NIAC is proud to launch its first ever "40 under 40" campaign to recognize 40 Iranian Americans under the age of 40 who have inspired us with their work. Check back weekly through the month of March as we roll out profiles highlighting our 40 Under 40 honorees! -NIAC 3/9/21

Webinar: Cultural Connections with Iran

This webinar will focus on why it is so important to develop and maintain cultural contacts with Iran, a country often seen through a political lens. The discussion panel consists of four people with extensive experience in this area: Neil MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum; Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Curator of Middle Eastern Coins at the British Museum​; Jon Snow of Channel 4 News; and Mahrukh Tarapor, former Associate Director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 3/9/21

An Interview With Pardis Mahdavi, ASU Dean of Social Sciences

]Pardis Mahdavi is the dean of social sciences in Arizona State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The author of six books, most recently Hyphen, she is an Iranian-American anthropologist whose scholarship covers gendered labor, migration, sexuality, human rights, transnational feminism, and public health. -Zocalo 3/8/21

Iranian American and Muslim students grapple with changing foreign policies

The diplomatic relations, or lack thereof, between countries such as Iran and the U.S. have long influenced the lives of students like Abek. Citizens of these countries, mere bystanders to the decisions of world leaders, often find their own lives intertwined with global conflicts and foreign policy. -Saliha Bayrak, Daily Collegian 3/3/21

The best $59 I ever spent: A rice cooker that connected me to my roots

I've never felt Persian enough. My hometown in Southern California, which holds one of the largest populations of Iranians outside of Iran, is only 30 miles northwest of Persian Square, or "Tehrangeles," a subsect of West Los Angeles concentrated with Iranian markets and storefronts. Still, the surrounding area was largely white... -Arya Roshanian, Vox 3/3/21

Iranian and Mexican Rice Pudding Meet at Nixta Taqueria in Austin

Sara Mardanbigi and Edgar Rico, the owners of the genre-bending Austin, Texas, restaurant Nixta Taqueria, grew up more than 1,000 miles apart. Their families immigrated to America from opposite corners of the world. But both found comfort in the same food: rice pudding. -Priya Krishna , New York Times 3/2/21

NIAC Applauds Reintroduction of the NO BAN Act

NIAC Action issued the following statement after the reintroduction of the NO BAN Act, which would guard against any President issuing discriminatory immigration orders: "President Biden fulfilled his promise to end the Muslim ban on day one, but Trumpism and xenophobia remain strong forces in American politics. Just as Biden wiped away the ban, a successor administration could reimpose it without further action. That is why Congress needs to pass the NO BAN Act quickly and send it to President Biden for his signature. 2/26/21

CHIP Fellowship For Young Iranian-Americans: Apply For Summer 2021 By March 15th

PAAIA's Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) is a program designed to promote increased civic participation among young Iranian Americans. The program supports qualified Iranian American college students or recent graduates in their internships in congressional offices, where they will learn more about the legislative process. 2/25/21

Sepi Shyne Paves a Way as the 1st Queer Iranian Elected Official

Sepi Shyne made history in November as the first out LGBTQ+ Iranian-American elected to public office in the U.S. Now, as a member of the West Hollywood City Council, where she's also the first queer woman of color to serve, she's fighting for social justice and inclusivity as well as changing the narrative around Iranians and Iranian-Americans. -Trudy Ring, Advocate 2/18/21

They Thought, Why Not Iran? The Decision Upended Their Lives.

In 2017, an Iranian-American couple drew up a list of cities in the United States and Europe where they could settle now that both their daughters had left for college. An extraordinary idea struck the couple, Emad Shargi and Bahareh Amidi Shargi. Move to Iran. They had an attachment to the language, culture and traditions of a homeland they had both left as children. They had traveled to Iran several times over the years and felt a welcoming vibe. -Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times 2/18/21

"I Will Never Perform Just for Women!": Golnoush Khaleghi Passes Away in Exile

Golnoush Khaleghi, first Persian woman conductor and daughter of legendary composer Rouhollah Khaleghi, passed away on February 14. She was 80. Khaleghi was the conductor of the NIRT (National Iranian Radio & Television) Choir in the 1970s. Shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ms. Khaleghi moved to the United States and founded the Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra in Washington DC to preserve Persian music. BBC's Pejman Akbarzadeh has reviewed her career. 2/17/21

48 hours of border chaos: Inside a CBP crackdown on Iranian Americans

Hours after a U.S. military drone killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of the most powerful men in Iran, the head of field operations for the border in Washington state gathered her senior staff on an emergency conference call. It was the first Friday in 2020 - still a holiday for many - and director Adele Fasano spoke from home about the email she'd just received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters advising "heightened vigilance" following the airstrike. -Lauren Gardner, Politico 2/16/21

Iranian Immigrants Place Hopes In Biden To Reverse Muslim Travel Ban

President Joe Biden says he is reversing the barriers to immigration the Trump administration imposed on several majority-Muslim countries, and the White House is reviewing just how to undo those complex restrictions. Among those most often rejected for visas in the last three years are Iranians, according to State Department figures. That has disrupted life for them and, in some cases, relatives already in the U.S. NPR's Peter Kenyon has this report. 2/15/21

A Toast to Everything Yara Shahidi Accomplished Long Before Her 21st Birthday

Actress and activist Yara Shahidi hasn't been idling away her youth. In honor of her 21st birthday Feb. 10, we're celebrating all the ways the Grown-ish star has made her mark. The eldest of three kids, Yara grew up immersed in the arts and became a voracious reader thanks to her Black model mom Keri Salter Shahidi and Iranian-American photographer dad Afshin Shahidi, who made sure their daughter was absorbing a diverse array of perspectives. -E 2/10/21

Young Artist Uses Rubik's Cubes as Preferred Medium

She can solve it with her eyes closed, but not too long ago 11-year-old Sasha Aminpour, who has a thing for puzzles of all kinds, had not even heard of a Rubik's Cube. Invented in 1974 by Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik, the Rubik's Cube remains a popular toy to this day, which means Sasha was able to learn how to solve it online. -Kristopher Gee, Spectrum News 2/8/21

Persian New Year Festival to unveil 'Haftseen'art

In honor of the Celebration of Life Nowruz - Persian New Year - the third annual Arizona Persian New Year Festival will unveil interactive art installations for public viewing instead of hosting an in-person festival. -Scottsdale Independent 2/4/21

Iranian family hoping to reunite in Kentucky now dealing with pandemic roadblocks

Fatemeh Alamdari has been fighting with the U.S. immigration system for years. In 2014, Alamdari won the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery, a program established by the Immigration Act of 1990 which gives 55,000 immigrant visas every year. The lottery granted visas for Alamdari and her two children, but not for her husband, Farshad Amirkhani. -LEX18 2/4/21

Local Iranian-American Optimistic About Reversal of Travel Ban on Muslim Nations

In his flurry of initial executive actions, Pres. Joe Biden reversed the "Muslim travel ban" implemented by the Trump administration. On Tuesday, NBC 7 spoke with an Iranian- American man in San Diego who's hopeful for the change but also feeling the effects of the damage already caused, which has kept families apart. -NBC 7, San Diego 1/27/21

Artist to Watch: Nazanin Amiri Meers

A Love of Pattern Drives the Iranian-Born Artist's Work, from Textiles to Public Art to Tilework Celebrating Women. "So, you make clothes, right?" is a question that fiber artist Nazanin Amiri Meers is accustomed to hearing. And the answer is always the same. "No," she says, with a hint of patient bemusement. "I don't even know how to sew. I design prints or patterns that go on the textile - upholstery, clothing, sheets, wallpaper - anything with a surface that needs a pattern." -Matthew Thompson, KC Studio 1/26/21

2020 Isaac Newton Medal and Prize: Professor Nader Engheta

Professor Nader Engheta for groundbreaking innovation and transformative contributions to electromagnetic complex materials and nanoscale optics, and for pioneering development of the fields of near-zero-index metamaterials, and material-inspired analogue computation and optical nanocircuitry. 1/20/21

Lincoln Tan discovers Auckland's hidden restaurant dishes - Dolmeh meals at Rumi

It is not easy getting Iranians to have Persian dinners out at restaurants, says Reza Sarkheil, because most believe the best food is found at home in their mother's kitchen. But what happens when the restaurant's chef is an Iranian woman - Reza's mum - and the dishes she cooks are from family recipes that have been passed down for generations? -Lincoln Tan, New Zealand Herald 1/6/21

Border agency ordered to share memo directing questioning of Iranians, others

A federal court ordered U.S. Customs and Border Protection to produce records showing its Seattle field office purposely targeted people of Iranian, Lebanese and Palestinian descent for questioning after a U.S. drone killed a high-ranking Iranian military leader in January. -Politico 12/31/20

Kami Sadraei Used to Watch Movies Smuggled in a Suitcase, But He Just Shot His Directorial Debut With Eric Roberts

In Tehran in the 1990s, there was a suitcase-carrying, suit-wearing gentleman known simply as the movie guy. He hand-delivered VHS bootlegs of films like Titanic and Romeo & Juliet - the good stuff - to so-called subscribers around the city. Those subscribers were die-hard movie fans, going to great lengths to see American movies not available in Iran. But it was worth it, says filmmaker Kami Sadraei, because the contents of that suitcase mattered. They really mattered. -Deirdre McCarrick, MovieMaker 12/29/20

Farhang Foundation's 8th Annual Celebration of Shab-e Yalda-Shab-e Yalda

Farhang Foundation is proud to present the 8th Annual "Virtual" Celebration of SHAB-E YALDA. Join us as we welcome the arrival of the winter solstice, an ancient Persian tradition dating back thousands of years. The evening program will feature Ferdowsi's Shahnameh storytelling by the world's first female Iranian epic storyteller GORDAFARID, as well as HAFEZ readings and storytelling by Haleh Mahboubi Gabbay, and a very special musical performance by renowned musician Shahin Shahida 12/17/20

National Iranian American Council's 2020 Impact Report

I am pleased to share NIAC and NIAC Action's latest impact report. 2020 has been a tumultuous year, framed against the backdrop of three incredibly challenging years for our community and country. Yet, in spite of these challenges, together we have managed to achieve enormous successes for our community and our cause. -Jamal Abdi and the NIAC Team 12/10/20

The New 'Face of Iran' Elnaz Golrokh STUNS In Sexy New Cover Of MAXIM

Supermodel and beauty blogger Elnaz Golrokh is taking the industry by storm after getting the cover of Maxim Magazine, and she looks drop-dead gorgeous. The new 'Face Of Iran' is well known by her huge devoted fan base in the Middle East, but the supermodel is hell-bent on letting the whole world learn to love the Iranian culture and beauty. -Blast 12/3/20

Iranian-Swedish Poya Asbaghi named Sweden U21 coach

Iranian-Swedish coach Poya Asbaghi has been named as new head coach of Sweden U21 football team. The Karaj-born coach, who has replaced Roland Nilsson, has penned a contract with U21 team until 2023. 11/25/20

'The documentary is like a letter to my wife': Edmonton man produces film about Iran plane tragedy

Javad Soleimani still wears his wedding ring. His wife, Elnaz Nabiyi, was a passenger on Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 leaving Tehran on January 8, 2020. She was returning home to Edmonton. The plane was hit by two missiles minutes after take off, killing all 176 people on board. Thirteen had Edmonton connections. -Jessica Robb, Global News 11/23/20

NIAC Statement on CBP Documents Showing Discrimination and Detention of Iranian Americans

National Iranian American Council (NIAC) President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the release of internal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) documents revealing that the agency detained Iranian Americans based solely on their national origin and at a far greater rate than was previously known, and worked to hide this information as they denied it to the public 11/19/20

Customs agents held more Iranian Americans and others at U.S.-Canada border than it admitted, records show

When Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Mark Morgan admitted in February that agents had improperly detained Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canada border, he said in "one instance leadership got a little overzealous." But agency documents made public Tuesday by order of a federal judge indicate that Customs agents held far more people at the Blaine, Wash., border crossing in early January than previously revealed. -Los Angeles Times 11/19/20

From Texas to Iran to Nashville: Kimya Raietparvar's journey to Vanderbilt

Kimya Raietparvar has played on both United States and Iranian international teams, which eventually led her to Vanderbilt-where the sophomore is already making an impact. -Sam Curtis and Anita Mukherjee, Vanderbilt Hustler 11/12/20

PAAIA Celebrates Historic Election for Iranian Americans

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization serving the interests of Iranian Americans, congratulates Oklahoma State Senator Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-FL), New York State Senator Anna Kaplan (D-NY) and Phoenix's City Council candidate Yassamin Ansari for their successes in the 2020 election - a truly historic moment for the Iranian American community. 11/5/20

Iran's #MeToo movement makes waves in Toronto as calls mount for festival to cut ties with celebrated artist

Accusations of sexual assault against one of Iran's most celebrated visual artists are making waves in Toronto's Iranian community - with many saying they represent a critical moment not only in the burgeoning #MeToo movement inside Iran, but also an opportunity for community leaders abroad to take a stand against a culture of impunity they say has too long shielded perpetrators at all levels of power. -Shanifa Nasser, CBS 11/2/20

PAAIA Condemns Discriminatory Attacks Against Iranian American Candidates

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization serving the interests of Iranian Americans, today condemned disparaging and false social media posts directed at two Iranian American public officials, both of whom are currently seeking reelection, as reported in the Long Beach Post News. 10/30/20

National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans Reveals Continued Concerns About Discrimination

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, today released the findings of its 2020 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans conducted from September 8th to September 20th of this year, which revealed that more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents expressed concerns about discrimination, citing national rhetoric and policies towards immigrants and Muslims and increased tension between the U.S. and Iran as sources for discrimination. 10/27/20

In a gallery far, far away, Florida Tech students' artwork displayed on satellite in space

A Florida Technical College student is showcasing her art among the stars. Nava Pishgar is studying aerospace engineering and is one of three winners of a national competition hosted by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and satellite company Planet. The companies asked for participants to produce a work of art for one of Planet's Dove satellites. The Brevard County native says the design is open for interpretation and features some of the elements of Persian art, a nod to her family's roots and to her beloved aunt who is an artist as well and lives in Iran. -Gabriella Nunez, Click Orlando 10/27/20

What the US election means for Iranian Americans

For Iranian Americans, the election of Donald Trump was more than an expression of intolerance and ignorance in the United States. It was an assault on their basic civil rights and the existence of their country of heritage. In the past four years, Iranian Americans have been torn from their families, stripped of their bank accounts, and arrested at the border. A continuation of the status quo would make the community an ever-more vulnerable minority, especially as the drums of war against Iran beat louder. - Sina Toossi, Al-Jazeera 10/26/20

PAAIA Applauds Introduction of the Temporary Family Visitation Act

Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, welcomed the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Francis Rooney (R-FL) that establishes a new visa category to allow family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to temporarily visit. The new B-3 nonimmigrant visa category created by the Temporary Family Visitation Act (TFVA) will provide an opportunity for family visitations while boosting the U.S. economy. 10/20/20

Anti-Semitism Envoy appears to accuse Jason Rezaian of being an apologist for Iran

A State Department official accused two prominent Iranian-American figures of serving the Iranian regime, including one Iranian-American journalist who had been taken hostage by the Iranian government for nearly two years. "In case you were not 100% sure [congressional candidate Sima Ladjevardian] is an #Iran Regime mouthpiece this endorsement by [journalist Jason Rezaian] puts all doubt to rest," U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ellie Cohanim wrote in a Twitter post on Monday. The tweet has since been taking down. -Matthew Petti, Responsible Statecraft 10/20/20

FDD emerges as hub for online harassment against critics of Trump's State Department

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank that has promoted U.S. military strikes on Iran and is funded by one of President Donald Trump's biggest campaign megadonors, served as a messaging hub for a controversial taxpayer-funded project, the Iran Disinformation Project, that engaged in harassment of American critics of the Trump administration's foreign policy in the Middle East. -Eli Clifton, Responsible Statecraft 10/19/20

'Treating us like garbage': New sanctions announced as many Iranian Americans feel fed up with Trump

While some Iranian Americans fully support President Donald Trump, Nazmiyal is among scores of Iranian Americans who have no loyalty to the repressive regime in Tehran, but who are fed up with a White House that has vilified their homeland, banned their family members from visiting the U.S., and stoked fears of a military conflict. From the Muslim ban to an endless stream of sanctions and saber-rattling, they hear about their relatives suffering in Iran and feel increased hostility in their adopted homeland. -Kim Hjelmgaard Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY 10/9/20

Ahead of US elections, artist group highlights 'devastating impact' of Trump's travel ban three years on

In the run-up to the US presidential election this November, the New York-based human rights non-profit Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) is drawing attention to one of President Donald Trump's most controversial acts, Executive Order 13780, the so-called travel ban that prevents people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. -The Art Newspaper 10/7/20

My experience of growing up "racially ambiguous" in Australia

If you're a first-generation 'anything' you've probably fielded the "Where are you from?" question all your life. Unlike a lot of people, this question has never actually bothered me, but I understand why it bothers others. I'm the over-sharing type and love to teach people about my identity... -Emma Anvari, Fashion Journal 10/7/20

Not white enough: 41 years of othering Iranian Americans

It took me three tries to fill out the U.S. Census. It's not a particularly long or complicated form, but this year was different. I pass as white and have always marked white. This year, I checked "Other," wrote in "Iranian," and made my parents do the same. As the Trump administration fights to end the 2020 U.S. Census count and limit those who can be counted, organizations like the National Iranian American Council and Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans have encouraged Iranian Americans to mark "Other" on their forms and write in "Iranian," building off a similar 2010 campaign, "Check it right; you ain't white!" -Sarah Sakha, Responsible Statecraft 10/5/20

Lawyer: French-Iranian Researcher Fariba Adelkhah Released With Ankle Bracelet

Iran has temporarily released French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, who has been in jail for more than a year over security breaches, her lawyer said on October 3. "Fariba Adelkhah has come out [of prison] on leave with an electronic ankle bracelet," Said Dehghan said in a tweet, without providing other details. 10/5/20

Memories, Tales and Folk Songs: Group exhibition in New York by seven female Iranian artists

Roya Khadjavi Projects is pleased to present "Memories, Tales and Folk Songs", a group exhibition by seven female Iranian artists in diaspora including Afsoon, Arghavan Khosravi, Atieh Sohrabi, Farnaz Zabetian, Leila Seyedzadeh, Parastoo Ahovan, and Roxana Manouchehri. 10/2/20

At Uber, a New C.E.O. Shifts Gears

Dara Khosrowshahi is charged with turning the scandal-plagued startup into a traditional company-without sacrificing what made it successful... Khosrowshahi sometimes wears a T-shirt with the words "We Are All Dreamers" printed across the front. He often speaks of his experience finding asylum in America after his family fled Iran, in 1978. -Sheelah Kolhatkar, New Yorker 9/28/20

NIAC Statement on New Visa Restrictions on Iranian Students

Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of National Iranian American Council Action (NIAC Action), issued the following statement on new restrictions proposed by the Trump administration that would target international students, including a 2 year maximum visa for Iranian students and other nationals of countries whose governments have been designated by the U.S. as state sponsors of terrorism 9/25/20

State Department Cut Funding for Controversial "Iran Disinfo" Project - but Kept Working With Its Creators

IN JUNE 2019, the State Department suspended a contract for a counterpropaganda program called the Iran Disinformation Project, widely known by its combative Twitter handle, @IranDisinfo. The project had come under scrutiny because, on Twitter, it was dedicating a significant amount of its output to attacking U.S. critics of President Donald Trump's Iran policy. Within days of complaints being brought against Iran Disinfo, the project was suspended; by early June, the remainder of the $1.5 million contract had been terminated. -Negar Mortazavi, Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept 9/23/20

Race to watch: Iranian-American activist faces Texas conservative

A congressional race between staunchly conservative House Republican Dan Crenshaw and Iranian American progressive Sima Ladjevardian has garnered national attention while encapsulating the shifting Demographics in the one-time Republican bastion of Texas. Crenshaw and Ladjevardian are competing to represent the state's second congressional district, which includes parts of northern and western Houston. - Joseph Stepansky, Al Jazeera 9/23/20

Golriz on Ghazaleh

My friend Ghazaleh Golbakhsh is a film-maker, a writer, actor, Iranian, Kiwi, woman of colour, citizen of the world, and wild dreamer. Her new book of essays examines the impact of her identity and its formation, on everything from dating to growing up in war torn Iran. I released my memoir, a bit of the journey to becoming that so called first so-called "Refugee MP", this year too. She's a prominent character in that story, and we compared notes a lot as we wrote our accounts. -Golriz Ghahrman, Newsroom, NZ 9/22/20

Paria Farzaneh echoes 'troubles in America' at London fashion week

The strangest London fashion week yet continued on Sunday with a show that brought drones, explosions and military garb to an idyllic spot in the Buckinghamshire countryside. The show was produced by Paria Farzaneh, a rising British star who has described her work in fashion as "merely a platform for something bigger". It was the latest and most unusual fashion week attempt to reflect current, discombobulating times, while also sticking to social-distancing guidelines. -Hannah Marriott, Guardian 9/21/20

Iranian-American Candidates

The 2020 Election may be the most critical vote in our lifetime. It is more important than ever that Iranian Americans and our allies have a powerful voice at the ballot box. And this year, we have an opportunity to elect more Iranian Americans into office than ever before. Below are all the Iranian-American candidates running for office this election. -NIAC Action 9/18/20

"Most non-Iranians only know about kebabs": One Toronto woman's quest to elevate her culture's cuisine and raise money for charity

I grew up surrounded by good cooks, but I only started cooking seriously in my mid-twenties. I'm Iranian and my family would always make elaborate dinners to bring people together. I was born in Tehran, but we moved to Toronto when I was 12. -Toronto Life 9/16/20

A Chef's Childhood in Iran Shaped His Cooking in the Pandemic

In times of crisis, the California chef Hanif Sadr learned to forage and preserve food, and use it to heal. Mr. Sadr, the chef and majority owner of Komaaj, a pop-up restaurant and catering company in Berkeley, Calif., first discovered these treasures in the summer of 2013, a little more than a year after arriving in the United States. He has been foraging there ever since. -Leena Trivedi-Grenier, New York Times 9/11/20

Massiah Foundation challenge gift to fund UCI chair in Zoroastrian studies

The University of California, Irvine has received a $1.5 million challenge commitment from the Massiah Foundation to establish the Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies - the first of its kind in the United States. Additionally, the University of California will support the chair with up to $500,000. The Massiah Foundation was founded by Fariborz Maseeh, Ph.D., an Iranian American businessman and pioneer in the field of microelectromechanical systems who lives in Newport Beach. 9/11/20

Jacqueline Saper's "From Miniskirt to Hijab" is a story for our times

As Jacqueline Saper shopped for a gift for her husband on a sunny Tehran boulevard in 1979, she had no idea that she was about to witness history. The young Iranian wife had already lived through events that seemed to shift the earth on its axis. In her lifetime, Jacqueline had endured hardships that few can imagine, but also joys and privileges that Americans would find surprisingly familiar. -Teme Ring, Chicago Now 9/10/20

Siah Armajani, Sculptor of Communal Spaces, Dies at 81

Siah Armajani, an Iranian-born American artist whose architecturally scaled, politically inflected public sculptures have been internationally influential, even as he kept a low profile in the art world, died on Aug. 27 at his home in Minneapolis, a city he had lived and worked in for 60 years. He was 81. 9/4/20

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