Roya Soleimani, a young NexGen member, waited for the stage manager’s final cue before leaning towards the microphone and making the first announcement of the event: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans welcomes you to the Passing the Torch of Success.” Known fondly as the Voice of God during the event, she, Nazli Karimi, Shirin Jamshidi, Behrad Mahdi, and Amir Bagherpour were among the many NexGenners who took an active part in successfully managing the Washington DC Passing the Torch of Success event, which took place on September 18, 2011.
Nearly 1400 young and established Iranian Americans and Americans gathered in spacious Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University to listen to nine accomplished Iranian Americans share their stories of success. College and university students from nearly every academic institution in the Washington DC metropolitan area joined others from New York City, New Jersey, Florida, California, Texas, and other states to not only network but also listen to the words of wisdom shared by the honorees.
The event, held previously in five other locations throughout the US, aims to instill a sense of pride in the Iranian American community and provide role models to our youth. It was clear from the standing ovations and spontaneous applause that greeted nearly every honoree and the enthusiasm with which the audience talked about each honoree’s segment, that PAAIA had clearly exceeded this goal.
Below, please find a teaser of the event. Be on the lookout for the full videos of the speakers and the event, which will be posted within the next month.