By Kian Sani and Cameron Khansarinia
April 20, 2015, Cambridge – Presented by the Harvard College Iranian Association (HCIA) and the Harvard Law Middle East Law Students Association in collaboration with the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the First Annual Iranian Gala was held at Harvard University’s Loeb House on April 3, 2015. The theme of the Gala was Preserving the Past, Building for the Future. The aim was to engage and inspire the next generation of Iranian leaders to sustain their culture and define their future by connecting them with the world’s most successful Iranian professionals and scholars.
This year’s Gala welcomed Dr. Abbas Milani, renowned Professor of Political Science and Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University as the keynote speaker. Dr. Milani detailed the expanding contributions of women to Iranian society, their evolving roles, and the impact of the younger generation on modern Iranian culture.
The Gala Committee honored a slate of esteemed Iranians who have made extraordinary contributions to society, both in Iran and/or in the US. This year’s honorees included: Bahram Beyzai (in absentia), film director; Maryam Eskandari, recipient of Huffington Post’s “10 Muslim Women Everyone Should Know” distinction; Professor Roy Mottahedeh, Gurney Professor History, Harvard University; Professor Pardis Sabeti (in absentia), Associate Professor, Harvard University and TIME Magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year; and Professor Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science, Physics, Harvard University and recipient of the Dirac Medal of Excellence. The honorees commended the members of the organizing committee for their dedication to the advancement of Iranian studies and promotion of Iranian culture at Harvard.
Spearheaded by co-chairs Sahand Moarefy, Harvard Law student, and Ava Nasrollahzadeh, Harvard College student, the members of the undergraduate student organizing committee include: Shadi Fadaee (’17), Kian Sani (’18), Cameron Khansarinia (’18), and Bardeya Moradi (’18). “We are eager to continue to engage the Iranian community with the aim of supporting Iranian studies academic programs here at Harvard. The community support was resounding, and it was integral to the Gala’s success.” said Sani, Vice President of HCIA.
For more information about future Iranian Galas at Harvard, please visit www.HarvardIranianGala.com.
Kian Sani is a first-year undergraduate student at Harvard University and serves as Vice President of the Harvard College Iranian Association.
Cameron Khansarinia is first-year undergraduate student at Harvard University and serves as Co-Treasurer of the Harvard College Iranian Association.