November 21, 2010

Persian Thanks: Embracing American Culture Our Way

By Jami Zamyad PAAIA Editorial Staff

Nov. 21, 2010 – The yearning for togetherness that lies in the soul of individuals brings people together, which in turn helps in creating a community. In Persian culture social rituals and gatherings have great importance and play a key role in nurturing a sense of community. Sharing food is an integral part of these traditions. It is served in abundance and with great love. The freshest ingredients are used to create delectable, aromatic meals that satisfy all senses and bring warmth and comfort to the gathering.

PAAIA has launched Persian Thanks to bring that great tradition to our fellow Americans. “We were looking for ways our community could embrace American culture, Persian style. Sharing Persian food with our fellow citizens on Thanksgiving, which is the most American of American holidays, seemed a natural choice,”, said Mahasti Afshar, Executive Director of PAAIA.  “I hope it will become a new Iranian American tradition.”

Full Article »

Election Results for IAPAC Congressional Candidates

By PAAIA Government Affairs Office

November 4, 2010, Washington, D.C – The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), is pleased to announce that a majority of the federal candidates it had endorsed in 2010 and who were on the November ballot prevailed in the elections. IAPAC congratulates these candidates on their victory and looks forward to working with them in the coming 112th Congress.

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Screaming in Silence at MoMa

Iranian Art: Bridging the Modern and Contemporary

By Miwako Tezuka, PhD, Associate Curator, Asia Society

October 25, 2010, New York, NY – In preparation for a major exhibition focusing on the development of modernism in Iran scheduled for 2013, Asia Society launched its multi-year study of modern art in Iran with “Bridging the Modern and Contemporary,” a discussion by esteemed specialists in the field. Melissa Chiu, Asia Society Museum Director and Vice President of Global Art Programs, introduced the program as part of the Society’s ongoing commitment to bringing a new perspective to modern and contemporary Asian art—a commitment that began 15 years ago. Participating speakers included Mitra Abbaspour, Associate Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hamid Keshmirshekan, art historian, critic, and chief editor of the Art Tomorrow Journal in Tehran; Linda Komaroff, Curator of Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Venetia Porter, Curator of Islamic and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum. The program was moderated by Layla S. Diba, an independent scholar and art advisor, and former Director and Chief Curator of the Negarestan Museum in Tehran (1975–1979). …

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Farhang Foundation’s Iranian Studies Initiative at USC: Q&A with Bita Milanian

By Mahasti Afshar

November 16, 2010, Los Angeles (featured article)The University of Southern California (USC) recently announced the launch of an Iranian Studies Initiative sponsored by Farhang Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting Iranian arts and culture in Southern California. Among Farhang’s many popular programs is a Nowruz event hosted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) that is heralded by a parade of beautiful banners that line Wilshire Boulevard to the delight of all passersby.

Considering the size of the Iranian population in Southern California, the significance of launching this academic initiative at USC is undeniable, which is why we sat down with Bita Milanian, Farhang’s Executive Director, to better understand this program.

Full Article »

From Tarzan Without Jane To Cinema Without Borders: Q&A with Bijan Tehrani

By Mahasti Afshar

November 11, 2010, Los Angeles (featured article) – If you are a movie lover, the odds are you’ve already discovered Cinema Without Borders. The website offers such a rich coverage of international cinema—both feature films and documentaries—that it is probably many movie buffs’ favorite homepage. We interviewed the Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Bijan Tehrani, to find out more about the man behind the scenes. An award-winning producer, writer, and director, he lives with his wife, ‘the love of his life,’ in Burbank, CA. They have four children.

What role did movies play in your early life? When I was a kid, we used to trade 35mm film frames the way American kids trade baseball cards, and our greatest pastime was to reenact scenes from the movies up and down the alley ways. It was a lot of fun, although every one of us felt incomplete, like a Tarzan without Jane, for girls were not allowed to play. In my teens, I discovered Hitchcock and Ford. Later, Farrokh Ghaffari established Kanoon-e Film and introduced new Italian and French Cinema to my generation. It was then that I literally fell under the spell of the silver screen; the rest is another story…

Full Article »

74% of the U.S. Population Participated in Census 2010

U.S. Census Bureau Report

October 25, 2010 – America participated! 74 % of households in the United States filled out and mailed back their 2010 Census questionnaire, a significant achievement in a time of declining survey participation worldwide. The results include an additional two percentage points of households that mailed back their forms after the April 27 cut-off that marked the transition to the door-to-door follow up operation. Although received too late to prevent a visit by a census taker, those late- arriving forms were still used for tabulating purposes. Both today’s final rate of 74 percent and the 72 percent achieved in April, matched the rates achieved during the 2000 Census.

2010 Census National Mail Participation Rate: 74%

Compare rates of participation in different states and districts.


PAAIA’s DC Chapter Newsletter

PAAIA DC Holds a Successfull Inaugurral Event

You have me convinced.
I didn’t know that you have done so many things.
I love PAAIA. You are actually doing things for the Iranian American community here. That is what I’ve been looking for.”
How do I become a member?

These were some of the statements that were repeated on Sunday, October 24, 2010 at the PAAIA DC Inaugural Event.  The event, held at the historic Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg, MD, brought together a diverse group of Iranian Americans from around the Washington Metropolitan area to review and discuss PAAIA, the organization, and our activities in the tri-state area of Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia.

Read DC Chapter Newsletter »

Did You Miss Passing the Torch at Berkeley on 10/10/10?

See Video and Pictures Here »




FREE DVD for PAAIA Members: “Mixed Nuts: Persian Adventure” (Retails for $14)

PAAIA Members:
Receive a FREE “Mixed Nutz – Persian Adventure” DVD that retails for $14.00.
When: Now thru 12/31/10.
To Order: Click here. 
Discount Code: MixedNutzPAAIA

Join Babak, Saman and Sousanne as they travel through the most magnificent sights in Iran. Featuring the voice of Maz Jobrani and a special song by Abjeez, Mixed Nutz – Persian Adventure is the much anticipated sequel to Babak & Friends – A First Norooz. Produced by Big Bad Boo in English and Persian, this DVD is a great gift for the whole family this holiday season.

More Info »

MESA: Whither the Iranian Diaspora? Methodological Questions for Activists and Scholarss

When: Sunday, November 21, 1:30-3:30pm
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, CA

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Convention. With presentations by: Mehdi Bozorgmehr (City University of New York); Babak Elahi (Rochester Institute of Technology); Persis Karim (San Jose State University); Amy Malek (UCLA); Nasrin Rahimieh (UC Irvine)

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Pre-release Showing of the Documentary Film
“Our Summer in Tehran”

When: Thursday evening, December 9; 7:00 pm
Where: Temple Emanu-El,
2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA
Free. Register Online to receive e-mail reminder. 

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Justine Shapiro will present her film and be present afterward for Q&A.

American filmmaker Justine Shapiro took her young son Mateo to Tehran where they spent the summer with three Iranian families: a religious family with ties to the government; a cosmopolitan, secular family; and a single mom who is an actress. The result is a fascinating film that shows everyday life in Tehran, with stories and images unlike anything we are accustomed to seeing in the news media.

More Info »


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