PAAIA Member Bita Daryabari to be Honored by World Affairs Council

April 9, 2015, Washington D.C. – PAAIA member, Bita Daryabari, will be honored by the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, California on May 26th for her philanthropic contributions to the Iranian and larger Middle Eastern communities. The event, part of the World Affairs Council’s Global Philanthropy Forum, will celebrate the numerous contributions Daryabari has made over the past decade, including her latest achievement – The Daryabari Community Center.

This center, which is set to open its doors on April 16th, will be the first establishment of its kind in the United States, providing job placement services, income tax assistance, computer classes, and English lessons to Iranian immigrants and  Persian-speaking refugees from other countries. The community center expands Daryabari’s Pars Equality Center which she founded in 2010 and is the only non-profit providing social and legal services to Iranian emigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

In addition to aiding the Persian community within the United States, Daryabari has also worked to advance opportunities for women in the Middle East through the Unique Zan Foundation – an organization she founded in 2006 to help improve women’s education, health, and employment in the region.

“I wanted to help the people in the Middle East, where I came from, because I knew, growing up, that I could see what was missing in the region,” said Daryabari. “Women needed to be educated. When a woman is educated, the whole family is educated. That’s what I wanted to give back. In Iran, more than 90 percent of the women are educated, but the whole region — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq — those are the countries that really needed the education.”

Daryabari is also recognized for her endowment to Stanford University, the Bita Daryabari Endowment in Persian Letters, which provides funding for Stanford’s Iranian Studies program.

Daryabari’s multi-faceted philanthropy is founded on her simple idea that creativity is the only way to alleviate suffering and ennoble our minds to better comprehend the human condition. Over the past decade, Daryabari has emerged as one of the most beloved and cherished leaders of the Iranian American community.

“She’s not only a philanthropist,” says longtime friend and PAAIA Board Member, Forough Hosseini. “She is an activist philanthropist like Melinda Gates.”

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