By Sahar Maali
April 13, 2011, New York, NY – On Sunday, April 3, 2011, PAAIA and the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) collaborated to host a Nowruz dinner that welcomed nearly 130 Iranian American lawyers and non-lawyers from the Tri-State area.
Held at the venerable Andrew Hamilton Hall (modeled after Philadelphia’s Independence Hall) in the landmark building of the New York County Lawyer’s Association (NYCLA), the event featured current Housing Court Judge Sabrina Setareh Kraus who spoke about the value of civic engagement through organizations like IABA and PAAIA as a way of having a meaningful impact on society and helping other community members. Judge Kraus also discussed how her upbringing and ethnicity have significantly contributed to her ability to become a better judge. Judge Kraus is currently running for Civil Court Judge in New York City.
Other speakers at the event included IABA-NY Chapter President Raymond Iryami and members of the IABA-NY Chapter Board, who provided further insight into the contributions of IABA, as well as the significance in sustaining a strong Iranian American legal presence. Mr. Iryami commented, “I think the tremendous success of our Nowruz Dinner shows that the Persian legal community has a powerful and vibrant voice in the form of the Iranian American Bar Association’s New York Chapter.”
PAAIA board member Tamilla Ghodsi highlighted in her speech the strong spirit of collaboration that we are now seeing in our community, which is something that PAAIA is determined to foster amongst like-minded organizations. Citing the Iranian American 2010 Census Coalition and the various Passing the Torch of Success events, Ms. Ghodsi stated that such efforts could not have happened without a collaboration of a number of Iranian American organizations in each of our communities. Ms. Ghodsi invited the audience to support both IABA and PAAIA in their mission to create a stronger, more unified community.
Members of the IABA Board also presented guests with two very important proclamations. The first issued by New York City Council Member Daniel J. Halloran to IABA and PAAIA for “their years of outstanding service and contribution to New York City.” The second issued to IABA and PAAIA by the New York State Assembly in recognition for outstanding public service.
The event preserved an air of both elegance and eloquence. Further, the spacious venue offered the perfect setting as guests re-connected with old friends, and made new ones. Guests also enjoyed the instrumental creativity of Piruz Partow and his band, the Thursday Night All Stars, who performed a repertoire of jazz and classical rock.
PAAIA thanks IABA for their partnership and looks forward to collaborating in the future. PAAIA also thanks Tri-State NY Chapter leaders Iman Bacodari, Siavash Dejgosha, Shaheen Ensanyat, Joelle Keypour, and Sahar Maali for helping host this event.