September 16, 2010

Bita Daryabari & Banafsheh Akhlaghi: When Minds Meet Hearts Take Courage

By Mahasti Afshar

Bita Daryabari, an honoree at PAAIA’s upcoming Gala in Northern California on October 9th is well known for her philanthropy. Beginning with the founding of the Unique Zan Foundation in 2006, she has focused her attention on women’s welfare, dedicating substantial time and resources to improving health, education, and the human condition, especially in the Middle East. The world is surely a better place because of her.

Bita has now paired with another remarkable woman, Banafsheh Akhlaghi, and founded the Pars Equality Center, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco dedicated to protecting the civil and legal rights of Iranian Americans. Founder and President of the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (2004) who captivated the audience at PAAIA’s Passing the Torch of Success in Orange County in January 2010, Banafsheh has tirelessly championed the rights of Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (MEMSA) peoples.

To welcome and celebrate the founding of the Pars Equality Center, we asked Ms. Daryabari and Ms. Akhlaghi to elaborate on their joint mission.


Iraq War Veteran Bijan Mazarji Seeks To Serve The City Of Irvine

By PAAIA Government Affairs Office

Sept. 14, 2010, Irvine, CA – Bijan Mazarji’s life has been defined by public service to his community and a love of country. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to see his name on the November ballot for Irvine City Council. The son of an Iranian father and an American mother, Mazarji has lived in Irvine his entire life and is one of seven candidates running for two city council seats. He is also the second Iranian American running for Irvine’s City Council in this year’s election. The other candidate, Shiva Farivar, whose campaign was supported by IAPAC earlier this year, is the current Chair of the Irvine Community Services Commission. Recently, PAAIA had the opportunity to sit down with Bijan Mazarji and discuss his campaign for Irvine City Council.


A TEDxChange With Koz Khosravani: It’s Global. It’s Local. It’s Santa Monica!

By The PAAIA Team

Sept., 2010, Santa Monica, CA – PAAIA is sponsoring a TEDxChange at the Sheraton Delfina (530 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405) on Mon, Sept 20, 8am-12 noon PST. As with all TED conferences, this live webcast promises to be on the cutting edge of “ideas worth spreading”. Come join us, enrich your mind, and check out the PAAIA table.  It’s free!

Koz Khosravani who is hosting the event is a leader in online educational course development, an acclaimed public speaker, and a specialist in Internet promotion and marketing. We asked him to tell us more about the purpose of the event and its audience, as well as his role in hosting it.


What Are You Doing For Mehregan This Year?

Join PAAIA at NIPOC’s Mehregan event in Irvine on Sept 25 & 26!

Come and meet our Orange County Chapter, get a PAAIA T-shirt, and find out about our new programs and ways to get involved. Enjoy live music by Hamed Nikpay and get a chance to meet him at our table! Don’t wait. Get your ticket today!

Behnevis Persian Transliteration Software

Exclusive 30% discount for PAAIA Members
Valid through Dec. 29, 2010

Behnevis is proud to announce an exclusive coupon for PAAIA members for purchasing the only stand-alone Persian transliteration software developed by us at Behnevis.
Coupon code:  paiaabtwin2010
Purchase Persian Transliteration Software

What Happens When Sparks Fly At The PAAIA Mentorship Program

Managing the PAAIA Mentorship Program in its inaugural year has been an extraordinary ride for me. Sparks have been flying— right, left, and center! Here is one example; stay tuned for more!
Leila Bidad, Asst. Manager, PAAIA Youth Programs, 9/1/10

Avid Boustani, an MIT graduate in Mechanical Engineering, was torn between pursuing a PhD degree and a ‘leadership’ career track. So he applied to the PAAIA Mentorship Program. We matched him with Dr. Firouz Naderi, VC of PAAIA’s Board of Directors and founder of Nex/Gen. He is also Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy at NASA’s Jet Proportion Laboratory.

We leave it to you to discover what happened when the two met. Here is their e-mail exchange, verbatim.


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  • Click here to read PAAIA’s Congressional Scorecard , and see how your member of Congress voted on important issues.
  • Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy Appears on The Apprentice, Tonight, Sept 16, 9/8c
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  • DOJ Settles with Iranian American Contractor who Alleged Brady Violation
  • Tala Raassi’s bathing suits adorned Miss Universe contestants on Monday’s pageant Miss Universe Pageant and her Marie Claire Interview
  • Maz Jobrani: Did you hear the one about the Iranian-American …
  • SNL’s Nasim Pedrad Writing A Comedy On Persians In Beverly Hills (para 4)

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