- What is the Iranian “diaspora”?
- Why and how was IAAB created?
- What sets IAAB apart from other organizations? What does IAAB address that other organizations do not?
- Is IAAB politically or religiously affiliated?
- Where can I find information from previous IAAB events?
- How can I contact IAAB?
- Why “IAAB”?
- How can I volunteer or intern with IAAB?
- Whose needs does IAAB address?
- How can I donate to IAAB?
- Why should I donate to IAAB?
1. What is the Iranian "diaspora"?
Short answer: The Iranian diaspora is comprised of Iranian émigrés and their families who currently live outside of Iran. It is a global community with large concentrations in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, London, and Paris.
Long answer: Diaspora, as a term, has resisted rigid definition despite numerous scholars' attempts to confine it, describe it, and quantify it. From its earliest Greek usage, meaning "to sow widely," or disperse, to its later more common usage referring to the exile of the Jews (commonly described as the Diaspora), the use of the term has since shifted to reflect changes occurring to the subjects it describes. These relatively recent changes in the conditions of new exile communities have inspired changes in the usage of the term as it is applied to widely differing sets of populations.
For further reading: Scholars such as James Clifford, William Safran, Paul Gilroy, Robin Cohen, Nicholas Van Hear, Avtar Brah, Smadar Lavie & Ted Swedenburg, and numerous others have written prolifically on diaspora theory, while Hamid Naficy, Zohreh Sullivan, Asghar Fathi, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Maboud Ansari, Elham Gheytanchi, Arlene Dallalfar and others have written about the Iranian diaspora experience in particular.
2. Why and how was IAAB created?
After growing up (for the most part) in different cities of the United States, Narges Bajoghli, Nikoo Paydar, and Amy Malek met for the first time in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. During this short but life-changing time, they noted the utter lack of communication between their communities at home in the United States, between those American communities and their British counterparts, and between all of these communities and the Iranian community in Iran. Not only was there not much communication, but it was felt that no one was talking about these issues in a public forum. From this experience Narges and Nikoo resolved to address these issues - and IAAB was born.
Initially created as a student organization, IAAB's first goal was to hold a conference during which the Iranian diaspora could come together to present their work on the Iranian diaspora, as well as to open up a space for dialogue about various issues facing our community, and thus create the alliances across borders that seemed to be so lacking. The 2004 International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, held in Boston on the campuses of Wellesley College and Tufts University, marked the beginning of a discussion about who the Iranian diaspora is, where we come from, where we are headed, and how we can work together to get there. The overwhelming success of this conference motivated our move from a student organization to an official 501(c)3 non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) in June 2004.
As the organization has developed, it has developed a clear focus and expanded on the ways it fulfills its mission statement. With a professional, forward-thinking and dedicated young staff, IAAB aims to build upon the success of its current projects and continuously address the needs and issues of the diaspora.
3. What sets IAAB apart from other organizations? What does IAAB address that other organizations do not?
IAAB is the first NGO of its kind created by second-generation hyphenated Iranians to address issues related to our diaspora. Our three international conferences in 2004
, and 2009
provided unprecedented opportunities for our community members to gather in a public setting and openly discuss issues that pertain specifically to our widespread community. From the open dialogue shared at these conferences, new challenges and issues have been raised and IAAB has begun to address these in the creation of several new projects, aimed at encouraging dialogue across our diasporic borders, as well as across borders within our own communities. For more
information, please see our project descriptions
. In addition, with its youth and leadership initiatives, IAAB addresses the new generation of young, hyphenated Iranians - meaning youth that are raised and sometimes born outside of Iran, yet still share elements of Iranian or hybridized culture and way of
4. Is IAAB politically or religiously affiliated?
No, IAAB is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-governmental organization with no religious affiliation.
5. Where can I find information from previous IAAB events?
For information on all of IAAB's projects, past and present, please visit our Programs page.
6. How can I contact IAAB?
Please use the contact us page or snail mail us at:
P.O. Box 20429
New York, NY 10009
7. Why "IAAB"?
IAAB stands for "Iranian Alliances Across Borders" which we feel expresses our goal of creating connections between otherwise disconnected communities within the Iranian diaspora, as well as between those communities and communities within Iran. Our vision is truly global in focus and our mission is to bring Iranians from all parts of the globe into communication with one another, to build our communities, and to welcome those not of Iranian-ancestry to embrace our culture, history, and community presence.
8. How can I volunteer or intern with IAAB?
IAAB welcomes any and all who are interested in helping us achieve our goals. Please email us at email@example.com.
9. Whose needs does IAAB address?
IAAB strives to provide programming and support for the diverse and multi-generational members of the Iranian diaspora, a large community spread across the globe. As such, we believe it is important to be inclusive of all members of this diaspora as well as those in our diaspora space, i.e. the communities alongside which we live. To do this, we have created programming that crosses many types of borders - geographic, social, and cultural. Please see our project descriptions for further details.
10. How can I donate to IAAB?
Donations can be made online or by check made out to IAAB and mailed to:
P.O. Box 20429
New York, NY 10009
11. Why should I donate to IAAB?
IAAB is a non-profit/non-governmental organization dedicated to raising awareness about Iranians and Iranian culture, connecting Iranians and hyphenated Iranians (Iranian-American, Iranian-Canadian, Iranian-German, etc.) across vast borders, and promoting leadership in our various communities. We achieve these goals through a variety of projects. However, in order to successfully implement programs that support our mission
, we need donations from individuals and organizations who feel passionate about issues related to the Iranian diaspora. If you are interested in donating to a specific program, please contact Mana Kharrazi
, IAAB's Executive Director.