Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) is pleased to announce its 2013 Essay Contest as part of IAAB’s 10th Anniversary!
IAAB launched its first essay contest for high school students of Iranian descent in Spring 2006, seeking essays from Iranian American youth that addressed the notion of dual identity. Past judges have included:
- Maz Jobrani (comedian, actor)
- Tara Bahrampour (Washington Post journalist)
- Kamin Mohammadi (novelist, journalist)
- Shabnam Rezaei (creator of Babak and Friends)
- Persis Karim (writer, scholar)
Theme - Progress and Solutions in the Iranian Diaspora
Problems, problems, problems. You hear about them in the media. You hear about them from relatives. You hear about them from classmates. But who can come together to solve these problems? IAAB believes that the youth of our community has what it takes to start creating some solutions.
With the entering of the new year, 2013, IAAB Executive Director Mana Kharrazi put forth six New Year’s “resolutions” for the Iranian-American Community:
1. Supporting the large number of Iranian students in the US facing harsh financial constraints and creating organizations to support them.
2. Contributing to local direct service groups that provide social services to impoverished and disadvantaged Iranian Americans, including the new wave of refugees.
3. Volunteering for local organizations working with Iranian refugees and immigrants in detention.
4. Donating to community initiatives (Persian language schools, news publications, community centers, and cultural groups).
5. Creating community spaces that provide transportation for the elderly.
6. Supporting the development of a new generation of young leaders and combating discrimination.
Read Mana's article here.
Choose a problem currently facing the Iranian community of the country in which you live. The problem does not necessarily have to be one addressed in IAAB’s New Year’s Resolutions, but feel free to draw ideas from the article. Select an issue that is meaningful to you, one that you have had first-hand experience with, or one that you believe should be a priority in solving.
After giving brief background information on the issue, outline a basic solution. Who will be involved? What resources will be necessary to put it into action? How will you gain popular support for it? What obstacles could potentially get in the way? What would be the consequences of not implementing the solution?
These considerations are suggestions; not all of them have to be addressed in the essay and you can elaborate on any that are not listed.
Problems currently facing the Iranian diaspora are complex - if they were simple, they would have been solved already! No problem is too small or too large. The essay contest committee will be looking for you to offer some concrete, creative ways to tackle the problem, taking into consideration some of the questions posed above. Be creative and open-minded!
Requirements & Submission Procedure
Participants must be high school students (9th through 12th grade) or college freshman as of September 2013. No prior participation in any of IAAB’s programs is necessary for eligibility.
The essay submission will be due on Monday, May 20th, 2013. Participants will be notified of results in June 2013.
Please email your submission (in an attached Word document) to: firstname.lastname@example.org and please include the following information in the body of the e-mail: full name, age, school, grade, address, email, telephone, and a brief (200 words or less) biography. Any submission that does not have all required information will be disqualified.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com.
Prize - Tuition Stipend to IAAB’s Camp Ayandeh
1st place: full-tuition stipend
2nd place: half-tuition stipend
3rd place: $200 tuition stipend
Unless a participant indicates otherwise, IAAB and/or any other Iranian publications (e.g. Persian Heritage magazine, Ajam Media Collective, Pardis: A New Generation Magazine) may publish any essay submission or an excerpt of a submission in an e-book or physical media.
About the Organizers
Autusa Pahlavan is currently a freshman at the University of Maryland. She is double majoring in biology and psychology, with a minor in spanish. She has attended Camp Ayandeh for the past four years, and this is her second year being a part of the essay contest planning committee.
Kamran Partovi is a student at the University of Maryland. He has been involved with IAAB since 2010 and this is his second year as part of the essay contest planning committee.
Arman Sharif is currently a junior at Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey. As winner of the 2012 Essay Contest and camper at IAAB'S Camp Ayandeh in 2011 and 2012, he is excited to join the essay contest planning committee as part of the organization's Youth Ambassador program this year.