Beautiful People

Photo essay: Iranian Alliances Across Borders conference in Berkeley

by Nazy Kaviani

The Fourth International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, organized by Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB -- took place at University of California, Berkeley this past weekend.  I wrote two blogs about the event, and here are my photographs of the conference.  (Please see “So, are you white?” and “Tourists or Terrorists?”)  Seeing so many young Iranians who are genuinely interested in their Iranian heritage, culture, and identity was really impressive.  Some of the guests and participants were born in Iran, some have never been to Iran, and quite a number of them are children of mixed marriages between Iranians and other nationalities, creating a beautiful collage of identity and culture.  Photos 1-22 show a Friday night reception of IAAB members and conference speakers at Berkley’s Persian Center, where local artists and activists met and welcomed the crowd.  Photos 23-116 show the conference scene on Saturday and Sunday.  Photo 75 shows an image from, which was used as “visual aid” for University of Leeds researchers who have worked on “stereotyping” of Iranians!  The last photo shows the entertainment segment of the conference, performed by Fared Shafinuri and his band Tehranosaurus.  Last photo shows some contributors and members of the Association of Iranian American Writers and artist friends having an impromptu 13-bedar just outside the campus at Café Strada to finish two days of hard work and networking!  It was a wonderful gathering, the results of which were so much good information and so many new friendships!                                   


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more from Nazy Kaviani

where in Turkey or Greece

by Puja (not verified) on

where in Turkey or Greece did you see a lot of ancient bulidlings which are bigger and stunning looking than Persepolis? even ROM (Italy) has not such a big ancient building like Persepolis.
Do you know how much squer meter the Persepolis has?


To Alborz

by aliali (not verified) on

He might be right .

about dragging over Persepolis's pride .. have you guys been in Turkey or Greece?.. you will see alot ancient building which are Bigger and stunning looking than Perspolis , I don't want sound like i am against Perspolis but " WE" as an iranian , always think that we are above anybody else as historical or cultural aspect in the world. I hope one day all Iranian accept that " We" always are not the best , and they are other culture which have VALUES too.
if we were the best , we should do much better . look at before 1979, IRAN HAD shah and OIL and TURKEY didnt HAVE SHAH and OIL . if you compared those 2 countries before revolution , Turkey was much better economically based on GDP

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Thank you for taking the time to report on this event. Great pics; the spirit comes through. Sorry I missed the action, but you've brought it home to us. 


ParissaE that was a good

by Kablammad (not verified) on

ParissaE that was a good interpretation of the cartoon. I actually didn't expect that response. I am not sure if the cartoonist who drew it (Eyranian) meant it as stereotyping or against stereotyping?! He'll have to respond since I saw few photos of him in the conference too.

That is a problem where we think Iranian women are like that and then we don't get to know them (even if "some" of them are actually like that ;)

As far as stereotyping Iranian men, did they show anything or any cartoon? Or was it just showing stereotyping of Iranian women?



by ParissaE (not verified) on

They said "sterotyping" of Iranians is not good! This Monalisa picture stereotypes Iranian women, doesn't it? Aren't you tired of all the stereotyping of Iranian men, too? Did you see the natural Iranian beauty of all the young men and women in the photographs? No nose jobs, no blonde hair.

If we don't want to be stereotyped in the west, we need to start with ourselves. Let's not stereotype ourselves.


I liked the monalisa photo!

by Kablammad (not verified) on

I liked the monalisa photo! This one:

The actual link to the old page is this one:

It is funny! What did they say when they showed this on screen?


To: Alborzi

by Saeed J. (not verified) on

"We have been hunted like Jews for years"!

Really? We have? HAUNTED? Like Jews?
Where? By whom? How?

"Last to be hired"??
Yeah I am sure all these people in these picture can testify to that...LOL...

Don't throw us all in the mix, if , that's your personal story bud.


To Alborzi

by Anonymous Mehran (not verified) on

You forgot to say we were "PAYING" people money to build the persepolis.



by Anonymous2340 (not verified) on

I agreed with everything you wrote in your comment until I got to the last sentence. In your gush of enthusiasm you betrayed your own racism. Why not do us all a favor and keep the trashier aspects of your personal beliefs to yourself.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Ali P.

by Nazy Kaviani on

Heeh! O.K. I will concede that you had to be there to know what I mean about the "beauty" of the participants! The beauty mostly came from their love for Iran! Of course, "jam-emoon jam bood, khoshgel-emoon kam bood," while we were waiting for YOU!

Thank you Ali Jaan for your thoughtful comments on my related blogs, too. You rock!

Ali P.

Nazi jaan...

by Ali P. on

You beautiful people rocked, but I think I could swear I saw a couple of not-all-that beautiful individuals in a couple of pictures in the back!

 Fine. We have our own thing: 

Average-looking people of the world ( you KNOW who you are!), unite!


Ali P.


Hi to all IAAB team, I

by Anonymous11 (not verified) on

Hi to all IAAB team,
I admire your efforts and work. I also learned a lot from you. So my appreciation to you.

But I also wanted to give you a small critics if you do not mind me.

Please reply to all of your e-mails and requests. Don't leave them ignored. Because some requests are simply very important (if not so much for you, but definately for the one who wrote you the e-mail). So, that is also one key to success.

But besides this, again, highly appreciated all the things you've done.

Ps.: I hope you read this !

Darius Kadivar

Lots of Pretty Chicks Out There ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Yum Yum


Iranians are like this

by Alborzi (not verified) on

Back in Washington DC, around 1981 there was the a protest march for Palestinians, and you know there were more Iranians than all Arabs combined. We are a nation of brave freedom loving people. When you go to a party to someone's house they all talk politics. We have been hunted like Jews for years. We are called terrorists and they put all sort of sanctions on us. Last to be hired, we are always under suspicion, but we are Iranian, when these guys were still swinging in the jungles, we were building Persepolis.