In 2002, a group of Iranian-American students studying abroad made a wild and exaggerated observation: Iranians are everywhere.
Of course, we didn’t mean on TV or in the movies. We meant that all of a sudden, Iranians seemed to be everywhere we went. We were young and traveling, discovering Iranian-Italian restaurants in Dublin, studying with Iranian-Norwegian classmates in London, and meeting Iranian-Colombian seatmates on high-speed trains across the continent. Our observation became a long-running joke: did we have Persian radar or something? How did we just happen to encounter one Iranian establishment after another by sheer luck? Or, could it be that there are really that many Iranians abroad, and we really are everywhere?
The observation that the Iranian diaspora is widespread (if not precisely everywhere), was evident even then, but with a steadily growing media presence is perhaps even more so now. Unlike some diaspora groups who congregate primarily in one or two parts of the globe, the Iranian diaspora is comprised of communities on nearly every continent and subregion in the world. And in each of these communities, one finds Iranian immigrants (and their descendants) who have worked to bring Iranian culture to these new homes abroad, be it through opening restaurants and markets, creating Persian language schools and learning materials, or celebrating Iranian holidays and festivals.
Each of these communities, from Europe to Asia and from Africa to the Americas, have specific histories and characteristics, particular relationships with their host communities, and nuanced sets of needs and challenges. And while many Iranian families are spread across several of these communities, for the most part it appears that the members, and particularly the leaders, of each community are largely focused on their own community, addressing their local needs in response to their own circumstances.
This was another one of the observations raised by the co-founders of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) while studying abroad in 2002-2003. Reflecting on the state of the Iranian diaspora at that time, it was not just international diaspora communities that seemed disconnected, and it was not just job-seeking adults who could benefit from an increasingly networked diaspora. At the time, there was but one still-nascent national Iranian-American organization, no organizations reaching out specifically to young Iranian Americans, and no organizations that we knew of with an international reach. With all the ways humans are capable of being connected in the 21st century, and with all that we can learn from each other, why didn’t we see increasing connections or collaborations across Iranian diaspora communities?
For the entire article, please visit: //ajammc.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/a-young-dia...
|Recently by ajammc||Comments||Date|
|Taking Back the Streets: Iranian Graffiti Artists Negotiating Public Space|
|Dec 04, 2012|
|The Bridge to New Julfa: A Historical Look at the Armenian-Iranian Community of Isfahan|
|Oct 23, 2012|
|On the Sanctions Against Iran: Reflections from a Child of the Iran-Iraq War|
|Oct 12, 2012|
|نسرین ستوده: زندانی روز||Dec 04|
|Saeed Malekpour: Prisoner of the day||Lawyer says death sentence suspended||Dec 03|
|Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day||Iterview with mother||Dec 02|
|احسان نراقی: جامعه شناس و نویسنده ۱۳۰۵-۱۳۹۱||Dec 02|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day||46 days on hunger strike||Dec 01|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Graffiti||In Barcelona||Nov 30|
|گوهر عشقی: مادر ستار بهشتی||Nov 30|
|Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day||Activist denied leave and family visits for 1.5 years||Nov 30|
|محمد کلالی: یکی از حمله کنندگان به سفارت ایران در برلین||Nov 29|
|Habibollah Golparipour: Prisoner of the day||Kurdish Activist on Death Row||Nov 28|