Hamid Naficy (Professor, Northwestern University)
Noosheen Hashemi (Founder, The HAND Foundation)
"IAAB is, without a doubt, my most favorite Iranian American organization. It combines three passions: youth, leadership, and diaspora engagement. By reaching out to Iranian-American youth and providing them with a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment to develop their leadership skills, IAAB is ensuring the long term vitality of our community and civil society in America.
It's free of baggage, does not look in the rear view mirror, and instead is trailblazing its way to a more tolerant, cooperative and transparent future where the best of Iranian values and ideals are lived every day."
Mahdis Keshavarz (Principal, The MAKE Agency)
"The Iranian American community has never produced an organization that has made me more proud and hopeful for our future than IAAB. IAAB creates in each of us a sense of pride which helps makes us better, more compassionate and integrated members of global society. It has given everyone who has participated a sense of home and community which couldn't be duplicated outside the diaspora.
I first attended an IAAB conference as a (relatively) young person and nearly 10 years later, I plan on continuing to support them into old age"
Nassim Assefi (TED Fellow)
Kamin Mohammad (Author)
"The first IAAB Conference I was lucky enough to be invited to attend was in 2005 – and it was like stepping through the looking glass. I found myself in a world I never imagined existed – a world of West-dwelling and raised Iranians who joked in Farsi but debated in English – in short – people like me. Discovering other Iranians whose struggles with their identity pushed them to speak, to create and to share, and perhaps to say things our elders would not have found acceptable, was one of the most inspiring moments of my life – and it helped give me the courage to not just find my own voice, but to speak out loud and bright and clear. The Cypress Tree bears testament to this community and my feeling of having a part and a place in it."
Hazhir Rahmandad (Professor, Virginia Tech)
Neda Maghbouleh (Professor, Muhlenberg College)
"IAAB is a visionary organization led by visionary thinkers. In just [about] a decade-- through original programming, academic conferences, artistic exhibitions, educational initiatives, and more-- IAAB has fulfilled a crucial gap within our global Iranian community. Led with integrity and ingenuity, the organization demonstrates limitless potential and remains invaluable to our future and future generations to come.
Camp Ayandeh is the single most comprehensive and impactful program for Iranian-heritaged youth today. It is both rigorous and playful, serious about its long-term goals yet nimble and inclusive of new people, new ideas, and new concerns. By redressing the lack of curriculum on Iranian history and culture in American schools, Camp Ayandeh also boldly addresses issues of identity and equity as they affect youth in our multi-generational community. For over seven years, camp participants have demonstrated that the social bonds they create in one week go on to outlast the boundaries of distance and time. All of us-- former campers, counselors, and staff alike-- come away with a new level of trust, ability, and commitment to improving the world around us. We are knit into a bigger and stronger Iranian American family."
Hear testimonials from the participants of IAAB's renowned Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan:
Arman S. (16 years old): "Growing up in a town and going to school without a single Iranian my age made it easy to completely forget about my background, and the occasional conversation in Farsi with grandparents became the only link I had remaining to my heritage. When I came to IAAB's Summer Leadership Institute in 2011 and met hundreds of Iranians from around the country, my ethnic community suddenly felt a lot bigger, more fun, and more interesting. These are the friends that became my family in just a little over a week."