For anyone stranded as a result of the #MuslimBan: 

Earlier today, IRAP was in touch with Airbnb’s Global Disaster Response & Relief team. They have offered to help provide temporary housing to individuals affected by the President’s executive order.

For those individuals who are currently at an airport in the United States or en route to the United States and are in need of temporary housing assistance (up to two weeks), please proceed by following the instructions below:

Please have the team, volunteer, or client email with the nature of the request (situation, ideally info on individual and family, location needing temporary accommodation and how long, along with the contact info for person/family OR case manager/lawyer handling).

In your email, reference speaking with Kellie Bentz and Disaster Team and your email will be filtered to the top of the list.

Once they receive and make connection with the case manager or family needing assistance, Airbnb will work to make a match between the need and their hosts offering support OR provide a coupon code to identify necessary accommodations in the location of need.

Please share this information with your networks. Let us know if there is anything else we can share. We are with you during this difficult time.

In solidarity,

The IAAB staff | #BannedLives #RejectHate #NoBanNoWall

Posted in Community, General, Immigration | Leave a comment

Most of our incredible camp counselors were campers themselves. Four-time camper and three-time counselor Arian reflects on his time as camper and what makes Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan so special. Before heading off to pursue his PhD in physics, Arian is serving as our resident Iranian poetry and literature expert. Listen to the clip above to hear Arian describe his poetry workshop and his thoughts on camp!

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Roxy kicked off Day 5 by giving the Morning Words, a daily practice where campers addresses the community and have an opportunity to share their thoughts. Roxy, a returning camper from Atlanta, shared brief but poignant remarks about the importance of Camp Ayandeh in her life and the support system it builds year-round.

“That’s something I want to emphasize — it’s that what happens at camp, the relationships  you make and the things that you learn, [do not] have to stay here. You can bring them back to your community with you.”


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A day at Camp Javan can be many different things, but it’s always filled with energetic and thought-provoking activities. Listen to counselor Doreen walk us through some of the day’s events, focusing on morning meditations and a biopoem activity.

Morning meditations follow a meditation program developed by HeadSpace that combines techniques from both calming and insight meditation. While most types of meditation were originally part of various spiritual disciplines, Headspace uses them in a non-religious way. Daily morning meditations help campers develop their emotion-regulation skills to deal with stress in their lives.

Earlier in the week, a number of activities introduced campers to the term identity and encouraged them to think about the factors that shape their own identity.  The biopoem lesson included activities to deepen and broaden campers’ ideas about identity.

A biopoem is an 11-line poem that describes a person and includes:

  • At least seven adjectives that you would use to describe yourself;
  • Three important relationships in your life;
  • Five things you love;
  • Five memories you have and descriptions of how you felt at those times;
  • Five of your fears;
  • Three accomplishments; and
  • Five wishes or hopes.

Campers shared their poems in counselor groups and discussed their commonalities and differences, and to what extent these related to their cultural heritage.

Check out the audio above!

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Welcome back — Session B of Camp Ayandeh and Camp Javan has begun in sunny southern California! Campers from all over the US and Canada have arrived and are ready for a week of fun, friendship, and intellectual engagement.


We spent the first days introducing campers to the camp spirit though ice-breaker games, spontaneous dance parties, and community agreements. Community agreements are a central part of camp’s structure, where campers discuss in small groups the type of culture they would like to set for the program. In their counselor groups, they agree on what types of behaviors, attitudes, and conversations will be encouraged at camp, and which ones we will work together to minimize. This consensus-based approach always ensures that campers participate in shaping the camp community based on their needs in a given year.


Click the audio file above to hear two of our returning campers discuss why they love camp and what they are looking forward to this year!

Posted in Ayandeh, General, Javan, Voices of IAAB | Leave a comment