A plus

Iranian Scholarship Foundation gala brought in over half a million dollars


A plus
by Ari Siletz

Actor-Comedian Maz Jobarani finagled his complicated schedule so he could accept Iranian Scholarship Foundation’s invitation to speak at their fundraising gala. An alternate choice for the event had been graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi. But Jobrani was more stubbornly persuasive in beating back his schedulers. A stellar cluster of young Iranian scholars needed his support, and no other engagement seemed more important.

Jobrani immediately challenged his audience with a hilariously multi-layered routine about how his mother wanted him to be a lawyer--when he really wanted to be an actor.

Mother: You want to grow up to be a clown?

Maz: Mom, I just want to act.

Mother: Well being a lawyer is a kind of acting. Isn’t it? You act in front of the jury, that’s twelve people right there. Throw in the judge; that makes thirteen. And then there’s the weekends. Why don’t you act on weekends, ghorboonet beram.

Of course none of the scholarship students are attending clown school. Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, are all institutions with superb curricula in law and the sciences. But Jobrani’s clever routine seemed to be asking if the Scholarship Committee treated the arts seriously. As though in answer, one of the student speakers gave us the delightful news that his new play was about to be professionally produced. Later I found out another scholarship student majored in fashion design. In the case of Lawyer vs. Clown, the Scholarship Committee had been an impartial jury.

This impartiality is expressed tersely by Selection Committee member Dr. Abbas Milani. He says, "Once I determine a candidate has the four qualifications--grades, need, Iranian ancestors and contribution to promotion of Persian culture--then a composite of all four, along with the quality of statement and recommendations determines a students final rank."

On the emotional level, however, the four qualifications can be better understood in a Wizard of OZ format: brains, courage, heart, and vision.

The brains part of the story is easiest to see. A grade point average of 3.5 in this need-based scholarship qualifies to apply for it, but some of the students carry strings of uninterrupted “A”s coupled with near perfect SAT scores.

Courage is the domain of Professor Jaleh Pirnazar, another of the six committee members. Venturing beyond academic achievement, undeterred by imperfect grades, she scours the applicant’s written essay, seeking strengths where a gamble may bring big payoffs. The qualities that impress her are leadership, perseverance against hardships, and a good sense of community responsibility. Tellingly, a recipient is obligated to perform 100 hours of community service each year so that his/her conscientious faculties continue to get a workout. Outside of class, look for ISF students in places like the Big Brother/Sister Program or cancer help centers.

Heart is symbolized by Mehdi Safipour. Ask any of the students who hold him up as their role model for commitment. When I saw Safipour last Sunday, I lied to him about looking less tired than he did during previous galas. He has not stopped to rest since he joined the committee years ago. The force of his dedication supplies even the tiniest administrative capillary of this foundation. In the middle of a busy financial accounting day, he has been known to take the trouble of making reminder calls to students who may be late in their paperwork, or who may need counseling towards a particular course credit.

Azadeh Hariri is the Dorothy archetype, symbolic of the students' vision . Her dream of happier futures drives the ISF narrative. An heiress to pre-revolution textile wealth, Hariri is the financial mill of the foundation. At first encounter she comes across as an unpretentiously rich altruist. Good students shouldn’t have to worry about money while in school.

At a broader level Hariri sees a time when the best Iranian minds are contributing to American culture. As politicians, judges, artists, entrepreneurs, professors, medical scientists, journalists, and economists they will fuse the wisdom of their Iranian heritage with the traditions of American democracy, creating better policies and decisions.

Of course if some of these students were to win Nobel Prizes, Oscars, or Pulitzers—and it's a safe bet—Hariri’s collection of intellectual gems will outshine any ornament she could put behind a glass. But this takes Hariri's philanthropic strategy too lightly. To explain, she pays all the costs of the foundation including the huge annual gala, so that 100% of the donations go to the students. One may ask if she’s got so much money why doesn’t she just pay the tuitions directly? Because the social institution of Iranian-Americans rolling up their sleeves to support each other could use help being built. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and…

Among the farsighted organizations teaching our community to fish, few are able to grant up to a $10,000 yearly scholarship four academic years in a row. Also, the selection committee never considers an applicant’s politics or religion in the award decision.There is a student who wears an Islamic roosari. This recipient--who scored first place in Iran's national university entrance exams--has bonded with Bahaiis, Jews, Christians and other Iranian youth of undetermined creed.

Packed with donors this year, at each event the numbers at the gala have been growing. Still, more funds are sought to invest beyond obviously “blue chip” students. There is hidden talent out there for historic Iranian-American innovations. With rising support and exposure, ISF hopes to go after matching university funds, potentially doubling its capacity to reach out to our community.

This year’s gala brought in over half a million dollars, including the auction overseen by hostess Rudy Bakhtiar, the journalist who occasionally lights up the CNN newsroom with her Persian charm.

The journalist Bakhtiar hosted us, the actor Jobrani gave us critical perspective, and the Persian Jazz singer, Ziba Shirazi, recorded the event in our emotional memories. Humming a Ziba Shirazi tune during the drive home, I wondered when the scholarship custom began in history. Back in the fifteenth century the wealthy Medici family took in a 13 year old kid who wasn’t much into school, but liked to draw. This is one early instance of the secular scholarship tradition that I could think of. The kid's name was Michelangelo.

Important note: The May 31 deadline for ISF applications is approaching. Here’s the link if you know a student from anywhere in the US who would like to apply.


Check out interviews with some of the ISF students here:



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Arash G.

by Ari Siletz on

Thank you for giving recogntion to Mehran Kamkar, Niloufar Nouri, and Fariba Nejat. In attempting to fathom your philosophy of praise, I would be grateful if you explained why admiring these people involves attacking a source of support for bright Iranian students who are otherwise quite commonly in need of financial aid?


Afsaneh khaunom, well said!

by Arash G. (not verified) on

Ghorbooneh dahanet Afsaneh khaunom, finally some one with balls stepped up and said the truth. We always forget the guys who work hard for the community and aren't so vocal, like Mehran Kamkar, like Niloufar Nouri, like Fariba Nejat, and so manay others, and never give them any thank yous or recognition, but we give award to this guy name Mr. Moazami that none of us commoners has ever heard of, infact if you do a google search on him he has gotten a few bad reviews with some talks he has given here and there. Anyway, you have my support Ms./Mrs. Afsaneh khaunom and obviously I am not an award recipient, just a common Iranian.



I believe that no matter how

by Leyla Shams (not verified) on

I believe that no matter how noble and just a cause may be, there will always be baseless criticism from many directions, and if we were to try and respond to all that criticism, we would never get anywhere. I do think it's too bad that instead of simply asking questions, opinions are disguised as facts and thrown out there so easily.

I feel my fellow scholarship recipients have eloquently and thoroughly responded to Afsaneh Khanoom's criticism, so rather than respond more to her statements, I would like to quickly post my thought on this invaluable resource.

I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and first received this scholarship in 2004. I was very grateful to receive the financial support of the scholarship, and although I still had to work my way through school, it was a very big help.

However, the true gift provided by this scholarship was not the financial aide, as me and my fellow recipients found out during the time of the fund raising gala. ISF is set up such that in order to receive the scholarship, you are REQUIRED to attend the gala in California once a year. Here, you become acquainted with many high achieving, inspirational individuals ready to give you so many words of wisdom and encouragement. The experience was mind blowing. Ari Siletz very eloquently has described a few of these individuals in his article. In addition to this, ISF has the gala set up such that you instantly build a community with your fellow scholarship recipients. To this day, I keep in touch with many of them, and we are constantly encouraging and supporting each other.

We come from a society which greatly values the spirit of community. In Iran, people care about their neighbors, people care about their neighbors kids, the whole community binds together to ensure each other's success. The beauty of this scholarship is that ISF managed to recreate this very spirit here in the United States. After receiving this scholarship, I knew that I am not simply an individual trying to 'make it' on my own but a whole community is also supporting me, and my individual success is inherently linked to the whole community as well.

True, through merit and hard work, it is possible to receive different scholarships from different sources. But this sense of community provided by ISF is priceless. Many students said that before, they did not feel much of a draw towards Iran, but because of the sense of the Iranian community that came from receiving the scholarship, they now feel much more connected to their country of origin.

Anyhow, I could write much more, because this scholarship was really life changing for me and many of my fellow scholarship recipients, but my response is already becoming too long. Please, anyone, ask as many questions as you like about the scholarship- we are happy to discuss it at length. Like Farhod and Salar, I will offer my email address- justleyla@gmail.com. But please know that there is a whole slew of students ready to stand up and defend this scholarship because we truly believe in it, as it has shown us the true spirit of the Iranian community.

Leyla Shams

ISF Scholarship recipient 2004-2006

Lalé Shahparaki Welsh

ISF is beyond reproach

by Lalé Shahparaki Welsh on

I am disappointed to read the negative comment below from Afsaneh R. But unfortunately this kind of suspicion is inherent in our community, possibly through years of having our culture actively torn apart politically, and ideologically diminished by outsiders and insiders alike.  In any case, the result is this kind of bitter suspicion to all that is good and decent.  We're always looking for the proverbial "catch". And that's really annoying, especially when it's directed at truly selfless organizations that honestly strive toward real change through philanthropy. 

 I agree that there are a few isolated examples in our community of selfishness and narcissism, but they never last too long, and if anything, organizations like ISF are the antidote to that. They not only don't self promote enough (there's nothing wrong with advertising your work!) they foster education for our next generation so that we have enlightened leaders instead of the old school "bazari" tactics by unethical "leaders" that just won't work anymore. (Thank God).

Afshaneh khanum, I worked my way through college too, but I would never begrudge someone else an easier ride at a better school.  Before we criticize in general I find it helpful to ask myself ”what was the last remotely meaningful thing I did to help selflessly?"  When you actually make it your life’s work to help others, you realize how hard and thankless it is, and so you become twice as likely to admire and praise others who do it.  Everyone needs accolaids.

You should try it, it's very humbling, but in the end it helps you stay kind, and through that, truly powerful.  Ba Eradat.



Re: Afsane R. "Charity, Not Really"

by payam ishani (not verified) on

Afsane, I'm another recipient of this scholarship, and I don't need to repeat what my friends have already posted (such as not being related to any founders or members of the ISF and ect), but I would like to remind you that it is really a bad idea to get emotional all of a sudden (or drunk on a Saturday night) and get behind the computer and write things without thinking about them. I bet you have never met any of the ISF recipients because if I, alone, tell you about what I have done in terms of academic and social achievements, your brain will simply burn up, so I won't. At the end I want to give you a suggestion, why don't YOU start an organization in which people are not awarded based on their relationship and the amount of check they write. I look forward to hear from your organization.


Response to Afsaneh's response

by Farhod Shahrezay (not verified) on


Your comment was extremely misleading; I would expect someone with a college education to be able to post their thoughts in a more clear manner.

No one "slaughtered" or "killed" you; everyone was fairly respectful given that you were (and are) writing unmerited attacks against an organization that you know very little about.

Let me ask you, what kind of "Recognition Awards" does the ISF give out to its donors during or after the fundraiser?

And for the record, many of us that get the scholarship still have to work; I personally work 15 hours a week along with a more than full school schedule, in addition to tennis, viola, and ballroom practice.

Apparently somewhere you missed that the ISF gives mostly need based scholarships; my mother and I don't even come close to making enough to pay the 40,000+ tuition at Cornell. And as "great" as I may or may not be, I am not magical, I can't just make money grow on trees, so I don't know why you imply that I (or any of us) have some other means of getting through college when you say "..and don't have any other means of getting thru school."



by Afsaneh R. (not verified) on

To all recipeints of the scholarship awards,
I would expect with your many years in college you would actually read the content a little more carefully & have a clear understanding of the message before killing the messanger. Afterall, you are the future leaders of this community and no matter how strongly you disagree with anyone, you need not slaughter them.
When I wrote ISF is giving awards to individuals ( freinds, and people wriring big cks) without much merit, I did not mean the students. It's recognition awards given at these fundraisers to people who really have not done much for the community except to self promote. I am sure you are all using these funds for purposes intended, however, a lot of people including myself, had to work thru college and earn my degree the hard way and there is absolutely nothing more noble than flipping hamburgers while you pursue your dreams. In fact some say it builds character. Besides, these recipients, being that they are cream of the crop, are all able to recieve scholarships and student loans which we all had to do thru regular programs available to all. Maybe "schoraship awards" should be given to those that aren't as great as you all are and don't have any other means of getting thru school.
I am not objecting to the program as a whole, I would just hope we don't loose sight of why this and other programs are created and who are they really trying to benefit.


Ari Siletz

Mazyar Kahali:

by Ari Siletz on

Well put!

The number of student comments supporting the ISF showcases the success this organization in building a strong community.

Your energetic activism in protecting the rights of children reflects all four ISF quailites: brains, courage, heart and vision. I look forward to shaking your hand at next year's gala, and would be grateful to hear about your humanitarian works.



by Mazyar Kahali (not verified) on

Ms. Afsaneh,

It is my first year receiving the scholarship and I am neither a “friend” of the Scholarship committee members nor a person that has “written a big ck”. I received the Hadi Khorsandi's Excellence in Community Service Scholarship for 2007-08 award for my work promoting the rights of the street children in events such as the 2007 Vasona Park Sizdeh Bedar Festival in San Jose.

In the summer of 2006 in my visit to Iran, I was shocked by the lack of rights, the lack of education and the huge number of street children in Tehran. As a 16 year old I came back with a mission to let the Iranian-American community in Diaspora know about the problems that the street children in Iran face. As a 17 year old I became a familiar face in the events around the Bay Area promoting the rights that these children need to have. As an 18 year old I am planning to study social sciences and dedicate my life to the cause that is so dear to my heart.

ISF helped me to promote my dream, instead of making coffees in Starbucks it let me plan cultural events in my university. Instead of flipping burgers, I attended human-right meetings to learn how other people have dealt with similar problems in other countries. Instead of working behind a restaurant's counter I was able to focus on my studies and be a an “A average” student.

I think I am a person that has “actually ... made a career out of building communities & giving.” and the ISF scholarship not only has not “ignored” me but has acknowledged and awarded me. I consider myself “loud [and] pushy” because those are characteristics that I need to have to realize my dream. Please look at my record and the work that I have done for the street children and children in the labor force and then judge to see if I “deserve an award”. I am sure you would not “actually” find it “embarrassing.”

Here I want to thank all the donors that helped me find a path in realizing my dream of seeing an Iran in which all children's rights are protected. I will promise to all donors that in the future they would not be ashamed of their contribution. They would be proud to see my friends and I build a better Diaspora community, a better America and above all a better Iran.


An Advocating Recipient

by Salar Deldar (not verified) on

Afsaneh Khanoom,

As one of the fortunate few recipients of the scholarship fund in the early stages of its development I take personal offense to your baseless attack on the Iranian Scholarship Foundation (ISF).

Being raised in Alabama for the majority of my life, I for one have never known or associated with any of the members of the ISF prior to reception of my initial scholarship. As Mr. Siletz so gracefully stated, the scholarship committee is a composed from a broad spectrum of individuals that have selflessly committed their time and energy towards a united vision of community altruism.

Moreover, quite contrary of your statement that scholarships are given “without really looking at what the individual has done to deserve an award,” I have spoken to committee members such as Dr. Pirnazar on multiple occasions, discussing how she finds time in her busy schedule as a University Professor to tirelessly read every minor detail in an applicant’s essay, recommendations, and curriculum vitae.

Additionally regarding your claim that “there is no interest in recruiting the average individual” to contribute to the ISF, the reality and true beauty behind the ultimate collection of the scholarship fund is that the donations stem not only from the generous contributions of Mrs. Hariri and other financially-blessed individuals but also from hundreds of people all over the globe, through many different avenues. I have personally stood beside Mr. Safipour and other volunteers to sell Persian Children’s books at various community gatherings so that a small percentage of the total sales would go towards the ISF fund.

To this day, as a graduate student who has yet to earn an annual salary, I still make ever effort to purchase textbooks and other various goods from Amazon.com through the link on the foundation’s homepage as a small, yet eventually significant contribution to a foundation that has given so much to me.

So if the “Average Joe” is so benevolent to make a contribution to the ISF, there are many ways to do so.

Perhaps your state of disillusion stems from your past experiences concerning other organizations, but your false accusation are carelessly damaging to perhaps the most successful and honorable movements of philanthropy in the history of our Iranian-American community.

Please feel free to contact me as I would be more than happy to share my many other experiences involving the ISF with you: sdeldar@uasom.uab.edu


To: Afsaneh From: an actual scholarship recipient

by Farhod Shahrezay (not verified) on


Every once and awhile an organization comes into existence
that actually wishes to make a positive impact on the world.

You say that "The spirit of humility and giving in the spirit of giving has vanished"

But how do you know that this applies to the ISF?

Have you met the people that run it? Have you met the scholarship recipients? Have you done any kind of research on us whatsoever?

Oh of course, we are all the same, right?

It is a shame that every time someone tries to reverse the things you say bring embarrassment to our community, they are met with harsh, unjustified criticism. How do you ever expect to improve our society in this way?

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion; just know that your words can help perpetuate the very thing you have come to despise.

Let's clear some things up for the record:

I am one of the scholarship recipients.

I am not related to anyone in the ISF.

If you, or anyone reading wishes to contact me for more information or discussion, feel free: fs68@cornell.edu

Have a wonderful day everyone



Wrong Statement

by Nina M (not verified) on

Dear Afsaneh,

I was also a recipient of the ISF scholarship for two consecutive years and I was not a friend of a donor or organization. It is unfortunate that you think this way.

This organization has helped many students, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

Personally, I struggled a lot with tuition during college and the scholarship helped me tremendously. (I had never written a big ck as you implied in your comment, but yet I was chosen!)

The organization has grown over the years to reach more and more students in need. The committee spends so much time trying, not only to raise money, but to really connect with the recipients.

I hope you will reach out and obtain more information on this organization and its recipients.

Please feel free to email me if you want more details. I would love to share my experience with you.


Afsaneh R. Reconsider your statements!

by Mitra A. (not verified) on

You write: "The awards go to the people that are either friends or have writiten a big ck without really looking at what the individual has done to deserve an award, it's actually embarrassing..." Well, you are simply wrong. I am a recipient of this scholarship and I am neither a friend of anyone who donates to this fund nor does my family have the ability to write a check for ISF. If it was not for ISF, I would not be in school. The board members have created this community to help students like me who deserve an education but simply cannot afford it.

The Gala is put on once a year to raise money for the valuable eduacation of young Iranian Americans; the Gala is about the students and relieving the students from having to worry about where their next meal or next rent check is going to come from. The price is not meant to keep "the average joe" out; all the money raised from the Gala goes toward our education. The Gala is a charity event centered around the support system that us, the students, are receving. It is not about who gets in or who is cut out. I think that you need to reconsider your statements because they are simply not true. You are entitled to your opinions but it is not fair to make false and empty accusations.

Ari Siletz

Afsaneh R, please clarify

by Ari Siletz on

You state, "The awards go to the people that are either friends or have writiten a big ck without really looking at what the individual has done to deserve an award..."

Do you mean the scholarship awards? Or do you mean the pat on the back donors receive for contributing to a good cause? If you mean the scholarship awards, you must produce evidence of this. Otherwise you have indulged in a carelessly destructive statement about one your community's best educational resources.

I have met quite a few ISF students, and none of them are related to the donors, or are in a position of returning business favors. The ISF awards, as far as I have been able to determine, are need-based, and are granted following strict guidlines for grades, SAT scores, and community awareness.


Charity, not really!

by Afsaneh R. (not verified) on

Nice article but it overlookes the reality of what is really going on in our community. The spirit of humility and giving in the spirit of giving has vanished, and money has become the primary source of admiration & acknowledgment. We award people who have done nothing except to self promote and/or write big cks, and completely ignore those who actually have made a career out of building communities & giving. The merits of giving or recieving awards have become how loud, pushy and self praising the individual is, or how many zero's are the end of each ck. no real merit or substance is nec.
That's why when one attends these Galas, it's always the same faces who owe eachother some sort of social or business favors. The awards go to the people that are either friends or have writiten a big ck without really looking at what the individual has done to deserve an award, it's actually embarrassing. The story is always the same with all these fundraisers but the cause is a little different. With a price tag of $250 per person, there is no interest in recruiting the average individual who can give a lot in many ways but can't attend or participate in these charitable affairs because he is priced out & perhaps because there is no real social or business interest in the average Joe. That's why once these old faces are gone, these organizations that belong to a small group of financially fortunate, as good as they may be, will vanish and that's not worthy of much praise.



Dear Mr. Siletz

by Abol Danesh (not verified) on


Yes, once you are inside the lock box suddenly Zero becomes a non-existant number needs to be tossed out of the universe and then the number one becomes a derivative figure only to be born later on as the result of hydrolic infusion between three and four as the first primary original numbers.

Of course it goes without saying that even by only using a common sense logic one can find out easily why "Zero" has no real existence onto itself and outside of itself in the multifaceted universe: Who in the wide world wish to have a Zero money in his pocket? WHo?

Now let me go and pray 17 times a day toward the bank without intruption please...


Ari Siletz

Dr. Danesh:

by Ari Siletz on

Nice use of irony in your poetic "riddle." one,two, three, four...

And your read on the intent of the article is accurate. Science and art are inseperable.


Math is Power

by Professor Danesh, PHD (not verified) on

The mystery of
That is hidden
In the lock box
At the end
Numbers: 3 and 4
Later on...


$4 million donation to Simon Fraser University

by A (not verified) on

January 24, 2008

A $4 million donation to Simon Fraser University from philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian will help improve the lives of children worldwide. The gift will provide $2.5 million to support research in children’s health policy and $1.5 million to construct and outfit a level 3 containment laboratory for infectious disease research.

SFU’s new faculty of health sciences aims to prevent disease, rather than just cure it. The gift will help researchers in SFU’s interdisciplinary children’s health policy centre and in the infectious disease area focus their efforts on children.

The health policy centre aims to ensure that the latest scientific research is integrated into policy and programs with the goal of improving children’s social and emotional development and mental health.

The level 3 containment laboratory will allow scientists to work with live viruses and, together with policy experts and health care professionals, translate their findings into informed global public health recommendations that can minimize the spread of disease in children.

According to the World Health Organization’s 2005 World Health Report, almost 90% of all deaths among children under five years of age are attributable to five infectious diseases: lower respiratory infections (mostly pneumonia), diarrhea, malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS.

“Children are one of the most important investments that we can make,” says Mowafaghian. “They are the foundation of our society and need to be healthy to learn. Health and education are basic human rights, essential for a happy and productive life.”

Says SFU President Michael Stevenson, “Over the years, Djavad Mowafaghian has demonstrated a deep commitment to making a difference for children by improving education and health. He has supported numerous hospital facilities, schools and scholarship programs, here and abroad. This is his first investment in basic academic research, and I am delighted at his level of confidence in our new health sciences faculty. ”

In recognition of this generous gift, SFU will name the two most public spaces in the new faculty of health sciences building in his honour – the Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium, which will be one of the main entrances to the university, and the Djavad Mowafaghian Lecture Theatre.

Djavad Mowafaghian and the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation

The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation’s mandate is to better the lives of children through health and education.

Personal background:
Mowafaghian earned his fortune as a developer in Iran before moving to Vancouver in 1987. His father passed away when he was a young child, and he was raised in a modest household by his mother. He attributes his passion for giving back to the community to her influence.

Over the past 30 years, Mowafaghian has demonstrated his passion for “giving back” by funding various philanthropic projects and donating to various charities throughout the world. In 2003, he created and funded the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation to guarantee the continuation of his philanthropy.

Djavad Mowafaghian’s International philanthropic contributions include:
• Providing more than 70 scholarships for international students in London
• Funding the construction of four “pressure rooms” for bone morrow transplants in Geneva, Switzerland
• Funding the construction of 16 Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools and eight trade and technical schools in Iran
• Funding a heart surgery centre in Iran
• Funding the construction of six schools and dormitories for the visually and hearing impaired in Iran

Other local philanthropic contributions:
In 2004 Mowafaghian donated $6 million to the BC Children’s Hospital to pay for a 50,000 square foot redevelopment of the hospital’s oncology unit and adjacent outpatient clinics.

At the time it was the largest donation from an individual in the history of the Children’s Hospital. The construction was completed in 2007 and the new wing is aptly named the Djavad Mowafaghian Wing.

In 2005 the foundation committed $750,000 to The Centre for Child Development in Surrey, BC. The centre provides intensive therapy and support services to over 1,800 children per year and provides child care services throughout the South Fraser Region.

Mowafaghian and his foundation support numerous other charitable organizations throughout the Lower Mainland including:


A Great Cause but...

by the real Nader Vanaki (not verified) on

There is an axiom in Iranian diaspora culture and that is the richer they get the cheaper and stingier they become.

All this for $500,000 which might get 10 students into a state university for undergraduate studies.

And all the CEOs, presidents and managers of such and such corporations, surgeons, lawyers, engineers, etc.. who are Iranians would spend the equivalent of endowment of UC Berkeley to look good and drive a Mercedes Benz. Eivaal to a good start!


Over 20 MIllion Dollars Donation for who?!!!

by B a b a k (not verified) on

I have applied but was too proud to reveal all the awful side of my life and my whole story...

I just had read a while ago that an Iranian had donated over 20 million dollars to a university in California, I guess it was Stanford but I am not sure... Honestly I was outraged as an Iranian who has been struggling to pursue his dream of education but been laid off last semester due to owing 10,000 to his university while holding a GPA around 3.8 ...

I yet couldn't get any financial aid due to my specific situation and since January been struggling to find a away to get help but no success... I wish I could have found a foundation to be my cosigner to get a student loan at least...

at the same time I have seen our generous homeboy supports universities which already have so many resources and couldn't let students like me carry over my 10,000 balance regardless of my really decent GPA in an engineering field which classes get shrunk as students drop in the course of time...!

I do admire his generosity but I would rather them support our own small society full of youth who most of them deserve and are in need of some small financial aids to accomplish their educational dreams...

If it had been me, I would've donated that over 20 millions to an Iranian Scholarship Foundation to serve thousands of our smart young Iranians get what they deserve .

It has broken my desperate heart a lot.

Ignore this bitter fact that our government's representatives here consider no support for us as Iranians... perhaps this means asking too much cause they have already ignored the needs of a whole nation in our homeland... I do apologize for it so!