Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

IAPAC 2004 Gala
Honoring the Accomplishments of Iranian Women

Approximately 350 guests joined the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) this summer at the Ritz-Carlton, DC to honor Mahnaz Afkhami, CEO of the Women’s Learning Partnership; Mehrangiz Kar, a human rights activist; and Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate. Azar Nafisi, author of the New York Times best seller “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” presented honorees with artistic replicas of Cyrus the Great’s Cylinder, the 5000-year-old first universal declaration of human rights, as reproduced by artist Nasser Ovissi. As guests sampled Persian cuisine prepared by renowned Persian chef and author of “Food for Life,” Najmieh Batmanglij, Soroush Richard Shehabi, one of IAPAC’s original 22 founding trustees, highlighted the accomplishments of Iranian women, while stressing the need for greater civic participation by Americans of Iranian descent. Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and Oregon Republican congressional candidate Goli Ameri commended IAPAC’s efforts to counteract recent legislative developments that singled out Iranians for special scrutiny.

IAPAC has helped bring the arbitrary detention of approximately 1000 Iranians to the attention of Congress by convening a congressional briefing and publicizing an investigative report prepared by the Iranian American Bar Association and Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, that substantiates allegations of improper interrogations, poor detention conditions, demeaning treatment and other discriminatory and legally infirm governmental contact.
By focusing on domestic policy issues such as civil liberties, IAPAC has helped unify a broad bipartisan and geographically diverse group of Americans, including some of the most active donors to both the Bush and Kerry campaigns. IAPAC raised $350,000 this cycle and is poised to make contributions to supportive candidates from both parties.


Photos by Vicky Pombo

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