July 21, 2011

Education through Art


Serge HamadWashington, DC – For centuries, Iran has been the home to some of the most beloved artists and ingenious works known to man. Using art as a vehicle to promote positive change and social awareness is a concept that has disseminated throughout the world since the early days of the Persian Empire.

It’s only fitting, therefore, that Iranian-Americans are turning to the pen, brush and camera to express their ideologies and promote awareness of our rich culture, history, geography and the political/social inequities that exist in Iran.

Serge Hamad, Haleh Javanshir and Zohreh Ghahremani have all chosen art as a way to spread their message.

Iran through a New Lens – Depicting the Human Rights AbusesSerge Hamad, a visual artist and photographer, and his wife Haleh Javanshir have embarked on a multi-dimensional art project to draw attention to the human rights abuses in Iran. The exhibition also seeks to support the International Campaign for Humans Rights in Iran and the Omid Advocates for Human Rights; groups that gather and maintain information about human rights abuses in Iran as well as provide legal assistance for those in need. Serge’s solo exhibition, which has gained support from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi, Mrs. Isabella Rossellini and Akbar Ganji (among others), will take place at the renowned “Seyhoun” gallery in LA, July 30th 2011 & “SOMARTS” gallery In SF, August 13 2011.

Sky of Red PoppiesIran Revisited – Promoting CultureVery seldom do we ever get a chance to take a moment to revisit and re-experience Iran’s geographic and cultural beauty. In a world that is forever preoccupied with man-made issues, natural matters such as the beauty of nature and friendship seem to, regrettably, fall by the wayside. In her debut English novel, Sky of Red Poppies, Zohreh Ghahremani, “walks the reader through stretches of breath-taking and thought provoking narrative to provide answers to Iran’s brilliant past and brutal present” says Dr. Ahmad Karimi Hakkak, Professor of Persian Literature and Culture, University of Maryland.

The novel is set after the 1979 revolution and chronicles the blossoming friendship of two Iranian girls as well as the difficulties they faced given their different social backgrounds. An award winning speaker and writer, Ghahremani has been a vocal advocate of feminism and immigration in addition to being featured in Today’s Women by Voice of America Television and KIRN 670AM.

Ghahremani is currently a finalist for One Book, One San Diego, an initiative that encourages communal unity through literature and discussions on issues, that are posed in the books, that affect our lived on a daily basis. The final decision comes the first week of August and the winner is chosen by a public vote. Voting is open online until August 5th 2011 at 12p.m PST (2pm EST). For more information on the author, click here.




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