Please join us for a special fundraising event to raise awareness and support for the ongoing struggle for human rights in Iran, in light of the #womanlifefreedom movement. Featuring a panel with Iranian community members—including Delhi’s Tay Tea owner Nini Ordoubadi, architect and fashion designer Azin Valy, and community activist Miriam Nouri—who will share personal experiences as women who have lived in Iran and in the diaspora. Persian food, tea, and cookies will be served.
The panel will be followed by a screening of Dream of Silk (Nahid Rezaei, 2003, 43 minutes), selected from the recent “Films from Iran for Iran” program initiated by Another Gaze and shared with their cooperation. (More on their program, including links to donate via Another Gaze, here.)
In Dream of Silk, director Nahid Rezaei returns to her all-girls high school twenty-five years later to explore the lives of young girls in contemporary Tehran. In this candid exploration of their dreams and hopes, the girls are at times shockingly open, often sweet, and occasionally sad as they talk about the future.
There is no entry fee, but we will be collecting donations (cash, check, card) on-site for nonprofit organizations supporting the current activism, and to provide an artist’s fee to the filmmaker.
TAY TEA is a combination tea shop, atelier and lifestyle showroom showcasing founder Nini Ordoubadi’s locally blended artisan teas, her curated collection of Boho fashion and eclectic local and global gifts. Ordoubadi came to the USA as a teenager in 1978 to attend college, earning a BA from Columbia University and an MFA in painting from Purchase University. She then stayed as a result of the Islamic Republic takeover of Iran. She writes, “Telling my story through the culture of tea is a passion and also part of my personal history. Tea and hospitality are one and the same and a core theme of my Persian heritage. Because I believe tea is not just a beverage but an ‘experience’ I wanted to have a storefront that was welcoming to all and a gathering place where one would exchange ideas and stories could be shared. As an Iranian-American who came here as a teenager in 1978 to attend college and stayed as a result of the Islamic republic takeover of our nation I’ve always had the desire to share my rich Persian culture with people around me. This simple desire has resulted in my brand of hospitality – a platform to attract people from all walks of life, to entertain them and connect with them, and be able to share the unique qualities of my culture that is more than 3000 years old, our poetry, art, food, architecture and artisan crafts and above all, our open, welcoming heart.”
Azin Valy, co-founder of the award winning multi-disciplinary Architecture firm I-Beam Design, is the creator of the emerging fashion brand, Cityzen by Azin. Her research for an urban planning exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art led to the formation of Cityzen by Azin, a fashion and accessories brand based on incorporating breath taking views of cities from above, transcending physical and mental borders while raising funds and awareness regarding various causes world wide. As an Iranian/American, Azin has always straddled the two cultures, dispelling misconceptions and treasuring her love of both. Recently, Cityzen by Azin’s fundraising campaign in support of the Mahsa Amini movement in Iran was featured on the Today Show, connecting American women across the nation to their sisters across the globe and helped raise thousands of dollars in funds towards the support of the movement.
Miriam Nouri is an entrepreneur and community activist. Born in Tehran, Iran, she moved to the United States in 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war. She returned to Iran for high-school where she attended the International Girls School before returning to the States for college. Miriam went on to graduate with a BS in Accountancy and Information Systems from The College of New Jersey, an MFA in Aesthetics & Politics from the California Institute of Arts and a partially finished MFA in Trauma & Violence from New York University. Her background is multi-disciplinary in nature, with her academics focusing mostly on philosophy and politics. Miriam’s thesis at CalArts investigated the trauma to the female body in Iran in two parts: the first through the theoretical lens of subjective, systemic, and symbolic violence in order to understand the role patriarchy has played throughout the centuries in Iran, and the second via an understanding of artwork from a number of contemporary, female Iranian artists that create a critical dialogue against a backdrop of cruelty to the feminine form. After becoming disillusioned with academia, Miriam worked as a production manager in set design in Los Angeles and New York and briefly opened The Millstone Workshop, a coffee shop, retail space and art gallery with her husband, Zachary Huber. Having closed due to Covid, they have since opened the Catskill Workshop, a creative carpentry business. She is also owner of Oak Accounting LLC, an accounting firm for businesses including Chilean wine trade organizations, architectural firms, creative designers, production houses, & non-profit organizations. Miriam, along with her grandmother who caught the attention of many people on Instagram with her message to the Regime, is currently working to support the protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini by amplifying the voices of protestors and journalists inside Iran to support the revolution via social media. Currently, she hosts a website at www.nonucleardeal.com where you can contact your representatives and the International Criminal Court to urge them to investigate and denounce the Islamic Regime.
Pareesa Pourian is a painter and poet. She received an MFA in Painting from Rutgers University and did her undergraduate studies in painting and philosophy at Louisiana State University. She currently teaches painting and creative writing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and lives in Delhi, NY.