Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley


Persian Studies at San Jose State University is happy to announce the public launch of the "Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley" project (see link above),  a digital storytelling project initiated and directed by Persian Studies co-director, Dr. Persis Karim. This project was the result of a grant from Cal Humanities and the Community Stories project which aims to support innovative projects that highlight California's diverse ethnic, racial and immigrant populations.  With the assistance of Clint Gilbert of the Center for Digital Storytelling. "Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley" involved extensive interviews with members of the Iranian American community and their willingness to share their stories, photos and memories. This project, a pilot for which we hope to secure additional funding, gives voice to the diverse and fascinating experiences of members of the Iranian-American community in Silicon Valley. It features stories by first-generation immigrants, exiles, and those second-generation immigrants and American-born children whose experiences represent the hyphenated American experience.

We hope you enjoy listening and viewing the ten stories about the pioneering and important work and lives of these ten Iranian-Americans: Zohre Elahian, Nahal Iravani-Sani,  Mo Gorjestani, Azin Izadifar, Shirindokht Nourmanesh, Michael Nejad, Hashem Kardevani, Lily Sarafan, and Sarah Aghazadeh, online and that you will share Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley with others. These stories and the people who share their narratives are part of the fabric and color of Silicon Valley and their contributions are part of the uniqueness of California and this region.

Please click on the Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley (on the Persian Studies menu above) to view the ten stories.

We welcome your contributions to continuing this project and building an archive of stories about the journeys, successes, and experiences of Iranian Americans in Silicon Valley. To donate to this project and Persian Studies, contact Dr. Persis Karim ( and Dr. Shahin Gerami (


SJSU Offers Persian Language Classes this Fall 


In the fall 2014 semester, SJSU will be offering two sections of Persian language/culture. These courses, made possible with a grant from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute grant, will enable both matriculated and non-matriculated student (register through Open University), to receive 3 units for beginning and intermediate Persian. Naciem Nikkhah, our wonderful Persian language instructor will be teaching Persian 1A and Persian 25A (intermediate language and culture). You can find out more about these wonderful classes from the posters below. Please email Naciem Nikkhah in order to register! The cost to Open University students is $150 for three units. SJSU students can register and can qualify for a $500 scholarship (you must apply by July 1st). 

For more information, contact, or call 408 924-4476. SJSU students may exceed the 16-unit cap if they elect to take this foreign language. 

See Flyers below