Culturally Centered: Alum Nobari Creates Iranian Diaspora Studies Center at SF State

Friday, December 16, 2016
SF STATE MAGAZINE -- Fascinated by these scattered communities away from their shared place of origin, and with a renewed commitment to her cultural identity, Nobari gave a $5 million gift to SF State to create a center for Iranian Diaspora studies. The center will connect these Iranian diaspora communities and, just as importantly, broaden the field of Iranian studies by focusing on understudied disciplines. “The first generation of Iranian immigrants had three career options: doctor, lawyer or engineer,” Nobari says, citing commonly pursued professions. “But our children have had more options. Many, often armed with advanced degrees, have shown increased interest in the humanities, social sciences, art and film. This center is meant to provide a platform for these diversified areas of interest.” Choosing SF State for the center was easy for her. It’s where she was “emancipated, liberated ... I saw endless possibilities,” she recalls of her awakening of opportunities and ideas.