International Conference at SF State Brings Iranian American Diaspora Together

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Two black and white photos on bulletin board of Bella and Bendad Warda from 1970s
Bay Area resident Bella Warda, pictured with her brother Bendad Warda in the 1970s, is part of a documentary on Iranians in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of Bella Warda.

SF WEEKLY -- It’s no coincidence that SFSU is hosting. The conference is put on by the University’s Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, the first academic institution of its kind. In November, SFSU announced the center, along with its Documentary Film Institute, would produce We Are Here, We Have Always Been Here to document the Bay Area’s Iranian diaspora — another first.

“I want to sort of show that it’s not a homogenous community. It’s not just the post-1979 upper class,” says Persis Karim, We Are Here co-director and the center’s director. “It’s about the Bay Area and the way the Bay Area has influenced them, as much as they’ve influenced the Bay Area.”