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Maryam Zar
Maryam is a former correspondent in Iran and current Founder of Womenfound as well as the VP of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Chair of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness.

In 2010, Maryam Founded Womenfound, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of women in underdeveloped parts of the world, as well as raising money for charities and foundations that help them. She is mother to 3 as well as a wife, daughter, sister and humanitarian. She is active in her community and works closely with local officials on matters of community interest. She is a regular commentator on a wide range of issues.

Entries by Maryam Zar

An Elder Statesman Dies Taking Memories of an Iran Gone-By

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2016 | 10:31 PM

In 1972 Tehran was named a "Sister City" to Los Angeles. It joined the likes of Athens, Bordeaux, San Salvador and Vancouver. The man who was responsible for the accolade died last week in Boston. Perishing with him were the memories and stories of a generation of statesmen from an...

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How We View the Refugee Crisis -- Not Ours, But Theirs

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 10:41 PM

Yes, there is a refugee crisis.

People are taking flight from their homes and fleeing toward a horrifying unknown, because what they see bearing down on them is hellish.

Sure it's easy to say go back and fix your own societies. Or to say don't come here because we like...

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Meandering Through History, "Off the Radar"

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 6:47 PM

Today is the 36th anniversary of the US Embassy takeover by Iranian revolutionaries. That fateful day gave rise to the ensuing "Hostage Crisis", which lasted 444 days - and started less than two weeks after the Shah of Iran had been admitted to the US for Cancer treatment by then...

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Common Core - Still Being Tested

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 11:21 PM

In 2012 the Los Angeles Unified School District rolled in a new way of teaching - adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia - hoping for a new way of leveled-playing-field learning, that is now commonly known as common core.

It was touted as "the first-ever national framework...

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LA Chapter of UN Women Discusses Female Genital Cutting

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2015 | 9:11 PM

This blog post will be part of a continuing series in conjunction with the LA Chapter of the US National Committee (USNC) for UN Women, and the chapter's Founder & President, Cathy Hillman. UN Women's vision is a world in which societies are free of gender-based discrimination, where women and...
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The Image of a Government Versus the Face of its People

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 10:06 AM

Of all the U.S. foreign policy strategies in the Middle East that are at odds and need to be steadied, Iran is the one this administration is banking its legacy on. Whereas most presidents before him would hinge their legacies on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mr. Obama has banked his political...

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An #IranDeal Tied to Humanitarian Measures

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 6:10 AM

On this international day of friendship, I am prompted to think of the #IranDeal that is so fresh on the minds of many in the work of international friend making. This is no pact between friends, but it does present an opportunity for some straight talk between frenemies.

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On a Mission to Introduce Culture to Children's Content

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 7:49 PM

Being a Persian woman, involved in the empowerment of women across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, March gives me a unique opportunity to write. This is the month of Women's awareness with International Women's Day on the 8th and Women's History month throughout, as well as NoRooz,...

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The Spirit of Public Service

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 1:06 PM

Would you give away $50,000 of your salary?

Would you do it if you believed in something? Perhaps a cause greater than yourself?

That is the true spirit of public service. In our Founding days when our forefathers were contemplating the building blocks of what would become a great nation,...

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Make Not Bake Finally Comes to a School Near You

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 9:19 AM

Are you a foodie?

If you haven't trained your taste buds to crave only a narrow definition of tasty, and are willing to take forays into the world of undefined flavors, and can convince your kids to come with you on the journey to taste flavors made with good things...

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Orange Is the Call of Our Generation

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 4:37 AM

Eliminate violence against women.

In fact, eliminate gender based violence all together and teach tolerance to a new generation that is tasked with solving some of humanity's thorniest issues. The next generation will face food scarcity, water insecurity, repressive freedoms everywhere and a dwindling freedom of speech that is already...

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Tolerance for Women and Girls in Afghanistan, Not Silence

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 4:25 PM

There was an assassination attempt in Kabul last week.

Shukria Barakzai, Afghan feminist leader, member of parliament, and outspoken politician who was critical of Taliban, was targeted for assassination this week. She survived. But three bystanders, including a young girl, did not. Shukria was hunted to be silenced because...

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A State Senate Race Tied to Personal Appeal

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 5:54 AM

Within the next week, Angelenos have some choices to make.

Today was the last day to register to vote in the November 4th elections which will fill more than 20 public service roles, as well as a number of ballot measures across wide policy divides. Politics is front and...

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Day of the Girl Child -- Empower 2014

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 8:06 PM

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11th as the "International Day of the Girl Child", in an effort to bring stark recognition to the universal truth that girl's rights are commonly withheld around the globe, and the challenges they face are...

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Inspiration Through Film -- A Festival

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 2:57 AM

"Let there be Light" -- The phrase is often used as a metaphor for letting the truth be known and dispelling misinformation. In the case of Noor Film Festival, that objective is achieved. Launched in 2007, Noor Film Festival's mission was to shed light on Iranian culture through the medium...

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A Survivor's Story Becomes a Silicon Valley Dream Come True and a Calling to Give Back

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 7:55 PM

In a community replete with success stories, not often are there equally impressive tales of philanthropy. Bita Daryabari changes that.

As a Persian woman who came to the US as an immigrant child, and learned to assimilate under the bitter nightly news of American hostages being held in Iran, and...

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Ode to a Girl on the Day My Daughter Turns 13

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 5:32 PM

On the day my daughter turns 13, I am prompted to think back to when I was 13 and had only been in the States for three years. Though I spoke English, I surely still felt out of place and wondered if I would ever feel comfortable in my new...

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The Good Spy -- A Book Review and a Commentary

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 6:45 PM

In 1979, while I was living through a revolution in Iran that brought my family and I first to France then to the States, the shifting elements that make the Middle East the perpetual tinder box that it is were aligning in Lebanon for a firestorm that would last well...

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Bring LA and Kabul Together With Poetry & Song

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 5:00 AM

At a time when most of the news about women in the developing world consists of the violence perpetrated against them, from Nigeria and the kidnapped girls whose greatest sin was to want an education, to Papua New Guinea where we learn that 7 out f 10 women have experienced...

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Mother's Day From Near and Far

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 6:17 PM

On the approach to Mother's Day, there's the frivolous smell of flowers in the air, the spur of reservations abound and the light giggle of moms anticipating the bounties of Mother's Day. Restaurants displaying colorful graphics of luscious salads and decadent deserts color my drive around town, from school drop-offs...

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