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Maryam Zar
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Maryam is a former correspondent in Iran and current Founder of Womenfound.

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.

Entries by Maryam Zar

Inspiration Through Film -- A Festival

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 1:57 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 | 6:55 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 | 4:32 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 | 5:45 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 | 4:00 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 | 5:17 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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Truth In Advertising and Misleading a Generation

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 9:36 PM

"Every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a 9-year-old boy, the arms of...
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A Film Festival for the Persian New Year

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 6:51 PM

Tucked into the posh season of film festivals is LA's very own niche film screening and award ceremony at the LACMA, sponsored by Farhang Foundation.

Farhang means culture in the Persian language. It is a word used in many countries across Central Asia, the Caucuses and the Middle East....

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This Year on International Women's Day Let Us Resolve to Come Together and Amplify Our Voice

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2014 | 4:32 AM

When I first started Womenfound, if I ran a Google search for "women's organizations," I wouldn't get much of what I was looking for by way of aid organizations. Today if I type the same search term, Google will deliver pages and pages of relevant results for me. In fact...

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Persian Women and a movement in LA to mark International Women's Day

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 3:17 AM

America has always been a welcoming abode for many who leave their own lands behind in search of the freedom to live in peace and thrive. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless,...

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Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 6:04 AM

Ambassador Samantha Power was in LA on Sunday, to give a commemorative speech at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall, presented by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, UCLA Hillel and the Burkle Center.

The 2014 Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture - "The War on Truth (and what we must do to win it)" -- By...

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Of Air and Freedom -- Going for a Run in Tehran

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 1:09 PM

This morning as I was jogging I remembered what it was like to go for a jog in Iran.

The stifling plastic garment called a "badgyr" (wind catcher) I had to wear over my body in order to look gender neutral, lest the gaze of a male graze my...

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Iran, Are you Serioulsy Suing for CIA Coup?

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 12:51 PM

Dear Iran,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on joining the international community, and taking to the courts to air your grievances, rather than the streets where you usually settle the score.

Second, as a child of the 1979 revolution which I didn't support, and the...

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Miley Cyrus and the Disempowerment of Women

(13) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 3:34 PM

I hate to get in on the Miley Cyrus debate, and I wouldn't if it weren't for the comments her dad, Billy Ray, has made. He admonished us for being disgusted with his daughter and for our national cry to have her tone it down. He implored us to look...

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L.A. -- Housecall Doctor on the Roam...

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 12:35 PM

If you live in Los Angeles you are really lucky. Not because the sun shines incessantly or because you may bump into a celebrity while shopping for groceries, getting your latte or settling in for a mani-pedi, but because you have the House Call Doctor.

Yup, in the year 2013...

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A Letter to My Daughter: Women Leading Around the World

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 12:05 AM

This post is part of the Global Mom Relay. Every time you share this blog, $5 will go to women and girls around the world. Scroll to the bottom to find out more.

On International Women's Day, my daughter asked me why the world was run by men....

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Another Shoe Is Thrown

(4) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 10:23 AM

On the first state visit of an Iranian leader to the nation of Egypt since 1979, during a visit that alarmed many, a shoe has been thrown.

In 1979, the then secularist government of Anwar Sadat allowed the then ousted Shah of Iran to land in Egypt...

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Learning to Give, Early

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 11:35 AM

Ever since I founded Womenfound, right here in Brentwood, mothers and daughters in my community have been asking me how they can get involved in charity and instill in their children from a young age the concept of doing good and giving back.

I often look for charitable outlets in...

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Farewell Madame Secretary

(3) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 10:50 AM

When Rand Paul told Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that if he were president he would have relieved her of her duties over the Benghazi attack, he must have just been crawling out of the yolk of a daydream right there on the Senate floor. Because he's...

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Letting Go - All Too Soon

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 5:41 PM

I was seven the first time I went away from home. I lived in Iran and my parents sent me off to Switzerland for summer camp. I have thought for years if shipping my brother and me off each summer tugged at their heart strings a little.

Recently I've given...

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