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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

On a Mission to Introduce Culture to Children's Content

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 6:49 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 | 12:06 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 | 8:19 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 | 3:37 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 | 3:25 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 | 4:54 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

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 7:06 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 | 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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