Bita Daryabari, MS
Founder & Executive Director
Bita Daryabari embodies the spirit of humanist philanthropy. She received her Master’s degree at Golden Gate University in California, where she was awarded Alumni of the Year in 2008. Upon graduation, she joined GammmaLink, Inc., one of the early pioneers in the field of telecommunications. She later moved to MCI Communications where, more than once, she received distinguished awards and recognition for her work. On a personal level, Ms. Daryabari has had a long-standing passion for increasing knowledge of her native Iranian culture, as well as improving the lives of people from Iran and beyond. She has started Pars Equality Center, a community foundation in 2010 to support the full integration of people of Persian (Iranian) origin in the United States, including refugees, asylees, immigrants and the American-born; and to advocate for their perspectives in American society. She works to create a more just and compassionate community in which Iranians of all cultures and beliefs can participate.
Her work in her field of expertise has always been accompanied by her interest in the world of ideas and literature; particularly, the poetry and prose of her native Iran. In 2008, she created the Bita Daryabari Endowment in Persian Letters at Stanford University, enabling the university to not only hire visiting and full-time professors of Persian literature, but also providing the necessary funds for the Iranian Studies Program to organize conferences, teach more courses in Persian language for all levels of proficiency, and offer the annual Bita Award in Persian Letters.
Her charitable work, primarily focused through the Unique Zan Foundation, is not limited to Iran and its literature, or Asia and its women. Ms. Daryabari is working with a number of charitable organizations, including The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), founded by Sakeena Yacoobi, an internationally known women’s human rights activist. Their latest collaboration includes the building of an all-girls school in Kabul. In her next project, Ms. Daryabari is enabling the training of Afghan women by providing micro-financing through organizations such as AIL and Creating Hope International. In 2008, Ms. Daryabari joined forces with Relief International and the Skoll Foundation, to build a women’s center in West Bank Palestinian Territory. Other philanthropic endeavors include: collaboration with Moms Against Poverty (MAP) educating and empowering girls at Shaheed Shojaie Orphanage in south of Tehran, Iran, donation to the British Museum and Iran Heritage Foundation for the Shah Abbas Exhibition; funding Iranian Artists through Venice Biennale to display their work for the first time after 30 years of solitude in 2009; and contributions to the UCSF Mission Bay Neuroscience Research Building, which will open in 2012; Bita Daryabari Scholarship Program For Women of Middle East in Business and Law at Golden Gate University. Ms. Daryabari also serves as a Visionary Circle Member of the X-Prize Foundation. Ms. Daryabari was named Philanthropist of the Year by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) in 2010 and Alumni of the Year by Golden Gate University in 2008.
Sarvenaz “Nazy” Fahimi, Esq.
Law Department Director/Assistant to the Executive Director
As a Minnesota native, Ms. Fahimi began her career at a mid-sized Minneapolis law firm where her practice was focused upon various areas of commercial litigation. She moved to the Bay Area and continued to focus her practice upon all aspects of litigation and advising both individuals and corporations. Ms. Fahimi brings her passion for zealously fighting for individual rights and justice to Pars Equality Center in order to serve the Iranian-American Community.
Ms. Fahimi received her Bachelor of Arts in criminology and law in 1998 from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2001, she earned her Juris Doctor from Marquette University Law School, cum laude, and served as an Editor of the Marquette Law Review. She is a Member of Alpha Sigma Nu, National Jesuit Honor Society and is admitted to practice in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and District of Minnesota.
Director of Social Services
Since coming to US in 1988 Reza has dedicated his life to others, especially refugees and asylees. Whether developing social service programs, organizing a refugee cultural celebration, speaking at a national conference, advocating for refugees and immigrants, visiting a homebound disabled person, or working to prepare refugees for their first jobs in America, Reza brings a marvelous mix of energy, compassion and joy to the people with whom and for whom he works.
During his twenty years with refugee programs in Santa Clara County, Reza used his skills to welcome and resettle newcomers from around the world. There he helped found the County’s Refugee and Immigrant Leadership Forum, chaired the Statewide California Refugee Forum and the Santa Clara County Refugee Forum, and served two terms on the State Advisory Committee (SAC) on refugee issues. He now brings his considerable skills and practical experience to PARS, tasked with the job of expanding its social services to the needy Iranian-American families and individuals in the Bay Area.
In May 2001 Reza was personally honored by the Dalai Lama as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion” at a special ceremony in San Jose, CA.
Ms. Ghorashi brings her high energy, her passion for our work, and her strong communication and organizational skills, to help support our team. Upon graduation she started her own business, called Pars Communications, and contracted with local television stations such as ABC (Channel 7), PBS (Channel 62). She also contracted with companies such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, and Volkswagen for their video and production division. Here, she specialized in industrial training, sales, and marketing video presentations, as well as time management and distance learning for Ford employees via satellite and internet. Other projects include work with Steven Spielberg on Survivors of Shoah, a documentary on survivors of the Jewish Holocaust. Ms. Ghorashi also spent over 14 years in the mortgage industry, specializing in governmental loans to low income families and loans to employees who were relocated by their employers. Ms. Ghorashi graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a specific focus on radio and television.
Sepehre Amirjahed joins Pars’ social services department coming from the heart of America - Kansas City, Missouri. Sepehre attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he completed his studies in the field of Administration of Justice. Since then, Sepehre has worked in the judicial system as an interpreter for ten years. He also has worked as an independent contractor with health service organizations as an interpreter for newly arrived refugees, immigrants and naturalized citizens requiring guidance in the languages of French, Parsi, Dari, and Pashto. His multicultural experiences offer a broad and well-rounded perspective for partnering in our endeavor to serve our community of refugees.
Sholeh was born and raised in Tehran until the age of four. She initially moved to Pakistan, then Switzerland, and eventually to the United States. Despite moving around the world, her love for Iran and Iranian culture always remained strong and she was determined to learn the language from interactions with friends and families. In the United States, Sholeh received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management Administration from the University of Maryland and went on to work in health care, retail and enviro-safety companies. She brings her passion for serving the Iranian American community and over 30 years of public relations and management skills to her role as office manager at Pars Equality Center.