Performers/ Artists / program


Mehregan 2017 Santana Row




MC of the Program

One of San Francisco’s few Family Business Lawyers™, Yaasha Sabba manages Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory PC and is a part of a larger network of attorneys who view the business of law as flawed.  Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to managing business or personal risk, Yaasha and his team have created one-of-a-kind systems for entrepreneurs and families to use in their legal planning that can keep up with the constantly changing business climate and will proactively position them for continued growth.

Yaasha formerly worked as a patent attorney at Visa Inc. with a portfolio of over 1,500 patents under his team’s management, including the technology behind Apple Pay and Android Pay.  Now, his day-to-day ranges between counseling business owners on their legal, insurance, financial and tax foundations, helping families protect their children and estates, and providing inventors with guidance on expanding their ideas.

Yaasha spends most of the free time he can spare from his own family hosting workshops, mentoring Millenniums and iGens on financial literacy, and giving presentations on personal financial growth, kids protection planning, and asset protection.  Yaasha is known for stating, “Its easier than ever to start growing your family wealth and take control of your life.”




Sabiba grew up surrounded by the arts, her mother having been a National Champion Skater and having several artists in the family. She began dancing ballet, jazz and contemporary and got involved with theatre at a young age. She majored in Theatre Arts and Dance at San Francisco State where she was introduced to various  genres such as Flamenco and Middle Eastern dance. This led to her many accolades as a choreographer and featured performer in Greek and Middle Eastern venues. She has always share her knowledge and joy of the dance through the her teaching.
Sabiba returned to college to earn a Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University. As a Registered Dietitian  specializing in Diabetes Care, she is the Director of Nutrition Services for six out patient clinics within the Gardner Family Health Network. Her work caring for patients is challenging and gratifying but a part of her heart is always with the “dance”. Having a connection to many in the Persian community, she has come to love the elegance, emotion and complexity of the Persian music and dance.
Sabiba is humbled and delighted to find that her interpretation of the dance has been welcomed by the Persian community. On September 21, 2017, she shares the joy of Persian dance in celebration of Persian Fall Festival “Mehregan.”

Ayande Co


Neda Abootorabi, Ariana Kashani, Dorna Mehrkish and Tara Samiee are four Iranian-American women who have been best friends for over a decade. While they enjoy spending time and sharing many laughs and memories together, they also bond through their common passion for Iranian dance. Although they are all working professionals in the real world, they love choreographing Iranian dances together in their free time. They specifically carry interest in advancing the art of Iranian dance by adding modern and unique twists to it.




Neda graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Biology and Public Health Science. After graduating, she first worked at a private pain management clinic and later transitioned to Stanford Hospital’s oncology center as a clinical medical assistant. After gaining exposure to the many different areas of healthcare that exist, Neda decided to pursue a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy; a holistic healthcare profession that helps patients with physical or cognitive impairments achieving independence and participation in their daily activities to living a meaningful life. Neda was attracted to Occupational Therapy because she sees it has a combination of arts and science.

Although Neda has dedicated a significant portion of her life to working in the medical field, she believes that a successful life is a balanced one; one in which you explore your passions alongside your studies and/or career. As an Iranian-American who was born and raised in California, it was always important for Neda to keep her Iranian culture alive within herself. For almost two decades, Neda has been actively involved in traditional and modern Iranian dance classes, choreographies, and performances throughout the Bay Area. In the process, she learned the art of embodying the passion of Iranian music with grace, elegance and confidence. She strives to teach these skills to others. She is also particularly interested in being a voice of inspiration and advocacy for the younger Iranian-American generation who may feel confused in identifying themselves. Neda understands the challenges that come, by trying to bridge two cultures as one, and her goal is to guide Iranian Americans by connecting and learning about their Iranian roots.



Ariana Kashani is a first generation American born and raised in the Bay Area to parents of Iranian descent. She has always been curious about her heritage and embraces both ancient and modern Persian culture by choreographing Persian dances with her best friends, reading Mulla Nasruddin folktales to practice her Farsi, learning to play famous Persian songs on the piano, and frequenting Radio Javan to hear the latest 6 o 8 hits. While in college at University of California Santa Barbara, Ariana was a leader in the Persian Student Group and maintained her close ties to Persian dance by choreographing, teaching, and performing routines for the annual Persian culture show. When she is not working as a technology sales professional, she loves to learn about other cultures and languages by traveling as often as possible. So far, she has been to 45 countries and her goal is to make it to every single one!



Dorna Mehrkish studied business at San Francisco State and since then has been investing in further education as a software designer. When she is not working, her primary hobby is Iranian Dance. What began as a way to stay fit  quickly became a connection to her roots. She believes dance is not just a form of entertainment, but a beautiful conversation rooted in a deep understanding of the audience it serves.



Tara Samiee is an alumna from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently working as a Medical Scribe at El Camino Hospital Emergency Department and applying to medical schools. Tara has been involved with Iranian dance groups since the eighth grade. Through dance, she has strengthened her understanding and appreciation of Iranian culture. Tara enjoys that Iranian dance gives her the opportunity to share her heritage with other communities. She especially loves seeing people of all ethnicities experience and celebrate what is so dear to her—performing traditional choreographies that display the beauty of Iranian culture. These experiences with dance fostered her own interest in seeking out the cultures, values, and experiences of others.



Faranak’s passion for music started at the tender age of 5 when she started playing the piano. She studied music and theory privately in Iran until she emigrated to America, eventually-earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Music and Piano Performance. The inspiration for her music is drawn from her life experiences and is evident in her compositions.

Faranak’s distinctive style has been compared to masters like George Winston and earned her the label of “the female Yanni”.  Her poetic performances touch people’s hearts and have won international acclaim. Experiencing Faranak’s performance leaves audiences with an appreciation for her signature style..

Faranak has performed in many venues including several for industry and celebrity events in California’s beautiful Napa Valley. She completed a Wine Themed Album which was endorsed by the industry legend, Robert Mondavi.

She’s had major stars singing her songs, including Lenny Williams of Tower of Power, Syreeta Wright (Stevie Wonder’s ex-wife), and she also has a piece on the original motion picture soundtrack for Down and Dirty starring Gary Busey.

Faranak’s music is available to experience on Faranak Shahroozi Stations on both Pandora ( and Spotify (





Kimia has been active in the Iranian community since she was 8 years old. As a first generation Iranian American, Kimia believes in the importance of maintaining her culture, through art and music.

She has been apart of Niosha Dance Academy (performing/teaching) for over 20 years.  She began dancing at the age of three with jazz and ballet and then joined Niosha Dance Academy a year later. “Dancing, singing and music save me from all the trials and tribulations that life brings, and without it, I am no one.”  

When Kimia was 18, she ventured out and joined a hip hop competitive dance team.  From there, she joined numerous teams and even competed in the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent. She branched out learning different dance styles to strengthen and flourish her techniques as a dancer. Not only does Kimia teach traditional Iranian dance styles, but also hip hop dance styles to children, teens and adults. She believes that teaching something that you love is never a burden and enjoys every moment she has with the students.  

When she was a teenager, Kimia began to strengthen her singing voice. There has never been a day where she does not sing, whether it is from choir in high school, to back up singing for multiple artists, YouTube videos, and performing in cultural events. She developed her skills throughout high school in choir and consistent vocal lessons. She now performs regularly at different events and was featured on the Iranian hit singing competition show, “Stage”. Besides dedicating her life to dancing and singing, Kimia is also musically inclined with playing Daf, Tombak and Piano.  

Kimia believes that having a well rounded life dedicated to music and education is the key to success. Kimia has obtained her Masters Degree in Social Work and is an inpatient Medical Social Worker at Kaiser Permanente.  





Homa received her M.A. in Educational Psychology from Tehran University..

Her thesis was on Persian grammar and the role of mozaaf and mozafon elayh مضاف و مضافٌ علیه, under the supervision of Dr. Qharib at Tehran University. She received her B.A in Persian Literature. Her thesis was written on the role of women in Divaan-e Nezaami, under Dr. Zabihollah Safa’s supervision.

Homa has served as lecturer in Persian literature to undergraduate students working toward their Bachelor of Arts degree. The course work comprised of teaching the works of various Persian poets/philosophers such as Rumi, Saadi and Khayam. She taught Arabic and Persian to 12th grade students at Bu Ali Senior High School in Tehran. The course work comprised of Grammar, Reading comprehension, and Interpretation. She has also taught philosophy, history, Arabic Instructor. Modern Philosophy course work covered post Hegel theories spanning 19th through 20th centuries. History courses covered the Iranian historical occurrences during the last 300 years. The course work comprised of Grammar, Reading comprehension, and Interpretation.





Babi is born in Tehran-Iran in 1935 in an upper-middle class family.  She married at a very young age of 16.  A year later she gave birth to a baby girl; and was faced to make one of the most critical decisions of her life, which was to pursue her professional career.
She and her sister both were able to pursue their dreams of becoming a mid-wife as they moved to Germany to attend the university (while their supporting mother graciously took care of their 2 toddlers at ages 3 and 2.)

Upon completion of her university, she moved back to Tehran and then went to serve 2 years of service in rural area (kharej as Markaz) before she could work in the capital of Iran, Tehran.

She then got appointed  for 2 years as Colonel “sarhang” in Iranian Air force “niero havayee babolsar” prior to the revolution. She was running and managing her own Gynecology Clinics.

After 2 years working in rural area, She returned back to Tehran and worked in various hospitals where she helped in delivering over three thousand babies.  One of the hospitals being “Hemaateh Madaran” which was then changed to “Farah Hospital,” named after queen Farah Phalavi.  It was at this hospital Queen Farah Pahlavi delivered her first child, son, “Reza Pahlavi Valiahd”

She moved to Germany on December12, 1984 and, then after two years to US, December 12, 1986.  Her husband passed away in 1992; and years later she fell in love and got married to Ron Jon (the love of her life). Her passion is in dancing, and she’s been ballroom dancing for over 25 years.

She has a very active role at the Iranian Federated Women’s Club and Payvand for over 2 decades. She has lead many successful projects such as Iranian Senior gathering at the Cupertino Senior center for 2 years.

She’s been blessed with 3 children; 3 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.  She’s now a full time grandmother & a part time passionate dancer (still teaching, and performing)




Marzieh, is from the Persian Gulf, where she grew up and that’s where she began her journey in dance.
She fled from her country with her family,  as a political refugee to seek freedom and human rights.  She began to explore aspect of her own freedom through dance, as a little girl.  She became adventurous, and started training in yoga, soccer, swimming, hiking and dance.  However, no practice has endured her like dance has.  She believes that dance is in her blood, and that much of this artistic inheritance has led her to explore many other dance genres to form the woman she is today.
Marzieh has taken classes in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Armenian, Azeri, Afghanish, Kurdish Rajashani, Khalijiee, Iraqi,  Egyptian,  Arial Silk dance, and many Persian dances of all styles. Marzieh is a performer and a teacher at cultural and community events.  She currently teaches at Mountain View Community Center every Tuesday.
Her hard work and dedication, and love for her journey is evident in everything from the way she interacts with her students, her audience and in the details of her self made costumes, and her attention to her friends, and family.  Marzieh finds love, dedication, peace, and therapy in dance and, she hopes, that a little of that is shared with you.




Ardeshir, an Iranian-American Cosmetic Dentist (since 1988), Philanthropist, Musician, Sailer, Skier and painter. He holds a B.S. degree in Bio Chemistry and Art from U.C. Santa Cruz. He came to USA in 1976.

“There must be no preconceived idea and each of my paintings is an adventure. When I start to create my forms and shapes of nature, I never know how it will come out. Some times this is the risk that I must take. I almost never visualize a picture in my mind before starting to paint. I do believe that a piece is finished only after one has completely expressed the idea that was there at the start.

Nature, in combination with tattooed experiences of my past is the main source of my “Spontaneous Expressionism”.

To see through my paintings requires one’s own effort, as it requires my effort to create a painting. There is no recipe for beauty.”



Firouzeh Zandi is teaching Computer Science at Diablo Valley College. She has her Bachelors Degree from San Francisco State University, Masters from Cal State University Hayward and has done post graduate work in Computer simulation at UCLA. She loves teaching. Another great passion of her life is Music. She has had enough music classes in college to claim a Minor in Music. Other than vocal classes in college she has worked with renowned Masters such as Ostad Mohseni and Ruhan Parsa. One of her rare talents that is claimed by only a few is to play Santour and sing at the same time. She can sing in Farsi/Persian, English, French and Italian. She likes to sing folkloric Iranian songs to preserve the culture. She also loves to compose poetry.

Because of her love for dancing she has taken classes from Madam Yelena in Iran and numerous workshops with Shahrokh Moskin Ghalam, Sahar Dehghan, Sharlyn Sawyer and Niosha Nafei.

Firouzeh loves to connect people together and has dedicated herself to preserving the culture. She is one of the founders of the Persian Center in Berkeley which hosts many cultural events. At Diablo Valley College, she is the advisor of Persian club which has hosted many beautiful Nowruz shows with over 300 attendees.  She has also helped with Kaanun Mehr and brought many talents to Kaanun to cheer the seniors up. She says “my greatest joy in life is to bring a smile to someone’s face.”




Moein Vahdat is a musician who has been playing piano over 18 years. He has been playing keyboard for the famous Iranian singers in their concerts.
Moein also hosting and directing public and private events. He is familiar with both western as well as Middle Eastern style music.
He can play other instruments like guitar and keyboard and has been tutoring over 10 years.
Moein is a talented musician and singer who can perform on his own or with a band for all occasions.
He is interested in psychology and law.




Michael Stroud, is a 12-time award-winning magician, consultant, inventor, author and lecturer in the art of magic.

His performances range from strolling close-up sleight-of-hand or “street style” magic to grand stage illusions with a live band and a cast of circus performers. He has appeared on radio and television across the US, Japan, Europe, and India and has been featured on a Bill Moyers PBS Special.

He has performed as headline entertainment in 12 countries as well as throughout hotels in Las Vegas and at the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. As an author, his best-selling “Book of Magic” through Klutz Press has sold over 2 million copies. He has been published multiple times and has contributed to 9 titles currently at your local bookstore.

He blends comedy, audience participation, circus skills and many surprises with special effects in his performances. Each show is carefully customized for maximum impact and he performs many classic magic feats as well as inventions of his own you will see no one else perform. His repertoire includes magic from around the world- including esoteric art forms many audiences will never get a chance to see live, in person. 
For his close-up magic, he causes borrowed objects to float in the air, coins turn invisible and reappear right in your own hand, amazing acts of esp and mind-reading, and dextrous abilities with a pack of cards that take years of diligent practice. Your guests will be spellbound and bursts of laughter will be heard rippling through the room in between rounds of applause for an experience you will not forget, by this master of the craft of magical entertainment.


Mystical Maya is a professional performer and one of the original cast members of The Magique Bazaar, the longest running magic company on the West Coast. She began her career as a dancer studying classic dance and eventually embraced several folkloric dance arts including African dance, Middle Eastern dance and Capoeira. Maya joined the cast of the Magique Bazaar in 1998 and quickly became fascinated with the art of illusion, eventually becoming a magic assistant and makeup artist. She is also the owner of Spin Within Yarns and creates unique artisan yarns for weavers and fiber artists.




Fariba Nejat is a leading Iranian-American community organizer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, educator, teacher, engineer and portrait painter. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics from the Shahid Beheshti University (formerly Meli University) in Iran, B.S. in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from the National University in San Jose, California. Before assuming leadership roles with various not-for-profit organizations and in the community, she worked as a technology leader in Silicon Valley, California, and also volunteered with Santa Clara Valley charities.

She became certified high school teacher in Iran and thought Physics and Math till 1983. Her passion of creating teaching technique through science and Art helped her on creating a system to teach Iranian American how to read and write Persian. She became mentors to so many youth in Silicon Valley.

She was featured as “one of the six women who changed the face of Silicon Valley” by the San Jose Mercury News in 2004. She has also produced a number of award-winning artistic paintings and sculptures. For example, one of her paintings, “Beaded Veils from the Gulf,” was prominently-displayed in the Capitol Building in Sacramento as a representative of district 13 of California. Her artwork has culminated in a manifestation titled “Faces in the Crowd” which displays her love for art and people. Of particular achievement in this regard is her work on the portrait painting of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, which included a message of peace by one of the greatest Iranian poets, Sa’di.



Kathy Homara is a New Thought professionally licensed science of mind spiritual leader, speaker, ritualist and officiator and recently completed her Master’s Degree in Consciousness Studies, focused on education, science, psychology, philosophy and world religions. Her passion for understanding human potential and her love for life, science, humanity and the way of the Universe has taken her from the corporate world toward a path of enlightenment and wisdom teaching. She serves, empowers and educates communities to enable them to transform their lives, live their dreams and thrive. Kathy is committed to teaching principles of life, living fully and loving freely.

Currently Kathy serves at the San Jose Center for Spiritual Living, Payvand and Iranian Women’s Federated Club providing spiritual support to people with health, relationship and career discontentment. Kathy also offers classes on foundations of spiritual parenting, principles of life, radical forgiveness, and living powerfully and abundantly. Based on availability, Kathy also offers various ceremonies including weddings and memorial services.

Kathy is environmentally awake. She sees a world that works for everyone and holds the vision for our children and future generations to thrive in peace and harmony on our beautiful blue and green planet. Kathy knows we are borrowing this planet from our children and nurturing our children’s brilliant minds is the key to our futures. She is a dedicated advocate for gifted children. She believes in an education system and curriculum that empowers children and their innovative minds through hands-on experiences, combined with Science of Mind and Spirit wisdom teachings. Kathy is a very artistic, creative and grounded in her spiritual practices such of love, companionship, and peace as the ground of her path to excellence. Kathy believes nurturing the potential of children is one of the most important solutions to our future now. Nurturing our future generation is one of the most important keys to longevity as a thriving human race. Kathy’s natural inclination in the field of human potential along with her organizational skill, and spiritual practices has helped her to live powerfully and overcome many challenges as the mother of two young boys. Kathy loves and values music, dance, nature, and spiritual conscious living as the ground of her being and the welfare of our children and this blue planet.




Armin Agha-Ebrahim coordinates with Payvand to build awareness about Payvand’s special capabilities among community members , while establishing a bridge with in communities in Northern California. Having been born and raised in Silicon Valley, he has a sense of innovation that could only be instilled into him by the countless years spent in the backyards of local tech corporations.

Armin is a recent graduate from Saratoga High School, one of the highest ranking schools in the entire United States, and the intense competition there has only fueled his desire for success. He strives to be the best among his peers not only academically, but athletically as well; Armin was a varsity water polo athlete all four years during his high school career, even being awarded MVP his final year.

With proven leadership, excellent organizational skills, and minute attention to detail, Armin has shown beyond any doubt that he is an extremely valuable team player.

He is currently a dedicated student at De Anza College working towards a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, with plans afterwards to further his mastery of the tech business by enrolling in an MBA program.

Armin is also presently employed as a sales & marketing lead at a tech startup for which he is a crucial cornerstone of the operation, but never allows his work to interfere with his passion for Payvand.

As a proud Iranian-American, Armin hopes to bring the community and its culture closer together by working for Payvand, while making unique connections and furthering his own career.



16 year-old Neeka Mirpour is a teen commissioner at Payvand. Born in Mountain View – California, attending Saratoga High School.  She has a unique, yet educated perspective of the needs of both the youth and the general community around her. She has effectively used her skills to volunteer and closely work with non-profit organizations like the YMCA, and other centers such as retirement homes, tutoring centers, and soup kitchens. Motivated by her immigrant parent’s struggles to initially assimilate into American culture, she wishes to one day mimic their success and drive.
Attending Farsi/Persian school during her childhood, she eventually attained the skills to fluently speak, read, and write Farsi/Persian. As an Iranian-American fully immersed into both cultures, she is impassioned to help other Iranian-Americans keep in touch with their ethnic roots, while simultaneously participating in American culture. She hopes to give motivation to such youth to bring mainstream awareness to the Persian culture.
Her passion for writing has been recognized among her teachers and schools, going as far as winning awards for her achievements. Her other passions also include reading and art. She wishes to one day pursue a career in political science with a background in international affairs.



Amir Kalantar has been working very closely with Payvand for the past year. He serves as a project manager, oversees day to day operations and manages finances. Amir comes from a long line of noteworthy business professionals who have shaped his self-driven and focused mind. At a very young age Amir became a successful investor and entrepreneur. He was later hired as a buyer for a renowned men’s formalwear retail chain. In addition, Amir is a business consultant who works with businesses from various industries. As an Iranian-American, Amir is constantly looking for ways to give to his community. His passion and devotion to helping others is unparalleled.
His achievements don’t distract him from his ultimate goal of becoming a plastic surgeon. Amir’s fascination with plastic surgery began at the very young age of four. While his friends dreamt of becoming presidents, Amir dreamt of how many lives he could enhance through plastic surgery.



Darya is an aspiring doctor currently working hard towards attending UCLA. She is an avid piano player, who’s been playing for 13 years now, attending over 100 piano recitals. She has worked as a piano teacher for a couple years- teaching little kids basic piano skills. Her passion is psychology and her dream is to become a psychiatrist. On top of that, she is working two jobs and prioritizes school.



Born in San Francisco, to an Artistic Family originally from Iran.

From the time of a very young age, he was exposed to all kinds of art, from Traditional Persian miniatures to Modern art, it was at this time he was inspired to work on his own art and do the many whimsical patterns he was so influenced by.

His Father, Mohammad Hourian a renowned Persian miniaturist, known within the Iranian community in the USA, for his gallery, the Hourian Art Gallery on Union Street, took him to museums like, the MOMA, The Legion of Honor, The DeYoung and Asian art museum, where he was inspired by the pieces that were there.

At his Fathers gallery, there were many artists who had shows, Comron was inspired by beauty in the eclectic art that was shown, it was because of this that he was inspired to do art.

One other art gallery owner in particular noticed Comron’s talent, and had two shows for Comron, where he showed his latest work.

One important step in being a good artist is to learn the technique, he is currently studying art at Los Mendanos  college, but wants to continue to study Art and Art history at the Academy of Art of San Francisco, to study the more deep aspects of Art.




She is an Iranian-American Graphic Designer who was founded her Studio in 2005 NAPHIC DESIGNS. Nazli graduated with Graphic Design degree from ALZHRAH (FRAH) University of  Tehran, with Computer Graphic degree from School of Art Chalmers of U.K and with Digital Media & Production degree from West Valley College U.S.A.

Her design history began in Persia, Iran, the country of beauty and color. She combined modern and traditional themes in her unique style. Her works incorporate modern concepts that blend traditional patterns, colors and cultures, making her designs distinct and unique.

Her art projects and designs are still Iranian symbols that have broken geography and political borders.




Artist & Designer

Rima Habibi was born in Hamedan – Iran. She followed her passion in Art and Design since she was a teenager when she moved to USA in1974. She attended High school focussing in Arts and later on pursuing her dream and moved to the capital of the Fashion city,  NYC – USA. 
She attended the school of Cosmetology and got involved in hair coloring and was trained by many famous hair colorist such as, Jon Gunter the father of hair color in Paris, Rome and New York.  She started to work with him in a NYC salon and had  great success and followers for 18 years.   She moved to the Bay Area and worked at Sak’s fifth Avenue salon for a few years. She decided to retire early to concentrate on interior designs for new homes, fashion  and arts.  In addition she is helping seniors to overcome their depression through Art and Socializing.  She is currently  the Chair of the Arts for Loma Prieta American Federated Women’s Club District.



Behnaz Dahmubed is a Zoroastrian Iranian born and brought up in India. She has a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from one of the prestigious university in India, namely University of Bombay.

She is a multilingual, fluent in English, Dari, Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi, as a result she learnt to speak Farsi on her own by interacting with the Persians.

She has worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for high tech companies for over 20 years. She is now decided to take a different career path where she can balance her work life. Currently, she is working on getting her Certification in Floral Designing, which she enjoys thoroughly.

She is a very devoted mother to her two kids and a caring daughter to her frail mother.



Jackie Tu is working at Santa Clara County to help people to enroll into different health assistance program. She loves to participate in community volunteer work and helping the community members of multi-cultural to achieve their goal with education. She works as a liaison to link services to community members in need medical and social services. Her hobbies ranges from cooking, baking, gardening, and traveling.





Sahar Jalali was born in Iran until the age of 5, she moved to California and was raised in the Bay Area. She has attended San Francisco State and is currently attending San Jose State University majoring in Business/Marketing. She is currently writing a book by the name of  ” The Humble Awakening”, in the hopes of opening eyes to things such as our food behavior, government, depression, the divine feminine and male ego. She is also in the process of starting a non profit in the hopes of helping children of color overcoming depression, anxiety in their communities. Another one of her goals include  helping communities  and starting her own business.



Alan is a Vietnamese-American web designer who graduated from Santa Clara University. He has spent a majority of his career working in IT but has recently left his job at Stanford University to transition into web development. He has been working on the community website for the past few months. He came to Payvand wanting to break into a culture he wished to learn more about and the diversity of the community that he lives in.



Andy Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in San Jose. Currently, he is enrolled at San Jose State University as a BFA student majoring in Art and Photography and Minor in Art of Education. Nguyen creates photograph, which reflect and communicate the landscapes, nature and lifestyle of people living in America from different communities. Nguyen is passionate about this subject because he captured the beauty of cultural dance in our community. He wish to capture the essence of the subject’s personality and the unique lifestyle that forms the individual beauty of the person being photographed. A multicultural society would encompass people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures living and working together. Nguyen have been exploring the ideas of cultural leveling; beliefs of one culture are spread around to others for our next generation. Visitors can experience lifestyles on different ethnicities in our community. They can sample traditional dance in each season from different countries such as India, Iran, Mexico and Vietnam. Photography is Nguyen passion and his eyes are viewing the uniqueness from many countries and all of its diverse people.



Neda Khalafi (Urmia, Iran), is a creative designer who earned her Bachelors and Masters degree in Industrial design from Art University of Tehran (2006-2009), and a few years later she graduated with a MS degree in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2014. While design has always been her true passion, a combination of these two academic educations has enabled her to become a multifaceted designer who can come up with practical and creative solutions. Neda’s work is best described as union of simplicity and emotion with a mixture of pattern, color and texture from Iran. Her portfolio is not limited to a specific area. She works in a broad range of fields including graphic design, jewelry design, furniture and interior design. Having trained in painting, sculpture and fashion, she brings a unique artistic perspective to each work to enhance today’s lifestyles.





Banafsheh (Bana) Nemati, graduated from California state university long beach in field of civil engineering. She is also a professional engineer in state of California. She has more than 24 years’ work experience both in public and private sector. She loves art and believes that all Persian people are artist.
As a woman she loves to shop!  Her collection is a small sample of Persian arts from all corners of Iran.
Mrs. Nemati is also the designer of a new jewelry “Cleavator” . This is a first jewelry that is ever designed for cleavage control. The website is 
She believes art can be used as therapy for one’s mind and soul.
 “This year I will bring a unique variety of art works from Iran. The selection includes Persian tapestry “termeh”, beautiful handmade table covers in exotic colors from “Sistan” and “Balochestan”, handmade jewelry including rings, necklace in traditional designs. Beautiful leather bag from holy city of “Mashad”, Copper tray from “Isfahan”. Handmade “Torkaman” cushions with colorful beads and much more.  All these unique pieces represent different arts from all corners of Iran. “



Book 1 – “Rostam: Tales of the Shahnameh” introduces us to the story of Rostam & Sohrab – the most famous of all Shahnameh stories. It starts with Rostam meeting Princess Tahmineh in Turan (Iran’s fiercely independent neighbor Kingdom) and ends with Rostam facing one of his most difficult challenges – his own son Sohrab!


Book 2 – “Rostam: Return of the King” is a prequel to the Rostam & Sohrab story, which tells us how The King (Kai-Kavous) meets and falls in love with Princess Soodabeh in Hamavaran, and subsequently gets himself captured and thrown into a dungeon. Yet again, Rostam has to step in and defeat his country’s enemies and he manages to save the throne from being usurped by Afrasiab.


Book 3 – “Rostam: Battle with the Deevs” continues with the story immediately after Sohrab’s death in Book 1. After giving Sohrab an honorable burial, Rotsam is forced to battle his own internal demons as well as the red and ultimately the great White Deev! Rostam seeks forgiveness for his sins and ultimately finds peace by taking Siavash under his wing.


Book 4 – “Rostam: Search for the King” The story begins by chronicling the story of Zal & Rudabeh, the birth of their son Rostam and the Simurgh. It continues with Sam meeting Rostam and ends with the story of Rotsam and Zal’s joint quest to find the King to succeed Kai-Kobad (after his death at the hands of a young Afrasiab).

Bio of Creators:

While growing up in Iran creators Jamshid Douraghy, Cameron Douraghy and Bruce Bahmani were avid comic book readers. From this they learned the power of this genre in teaching youth through the graphic novel format. 30 years later they got together to create the worlds first comic book adapted from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. Targeting our youth growing up in diaspora, this is often the first exposure they have with medieval Persian literature. Winner of the International Golden Lioness award and featured on PBS, Frontline, The BBC and Voice of America: Rostam is quickly becoming mainstream and gaining a following outside of our community.



 John  is doing Portrait for 35 years. His mentor, Lee Tacang, taught drawing at Foothill and De Anza colleges for 33 years.  John’s goal in a portrait is to catch the essence of the person more than simply a lightness. He likes the term amateur which indicates a love for what you are doing.  If people ask him ” is this your profession?,” he responds the word is passion more than profession.





Since 2007, La Patisserie Bakery has been owned by two successful women, Fariba Mirpour and Mojgan Damaghani. Their passion and creativity in the art of pastries has led them into running a business that has been a favorite go to bakery for many people in the Silicon Valley.  Mojgan and Fariba’s mission is to provide the finest desserts and pastries at reasonable prices. They take pride in what they do and their products are baked fresh daily; they use the finest ingredients with no preservatives or artificial flavors.

They also believe in giving back to the community each month by donating baked goods to non-profit organizations.