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Alumni Testimonials

"I am Zahra Abbasian, a Phd student in Chemical & Materials Engineering Department at NMSU. I live here in the US with my husband and my 7-year old daughter. I have been receiving the Arasteh Foundation support since last semester. Arasteh Foundation scholarship helps me and my family a lot. I have been able to spend much time to concentrate on my study and gain several achievements during this time with Arasteh’ support. I have made a good progress in my research as I have three journal articles ready to submit now. Spending time efficiently on my courses without any financial concerns led me to a 4.0 GPA in last semester, as well. Being more efficient in my studies and research has made me even a more capable mom at home. Without all of your continued support I just could not have made this happen. I greatly appreciate Arassteh Foundation and all donors’ help."

Zahra Abbasian

I want to commence my message by thanking the Arasteh Foundation and its donors to their good wills of supporting Iranian students, particularly in these hard times. I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the Moving Image Studies Program at Georgia State University (GSU). Also, I have recently received the Graduate Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) from GSU. I received my Masters of Art in Cinema/Film Studies from the University of Tehran. My research interests in GSU focus on Iranian Cinema, Feminism and Queer Theory, Visual Culture Studies, Film Aesthetics and Narrative, and Diaspora and Exile Film. I am currently doing research on Iranian women filmmakers, representation of women in Iranian Cinema, and gender and sexuality in Iranian Cinema.
Structural disempowerment of arts and cultural studies under the auspices of the Islamic Republic is an infamous fact. In addition, arts and social sciences in America, particularly culture and media studies, suffer from insufficient funding, which is exacerbated under the Trump administration. Therefore, any support of the Iranian students who are celebrating the globally revered Iranian art and culture in American universities, either through the practice of art or through their theoretical analyses of the topics, is a donation well made and a capital well invested.
As a major part of my funding as a Ph.D. student at GSU, I am required to teach each semester. Arasteh foundation's scholarship, awarded to me this year, empowered me to negotiate the course that I was assigned to teach during the Fall 2019 semester. As a result, I was able to convince the School of Film, Media, and Theatre in GSU to give me the chance of teaching a Senior Seminar in Iranian Cinema for the undergraduate film students in GSU which, according to the associate director of the school, was offered for the first time in a century-long history of GSU. In the end, I want to thank you once more for your generous support of the students who will form the future professionals of the Iranian-American community.

Navid Darvishzadeh

In a recent conversation with Mohadeseh, she first and foremost expressed her extreme gratitude to Arasteh-Amin Foundation sharing that it is her scholarship which is covering her living expenses and allowing her to stay in the U.S. With no other source of funding, and the plummeting value of the currency in Iran; Mohadeseh faced the likelihood that she would have to return to Iran without being able to complete her mission in obtaining her PhD in Applied Linguistics. Mohadesh, a graduate student of Ferdosi University in Mashad was give a grant as a top student in 2017 with a GPA of 19.5 of possible 20 to travel abroad to the U.S. to further research her dissertation on Education/Technology (developing a software to teach English as a second language to undergrad students). She first arrived in Virginia where she worked several months as a visiting scholar under her professor. After a few months, her professor was given an opportunity to relocate to a university in Minnesota; it was at this time that she realized it was not practical to follow her professor there and began a quest to locate another university that would allow her to complete her mission and was accepted at U.C. Santa Cruz. Upon relocation Mohadesh has continued to work diligently and is making great progress despite the extreme financial burden, at one time so heavy she could not afford health insurance. "In the situation of chaos and hopelessness I found Arasteh which has really changed my situation. This has been my sole source of covering my living expenses at this time. When we are provided the facilities provided to us here and abroad; we can show our capability. I will be forever grateful for your assistance and cannot express what a difference you have made in my life."

Mohadeseh Khazaee


Educationis the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."