2007.05.01: May 1, 2007: Headlines: COS - Iran: the third Goal: Payvand News of Iran: RPCV Gretchen Kafoury is a member of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in Portland Oregon

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Iran: Peace Corps Iran : Peace Corps Iran: Newest Stories: 2007.05.01: May 1, 2007: Headlines: COS - Iran: the third Goal: Payvand News of Iran: RPCV Gretchen Kafoury is a member of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in Portland Oregon

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-254-10-11.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Sunday, August 05, 2007 - 12:06 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Gretchen Kafoury is a member of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in Portland Oregon

RPCV Gretchen Kafoury is a member of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in Portland Oregon

Among the other members of AIFC is Gretchen Kafoury, a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran during the 1960s. She recalled her two years in Iran with great fondness and calls her work there “life-changing.” Of the group’s formation, she says it was part of an effort to put a human face on Iran and to emphasize its 5,000-year history. “It’s a rich, wonderful country that should be viewed in a much broader context than [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad,” she said.

RPCV Gretchen Kafoury is a member of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in Portland Oregon

Unlikely Ties Connect Iran and Portland, Oregon

By Steve Holgate, USINFO Special Correspondent

Iranian-American community encourages friendship

Portland, Oregon -- At first the connection between Shiraz, Iran, and Portland, Oregon, appears negligible. Yes, Shiraz is the City of Roses and Nightingales, and so is Portland -- except for the nightingales. One of Portland’s few noted authors, the late Terrence O’Donnell, wrote a classic volume of reminiscences set on a farm in the Iranian countryside not far from Shiraz. And a number of vineyards in Portland’s home state of Oregon grow Shiraz grapes.

Yet the unlikeliest ties can prove unexpectedly strong, and a recent flurry of events in Portland shows that a surprisingly multifaceted relationship exists between Iran -- Shiraz in particular -- and this medium-size city in the green and mountainous northwest corner of the United States.

Among the city’s recent actions: Portland Mayor Tom Potter declared the first day of “Nowruz” (Persian New Year) as “Persian Culture Appreciation Day”; Portland’s City Council passed a resolution that, among other things, declared friendship between the city and the people of Iran; and the city declared its intent to become a sister city with Shiraz. Portland State University, the city’s largest institution of higher education, recently re-established a professorship in Persian language and studies after a break of several decades.

Such a multidimensional list of connections cannot be attributed to one person or even to one group, but much of the impetus behind the relationship comes from a group called the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC). AIFC, an informal gathering of local Iranian Americans, former Peace Corps volunteers and others who have traveled, lived or studied in Iran, was formed in 2006 to strengthen ties between Portland and Iran.


Among the other members of AIFC is Gretchen Kafoury, a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran during the 1960s. She recalled her two years in Iran with great fondness and calls her work there “life-changing.” Of the group’s formation, she says it was part of an effort to put a human face on Iran and to emphasize its 5,000-year history. “It’s a rich, wonderful country that should be viewed in a much broader context than [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad,” she said.

For many years an elected official in the Portland area, and at one time a member of the Portland City Council, Kafoury spearheaded AIFC’s efforts to win City Council approval of the resolution expressing friendship with Iran and pledging to undertake a sister city relationship with Shiraz.

Many of the same people who formed the AIFC were also members of a group that worked with Portland State University to re-establish a tenured professor’s position in Farsi within the university’s highly regarded Middle East Studies Center. Speaking of the justification for the position, Eghtedari told USINFO: “It’s obvious to anybody that Iran plays an important role in the region. Being able to have some folks who can speak the language, read the newspapers … is necessary.”

Eghtedari and Kafoury share with other members of the group a strong belief that Iranian-American friendship has much to offer the people of both countries. Eghtedari estimates that there are 1.5 million to 2 million Iranian-Americans in the United States, of whom about 10,000-15,000 live in the Portland area. “One of the things [Iranians] bring is family values,” he says, adding that like Americans, Iranians are open about adapting to other cultural influences.

Of the United States, Eghtedari said, “It’s a global culture and influences many people beyond its borders.” He added that the United States is a champion of the classic liberal political model of open expression and representative government, a model that continues to exert a powerful interest, even in Iran.

For all the differences between Iran and the United States, it is clear that Eghtedari and Kafoury believe the peoples of both countries have much to learn from each other. When seen in this way, the unlikely connection between Portland and Shiraz does not seem so unlikely after all.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: May, 2007; Peace Corps Iran; Directory of Iran RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Iran RPCVs; The Third Goal; Oregon; Peace Corps Library; Peace Corps Directory; Peace Corps History; Bulletin Board; Peace Corps Headlines

When this story was posted in August 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings Date: July 25 2007 No: 1178 Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings
Read PCOL's executive summary of Senator Chris Dodd's hearings on July 25 on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act and why Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter does not believe the bill would contribute to an improved Peace Corps while four other RPCV witnesses do. Highlights of the hearings included Dodd's questioning of Tschetter on political meetings at Peace Corps Headquarters and the Inspector General's testimony on the re-opening of the Walter Poirier III investigation.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

Dodd issues call for National Service Date: June 26 2007 No: 1164 Dodd issues call for National Service
Standing on the steps of the Nashua City Hall where JFK kicked off his campaign in 1960, Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd issued a call for National Service. "Like thousands of others, I heard President Kennedy's words and a short time later joined the Peace Corps." Dodd said his goal is to see 40 million people volunteering in some form or another by 2020. "We have an appetite for service. We like to be asked to roll up our sleeves and make a contribution," he said. "We haven't been asked in a long time."

July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 10 2007 No: 1172 July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
O'Hanlon says "soft partition" occurring in Iraq 9 Jul
Eric R. Green writes on coming oil crisis 8 Jul
Why Dodd joined the Peace Corps 5 Jul
Jim Doyle positioned for third term 5 Jul
Michael Adlerstein to direct UN Master Plan 3 Jul
Shalala says Veterans report will be solution driven 1 Jul
Blackwill says: No process will make up for stupidity 30 Jun
Allan Reed creates a Diaspora Skills Transfer Program 29 Jun
State Dept apology ends hold on Green nomination 28 Jun
Call for stories to celebrate PC 50th Anniversary 25 Jun
Michael Shereikis is singer and guitarist for Chopteeth 25 Jun
Christopher R. Hill Visits North Korea 22 Jun
Tschetter at JFK Bust Unveiling Ceremony 21 Jun
Kiribati too risky for PCVs 17 Jun
James Rupert writes: US calls for free Pakistani elections 17 Jun
Colin Cowherd says PCVs are losers 7 Jun
Tony Hall Warns of Food Shortages in North Korea 7 Jun
Youth Theatre performs Spencer Smith's "Voices from Chernobyl" 7 Jun
Ifugao names forest park after Julia Campbell 6 Jun
Anissa Paulsen assembles "The Many Colors of Islam" 5 Jun
Obituary for Nepal RPCV Loret Miller Ruppe 2 Jun
Forty PCVS to arrive in Ethiopia 2 Jun

Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy Date: June 10 2007 No: 1153 Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy
When President Kennedy spoke of "a long twilight struggle," and challenged the country to "ask not," he signaled that the Cold War was the challenge and framework defining US foreign policy. The current challenge is not a struggle against a totalitarian foe. It is not a battle against an enemy called "Islamofascism." From these false assumptions flow false choices, including the false choice between law enforcement and war. Instead, law enforcement and military force both must be essential instruments, along with diplomacy, including public diplomacy. But public diplomacy rests on policy, and to begin with, the policy must be sound. Read more.

Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director Date: June 27 2007 No: 1166 Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director
A post made on PCOL from volunteers in Tanzania alleges that Ambassador Retzer has acted improperly in revoking the country clearance of Country Director Christine Djondo. A statement from Peace Corps' Press Office says that the Peace Corps strongly disagrees with the ambassador’s decision. On June 8 the White House announced that Retzer is being replaced as Ambassador. Latest: Senator Dodd has placed a hold on Mark Green's nomination to be Ambassador to Tanzania.

June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: June 1 2007 No: 1141 June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Returned Volunteers and Staff honor Warren Wiggins 15 May
Tom Seligman curates "Art of Being Tuareg" 26 May
PCV Marilyn Foss dies in China 25 May
Poet Susan Rich writes: The Women of Kismayo 22 May
Christopher Hill considers visit to North Korea 18 May
Peter Hessler talks about time in Fuling as PCV 18 May
Murder charges filed in death of PCV Julia Campbell 17 May
David Pitts claims JFK offered PC to Lem Billings 16 May
Niki Tsongas announces candidacy for Congress 16 May
James Rupert writes: Pakistanis talk of Musharraf's departure 16 May
Chris Matthews writes: Jerry Falwell's Political Legacy 15 May
Ron Tschetter visits volunteers in Botswana 14 May
Which assignment to take? Africa, Europe, or Central Asia 14 May
Willy Volk writes: New way to keep mosquitoes at bay 14 May
Jim Walsh takes special interest in Nepal 13 May
NPCA offers podcasts of social entrepreneurs 10 May
Gaddi Vasquez showcases food aid work in Central America 10 May
Donna Tabor dreamed up Cafe Chavalos 8 May
Tom Bissell writing book about Jesus' 13 Apostles 8 May
Jody Olsen praises PCV blogging 7 May
PC responds to missing volunteers in 2001 and 2007 2 May

Peace Corps Funnies Date: May 25 2007 No: 1135 Peace Corps Funnies
A PCV writing home? Our editor hard at work? Take a look at our Peace Corps Funnies and Peace Corps Cartoons and see why Peace Corps Volunteers say that sometimes a touch of levity can be one of the best ways of dealing with frustrations in the field. Read what RPCVs say about the lighter side of life in the Peace Corps and see why irreverent observations can often contain more than a grain of truth. We'll supply the photos. You supply the captions.

PCOL serves half million Date: May 1 2007 No: 1120 PCOL serves half million
PCOL's readership for April exceeded 525,000 visitors - a 50% increase over last year. This year also saw the advent of a new web site: Peace Corps News that together with the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps serve 17,000 RPCVs, Staff, and Friends of the Peace Corps every day. Thanks for making PCOL your source of news for the Peace Corps community. Read more.

May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: May 3 2007 No: 1128 May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Tschetter flew to Manila to support search for missing PCV 15 Apr
Michael O'Hanlon writes: A ruthless foe 24 Apr
Dodd calls for 'surge of diplomacy' on Iraq 13 Apr
Tony Hall works with Opportunity International 22 Apr
Mark Gearan Calls for Service, engaged constituency 20 Apr
Timothy Obert sentenced in molestation case 20 Apr
Moyers indicts news media on Iraq reporting 19 Apr
Chris Matthews to moderate May 3 GOP debates 18 Apr
Garamendi votes to kill LNG terminal 10 Apr
Scheper-Hughes receives William Sloan Coffin Award 7 Apr
Petri outraged at Student Loan Corruption 6 Apr
Dodd wants to expand Peace Corps to 100,000 4 Apr
John Sherman's opera "Biafra" now on web 2 Apr
Peter Navarro writes "The Coming China Wars" 30 Mar
Carl Pope writes: 2% solution for global warming 28 Mar
Philippe Newlin lectures on wine 28 Mar
DRI launches program to improve Healthcare in Ghana 26 Mar
Gabriela Lena Frank's Compadrazgo debuts in Columbus 26 Mar
Reed Hastings appointed to Microsoft Board of Directors 26 Mar
Shays supports National Public Service Academy 23 Mar
Margaret Krome writes: Peace vigil appropriate response 21 Mar
Al Kamen writes: Clinton fired Prosecutors too 21 Mar

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps Date: April 15 2007 No: 1095 Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps
Warren Wiggins, who died at 84 on April 13, became one of the architects of the Peace Corps in 1961 when his paper, "A Towering Task," landed in the lap of Sargent Shriver, just as Shriver was trying to figure out how to turn the Peace Corps into a working federal department. Shriver was electrified by the treatise, which urged the agency to act boldly. Read Mr. Wiggins' obituary and biography, take an opportunity to read the original document that shaped the Peace Corps' mission, and read John Coyne's special issue commemorating "A Towering Task."

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Payvand News of Iran

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Iran; the third Goal


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.