Dear Aftab friends and followers,
On February 12, 2019 the Aftab Committee was notified by the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies (CIDS) at San Francisco State University that the center has decided to take over the Aftab Prize for Best Creative work in Iranian Diaspora Studies and to end its collaboration with the Aftab Committee. The original plan by Aftab Committee consisted of the Aftab Prize for Best Creative Work in Iranian Diaspora Studies to be a joint initiative between the CIDS and the Aftab Committee. On that basis, and since that time, Aftab Committee has energetically collaborated with CIDS on this joint initiative over the course of more than one year expending our time and scarce resources to promote both the Aftab Prize for Best Creative Work in Iranian Diaspora Studies and the scheduled March 2019 First International Conference on Iranian Diaspora Studies.
We have attempted to communicate with the university on multiple occasions in order to clarify the reasons behind this sudden decision to no avail—the explanations provided to date are vague and dismissive at best. That decision – being entirely unilateral on CIDS part, and coming at the very last minute without any prior warning or discussion – is, to say the least, stunning to the Aftab Committee.
To date, Aftab Committee’s staff and board members remain open to collaborative work with CIDS and even presented a potentially constructive and amicable path forward to the university, which was not acknowledged. We remain committed to Aftab’s overall objectives of empowering the Iranian-American community, but also realize that the spirit of collaboration requires mutual communication and authenticity.
Therefore, it is with great regret to announce that the Aftab Committee does not see any other option, but to disassociate itself from the prize, the selection process of the submissions, or any other related events.
Rest assured the Aftab Committee will continue to work hard to further the appreciation of Iranian-American artists, to increase respect for Iranian-American art, and to steadily enlarge artistic and cultural opportunities for our members. We look forward to an Iranian-American community which commands respect through its equity, ethical behavior, and positive contributions.
if you need any further details or information about the Aftab Committee’s decision or the preceding events please feel free to reach out to us.
Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement of our efforts.
Aftab Committee Staff & Board