New Website and ICEC 25th Anniversary

Our primary goal in launching this new website is to create a platform that will help promote heritage languages and cultural understanding through ongoing conversation with you: current and former students, parents, and also the community at large. Such a dialogue is indispensable to any serious effort that aims to explore and identify ways we can work together as a community to achieve this goal. Exposure to more than one language is the key to this understanding. Each new language is indeed a window to the world; is indeed an awareness that leads to the appreciation of cultural diversity and the realization that what unites the world cultures is more important than what divides them. Without understanding the importance of heritage languages and valuing them as an asset, no conscious effort can be made in preserving them.

The launch of this new website coincides with the 25th anniversary of ICEC and, more importantly, with a time when we are preparing for an important event in the fall to celebrate the achievements of young Iranian-Americans. This will be a reunion of ICEC alumni and other young Iranian-American and is planned to be a forum during which you will have the opportunity to hear about the latest research findings on heritage languages from experts in the field, to discuss ways to get involved in the community to promote Persian language and culture, and to lay the foundations of a professional networking. We invite all ICEC alumni, their families and friends as well as all former ICEC teachers to this educational and social gathering. We are hoping this to be the beginning of a wide network of young Iranian-Americans across the United States. We are anxious to greet our current students, but also our alumni whom we haven’t seen since they left us. Perhaps we will find you much different from the time we last saw you, but we will certainly remember your faces which will bring back memories of those years during which we greeted you and taught you every Saturday.

This reunion is especially significant from the standpoint of the current Iranian-American population. Over the last 25 years, our student body has gradually changed to a new generation; students of yesterday have become parents of today. An increasing number of current parents are those who came to this country with their parents at very young age and now are following in the footsteps of their parents by passing on the torch of Persian culture to the next generation. It is indeed an uplifting feeling to see so many young Iranian-American parents, many from mixed families, not giving up on their cultural heritage. Equally rewarding is the increasing interest in Persian language and culture among the general American population. We are at a juncture where all arrows point to a promising future; a promising future that is no doubt the direct result of our joint genuine efforts as a community in preserving our cultural heritage.