7:30 PM19:30

ICON Yalda Potluck


Come join your own community for a night of food, poetry, laughter, and music. ICON’s (Iranian Community of the Northeast) volunteers have organized a potluck style Yalda Night with live music performances, literature reading, and food.

We all will bring food or drinks or both. Please sign up for one or more items (the more the merrier) from the list below.

THIS IS A PUBLIC EVENT AND ADMISSION IS FREE but space is limited to 80 persons and RSVP is needed. RSVP from the link below: Click here to RSVP

Live music performance:

First Half:

8:30-8:50 Tan Haw Band:
Vocals, Guitar, Bass: Mani Nilchiani
Cajon: Ali Ghomashchi
Guitar, Bass, Keys: Nathan Thompson

8:55-9:15 Vatan Band:
Mona Kayhan: Vocals, Ukulele
Sara Tazari: Vocals, Percussion
Piruz Partovi: Persian Tar, Vocal
Ozan Aksoy: Zarb, Percussion

Second Half:

9:30-9:45: Iranian Classical Music
Kaveh Haghtalab: Kamancheh
Yousef Daniel Tehrani: Vocal and Tonbak

9:50-10:10: The Muslims and A Mexican
Anoush Saboktakin: Mountain Dulcimer and Vocal
Luis Delgado: Acoustic Guitar and Vocal
Kaveh Haghtalab: Kamancheh

Paper Presentation print company has graciously offered their support and services for free to print cards for our event.

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12:30 PM12:30

Brief on “Travel Ban” V 3.0



Iranian Community of the Northeast


Brief on “Travel Ban” V 3.0


Dear ICON Members,

Our dear attorney friends have compiled this brief document with the hope of clarifying the situation for Iranians of various status. If you have further question, several points of contact are provided at the end of the document.


What we know about this order

This travel ban is indefinite, making it more far-reaching than past iterations. And unlike earlier versions, it is more specific in its guidance, clearing up a lot of the gray areas that allowed for chaos and legal holdups in the past — likely by design.


The new ban goes into effect, either immediately or on October 18, 2017, under a two-tier system:

(1) for foreign nationals who lack a “bona fide relationship” to a U.S. person or entity (e.g., family, businesses, or schools) as determined by recent case law, the new ban goes into effect today, September 24, 2017; and

(2) for foreign nationals of Iran, who have a credible claim of a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, the ban goes into effect on October 18, 2017. That means that even Iranian nationals with a bona fide relationship to a family member or work relationship in the U.S. will be unable to come to the U.S. beginning October 18 (those with student visas appear to still be permitted).


Whom it bans concerning Iran?

  • Iranian citizens, with the exception of those with valid student and visitor visas, are also barred from entry. Only Iranian nationals with F and M student visas or J exchange visitor visas will be allowed entry, and no individuals with immigrant or diversity visas can gain entry.


Whom it does not ban — yet?

  • People with permanent US residency — like a green card — are not subject to this ban.
  • Anyone on a diplomatic visa will be allowed to enter the United States.
  • Those who already have visas will not have them revoked. However, once those visas expire, they will not be able to renew them.
  • Notably, this order does not include refugees, for now. Any foreign national who has been granted asylum by the United States and any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States is exempt. However, the administration is expected to release further rules on refugees in the coming days.
  • Iranians who have dual citizenship with another country not included in this travel ban will be able to travel to the United States with a passport from a country, not on the ban list.
  • Anyone who receives a waiver from Customs and Border Patrol or one issued by the State Department — a case-by-case process — will be exempt:
    • (1) denial of entry would cause undue hardship;
    • (2) entry would not pose a threat to the national security of the U.S.; and
    • (3) entry would be in the national interest.


What would be considered in Case-by-case waivers?

EO states that a waiver may be appropriate in individual circumstances such as the following:

  • where a foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States, is outside the United States on the applicable effective date, and seeks to reenter to resume that activity and the denial of reentry would impair that activity;
  • the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the country on the effective date for a lawful activity;
  • the foreign national seeks to enter the country for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry would impair those obligations;
  • the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g. a spouse, child, or parent) who has been lawfully admitted and the denial of entry would cause undue hardship;
  • the foreign national is an infant, young child, or adoptee, and individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;
  • the foreign national has been employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or is an eligible department of such an employee, and can document that the employee has provided faithful and valuable service to the Government;
  • the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with theU.S. government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designed under the IOIA;
  • the foreign national is a Canadian permanent resident who applies for a visa at a location within Canada;
  • the foreign national is traveling as a U.S. government-sponsored exchange visitor; or
  • the foreign national is traveling to the United States, at the request of a U.S. government department or agency, for legitimate law enforcement, foreign policy, or national security purposes.


What will happen to the cases filed in the U.S. and being or will be processed by USCIS?


This is a travel ban, mostly, and cases that have been or being filed inside the united states, and is being or will be processed by the USCIS, whether it is a change of status or adjustment of status, are not impacted.


What will happen to the supreme court case over the second ban?

The supreme court was due to hear arguments on Trump’s second ban on 10 October, which is eight days before the new ban is due to go into effect. But on Monday it canceled that hearing and asked for updated briefings from the government and the two groups of challenges.

The claim that Trump’s previous two orders have been motivated by “religious animus”, in this case, discrimination against Muslims, has been central to the challenges to the ban throughout. But the administration will likely argue to the supreme court that the inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea, neither of which are Muslim majority nations, alleviates these concerns.

Rights groups involved in the challenge have already indicated they will argue the inclusion of these two countries is a smokescreen for discrimination, as the restrictions on both countries are limited.


This issue continues to evolve and this newest travel ban will certainly face legal challenges. We will continue to provide updates following breaking developments. Please be noted that this information is not in form of a legal consult, if you have any doubts about your status please contact a lawyer. In case of urgent need to speak with a lawyer please contact:


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12:00 PM12:00

ICON Meeting Minutes , Alwan for the Arts


Iranian Community of the Northeast


Meeting Minutes

Alwan for the Arts

Sep 10, 2017

12:00 – 4:00 PM

This report summarizes the main discussions and decisions of ICON volunteers’ meeting on Sep 10, 2017, in New York.

ICON volunteers organized a meeting at Alwan for the Arts on September 10th, 2017 to have a collective discussion about the structure and principles of ICON and also brainstorm a few projects that were proposed to ICON volunteers by the other community members, the Mayor’s office, and the Brooklyn Borough President’s office.

From its inception, ICON has emerged as a loose network of volunteers active within the Iranian community of New York metropolitan area without a specific set of guidelines and a rigid structure, in the hope that over time and with recruiting more volunteers, ICON active members would democratically decide on the future of ICON and its structure. The September 10th meeting was the first in a series of meetings to collaboratively decide on ICON’s shape, values, priorities, and get more involved by signing up for leading specific projects.

The first half of the meeting was allocated to a facilitated discussion around a few important ideas and questions to define ICON. Detailed documentation of the discussed material will be made available soon via Main highlights included structure of and membership in a community, decision making processes, rules of consensus building, and internal and external communication methods.

During the second half, we broke into groups and discussed certain projects that have been proposed to us, either by our own members or by external agencies and organizations. Below is the list of those projects, and a brief summary of tasks, decisions, and next steps for each.

  1.       Legal Education and Information

This project aims to hold workshops to increase the community’s general level of legal knowledge, and support those in need.

Volunteers decided to meet within 2 weeks from the Alwan event to discuss the structure of the workshops, and creative ways to engage members.

Volunteers: Shervin Abachi, Amir Fadavi

  1.       Iranian Heritage Festival

This project means to follow on Brooklyn Borough Hall’s suggestion for an Iranian event with arts and culture content.

Volunteers decided to meet on Sep 24, 2017, to discuss their proposals and come up with a preliminary structure of action. They aim for end of October to have a polished proposal, and need to recruit more volunteers to do so.

Volunteers: Mohammad Golabi, Saman Sarraf, Mina Rafiee, Ali Zareian, Nima Farzaneh, Noushin Farnoud, Mehrsa (Atiyeh) Sadeghi, Vida Tayebati, Sina Zarabin, Mastoureh Sadeghnia, Mona Kayhan, Anoush Saboktakin

  1.       Mental Health

This project revolves around empowering members of the Iranian community and providing them with a safe, secure, and friendly environment for support and advocacy.

Volunteers discussed ideas for creating programs to support women in particular, to start a series of open group discussions, and to reach out to other networks to facilitate workshops. They decided to meet the week after the Alwan event.

Volunteers: Mohadeseh Adabi Mohazab, Maryam Ataei, Maryam Alikhani, Setareh Shohadaei, Melody Safavi, Negar Taymoorzadeh, Kiana Mashayekh, Sara Hosseini, Hossein Kalantari, Vida Tayebati, Mahsa Mehrdad, Shirin Barghi, Babak Hedayati, Siavash Karimzadegan, M. Rahmati, Shayda Hemmati, Saman Sarraf, Hengameh Fallah, Keyvan Dastmalchi, Marzieh Farzad, Niloofar Alishahi, Shirin Malaki, Ameneh Astaneh

  1.       Reading Sessions

This project aims to develop a network of history/literature/theatre lovers who crave to engage with the Iranian community on a Farsi-oriented basis.

Volunteers decided to have the first reading session within a month from the Alwan event. The history group is holding regular biweekly sessions, currently focusing on the 1979 era. They are going to use volunteers’ help in both event setup and reading parts.

Volunteers: Mahsa Mehrdad, Reza Roodsari, Hengameh Fallah, Vida Tayebati, William Mehrvarz, Pourya Sadeghi, Maedeh Soleimanifar, Arash Golab, Kiana Mashayekh, Niloofar Alishahi, Nasim Farahmand, Noushin Farnoud, Shirin Barghi

  1.       Engagement with City of New York

This project aims to connect ICON’s activities with the NYC Mayor’s Office, and facilitate partnerships on a variety of issues on a project-oriented basis.

Volunteers discussed potential proposals, including topics such as the travel ban and other similar channels to work on response measures in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office.

Volunteers: Hanif Yazdi, Nasim Farahmand, Ava Riazi, Hamideh Naghizadeh, Maryam Alikhani, Sheyda Hemmati, Hengameh Fallah.

  1.       ICON Logo

This project aims to come up with a procedure, and eventually design a logo for ICON.

Volunteers shared preliminary material/literature about similar projects. They decided to meet towards the end of September to brainstorm the ideas that they will be compiling along the way.

Volunteers: Kazem Guccani, Atefeh Zand, Ahmad Koleini, Shirin Barghi, Zak Mohammadi, Sheida Varshabi, Mazdak Jafarian, Elaheh Taherian.

  1.       Job Hunting Assistance

This project aims to help members of the Iranian community navigate through the professional job market, and familiarize themselves with job search techniques and tools.

Volunteers decided to gather more information from candidates to fine-tune assistance with needs. They will decide on the date and location of their first workshop.

Volunteers: Babak Hedayati, Sheidah, Mastoureh Sadeghnia, Nahid H., Vida Tayebati, Maryam, Kiana Mashayekh

In addition to the projects above, a group of us discussed potential avenues for future collaborative projects within ICON.

Thank you for joining your peers in a lively meeting, and for those who weren’t able to attend, see you next time.

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1:00 PM13:00

A City For Us, All




A City For US, All Saturday, 17 Jun 2017 1:00 - 4:15 PM Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Description: As an important step in empowering our community, we have planned an event in collaboration with the City of New York and the office of Brooklyn Borough President on June 17th, 2017.

As an important step in empowering our community, we have planned an event at Brooklyn Borough Hall on June 17th, 2017. This event is designed around a generous offer by Mohsen Namjoo, a widely-acclaimed Iranian contemporary musician and a member of our community, to perform for the public and free of charge. In addition to the musical performance, the event includes a variety of community-building activities to familiarize our audience with the platform that we provide, and all available resources that they can access through the City or the community itself.

Here is the event schedule at a glance:

1:15 – 1:45 PM

Opening remarks and proclamation by New York City Representative (TBD)

Introductory remarks by ICON representatives (TBD)

2:00 – 3:00 PM

Music performance by Mohsen Namjoo and Yahya Alkhansa

3:00 – 4:00 PM

Open Mingling Hour for the audience to stop at the information tables in the Community Room and learn/chat about various services and activities, including but not limited to:

  1. Services provided by the City
  2. Services within the Iranian community
  3. Book stands and the latest Farsi publications
  4. Art exhibition

4:00 – 4:15 PM

Closing notes by ICON representatives (TBD)

This event is PUBLIC and FREE of charge. As space is limited, a RSVP is required for this event. Also, please email us if any special accommodation is required (

Please fill up the form below:

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4:00 PM16:00

Panel Discussion: Know Your Rights


The Executive Order on Immigration signed on January 27th, 2017 by President Trump has generated uncertainties and challenges for non-citizens in the U.S. and those seeking to visit, live, work or study here. The Iranian Community of Northeast felt the urge to organize a panel discussion on Tuesday, February 7th, to address the issues and worries of the communities impacted by the Executive Order.

Members of our community, as well as other individuals in adhesion, joined our speakers Sarah Gillman (attorney at Legal Aid Society), Cyrus Mehta (Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners, PLLC), Lou Sartori (Director of Pro Bono Practice at Legal Society), Alex Leonard (Litigation Attorney at Cleary Gottlieb) along with our moderator and an immigration attorney Reza Mazaheri, for an informative panel discussion.

TOPICS that were discussed:

  •  Executive Order(s) – What is it and what does it mean. How does it affect different classes of immigrants/non-immigrants
  •  Know your rights
  •  More detailed explanation of the impact of the EO on visa holders inside and outside of the U.S.
  •  Pro bono and volunteering
  •  Federal litigation

This was a FREE event. The  venue was provided generously by Cardozo School of Law

In solidarity,

Iranian Community of the Northeast

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to Feb 3

Petition to End the Travel Ban

  • New York, NY, 10010 USA (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

As a part of our efforts to reach out directly to politicians and legislators, we drafted a letter to US Senators, Democratic and Republican, about how the Jan 27, 2017, Executive Order known as the “Travel Ban” affects us. We demanded senators’ immediate action and informed them that we stand by them in any efforts to oppose the Executive Order. We opened the letter for signatures from across the US. The petition was closed with 422 individual names, just about 60 percent of whom from the Northeast.


Petition of Iranian-Americans Against the Executive Order

Jan 30th, 2017

Dear Senator,

We are part of the over one million Iranians and Iranian-Americans living in the US as American citizens, permanent residents or valid visa holders. Our community is extremely concerned about the recent Executive Order that imposes a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to refugees and nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

Iranian-Americans are an integral part of the fabric of the United States. We are CEOs, entrepreneurs, and creators of jobs for hundreds of individuals. We are healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, who serve and care for the sick. We are lawyers, serving the legal system and representing those who don’t have a voice. We are teachers, supporting the generations of tomorrow. We are researchers and academics, pushing the frontiers of knowledge, science, and technology. We are artists, enriching culture and cultivating dialog. But beyond our professions, we are contributing members of society, bringing not only diversity but also value to the communities, cities, and states we live in.

The Executive Order on January 27, 2017 reverberated throughout our communities, and we are all extremely alarmed. As Iranian-Americans we are either directly impacted by this Executive Order, or have loved ones, family, and friends that are impacted. The ban is already disrupting immigration petitions, family visitations (including those for emergency medical care), the ability of students to continue their research and studies, and the work of many businesses who cannot continue without employees on work visas. We are gravely troubled by the undermined lives and crushed hopes of numerous individuals who are green-card holders, who live and work in the United States, and are no longer sure of their status or their future.

We came to this country with hope, to pursue new opportunities and a bright future. The Executive Order deeply threatens that hope; it unfairly targets citizens of seven countries for their religion and ethnicity. It does not represent a nation built by immigrants and undermines the values and principles of democracy. Therefore, we are asking you to please stand up against this hateful, discriminatory, and xenophobic Executive Order. We are urging you to please take any action in your power to put a stop to the implementation of this Executive Order, which is tearing families apart and creating further division in America.




This petition was closed on 12 pm Noon EST on Friday, February 3rd.

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9:30 AM09:30

How to apply for ID NYC

IDNYC (1).jpg

8 Million New Yorkers.
1 Card For All Of Us!

IDNYC is the new, free identification card for all New York City residents, which gives all of us the opportunity to show who we are—New Yorkers. As a government-issued photo identification card, IDNYC secures the peace of mind and access to City services that come from having recognized identification. IDNYC benefits every city resident, including the most vulnerable communities—the homeless, youth, the elderly, undocumented immigrants, the formerly incarcerated and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID.

IDNYC cardholders can access services and programs offered by the City as well as by businesses. IDNYC helps enhance public safety, by serving as a recognized ID for interacting with NYPD. It also helps New Yorkers gain access to all City buildings that provide services to the public and is accepted as a form of identification for accessing numerous City programs and services. IDNYC also provides a dynamic series of benefits to cardholders, including a free one-year membership at many of the City’s leading museums, zoos, concert halls, and botanical gardens.

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