Banafsheh Akhlaghi is a San Francisco attorney who defends the rights of Iranians persecuted in the United States. charges that Iran is behind the arming and training of Iraqi insurgents, spinning centrifuges in Iran and menacing speeches from both nations' presidents, Iranian Americans who dare to visit family in Iran risk detainment in both countries -- by Iranian authorities who suspect them of being spies and U. Homeland Security officials who see them as possible terrorists.Omid Kordestani, a key player in Google's success, co-founded a foundation that promotes Iranian culture. So most of them stay put, one eye on the news, while trying to live their lives without fear.He now plays an active roll in promoting human rights.(JUNE 1) (cq) SUBJECT) Lance Iversen / The Chronicle Photo taken on 6/1/07,in SAN JOSE, CA. JPG Saeid Pourabdollah who loves art and has dozens of originals throughout his home is a human rights activist living in San Jose.While a teenager Saeid was imprisoned for two and a half years in Iran and tortured for the first three months.Long ago, many began calling themselves Persians, the historical term, to avoid negative associations with Iran, but they still have an affinity for their birth country.
"If the shah didn't execute them, Khomeini did." After Pourabdollah's release, he joined student groups that pushed for the democracy that Khomeini promised before coming to power.Niosha Nafei is a former Miss Iran whose dance academy teaches Persian dance to a generation of girls who are thoroughly American. The Architect/Activist Saied Pourabdollah There is nothing unusual about the houses designed by 51-year-old San Jose architect Saied Pourabdollah. "Men and women, Shia and Sunni, Christians and Jews, should all have the same rights," he says.Ahsha Safai, who's worked for Bill Clinton and Gavin Newsom, encourages Iranian Americans to pursue political power as a guard against discrimination. What sets him apart is that he knows how cruel those in power can be when such rights are stripped away.MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTOG AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/NO SALES MAGS OUT less� IRANPROFILES41147. JPG Banafsheh Aklaghi is the president of the NLSCA in San Francisco and has spending her working on Muslim human rights issues. Mike Kepka / The Chronicle Banafsheh Aklaghi (cq) Ran on: Saied Pourabdollah is an architect who volunteers for Iranians for Human Rights, which he co-founded seven years ago as Iranians for Democracy.JPG Niosha Nafei Jamali mother of three and a former beauty pageant winner in Iran pulls two of her sons Afsheen age 5 and Fardeen age 8 aside for their daily homework. He was imprisoned and tortured for two years as a teen in Iran. JPG Banafsheh Aklaghi is the president of the NLSCA in San Francisco and has spending her working on Muslim human rights issues. Mike Kepka / The Chronicle Banafsheh Aklaghi (cq) ... JPG Omid Kordestani a senior officer at Google poses for a portrait on the Google campus.MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTOG AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/NO SALES MAGS OUT less� IRANPROFILES_35887.JPG Saeid Pourabdollah who loves art and has dozens of originals throughout his home is a human rights activist living in San Jose.Most arrived here with the late-1970s diaspora, escaping the tyranny of the Ayatollah Khomeini only to face harassment by Americans who blamed them for the 444-day hostage crisis.Years later they were caught in the post-9/11 net of suspicion and scrutiny against all Middle Easterners, despite no hint of a connection between Iran and the tragedy.For the past few years he's been working for Gavin Newsom, San Francisco�s Mayor and still has family in Iran including his father.(June 16) (cq) SUBJECT) Lance Iversen / The Chronicle Photo taken on 6/16/07,in SAN FRANCISCO, CA.