May 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jeanne Carpenter
Phone: 612.803.1282

The Foundation for the Children of Iran Raises Over $1 Million for Iranian Children's Health Care in U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS May 5, 2008-The Foundation for the Children of Iran today announced that donors attending the Bahar Ball fundraising event on April 12 contributed more than $1 million to support the organization's mission: To make U.S. health care available to indigent Iranian children - or to children of Iranian origin with complex medical or surgical conditions - who are not able to receive needed medical treatment in Iran.

More than 600 guests took part in the evening's event at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Traffic on Constitution Avenue came to a halt as the Empress Farah Pahlavi, His Majesty Reza, II, and Princess Yasmine and guests were met on the steps of the Auditorium by a dozen dancers dressed in ethnic Persian costumes.

During this year's Ball, held in honor of Her Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi, donors contributed more than the combined total raised over the organization's 17-year history. Founded in 1991 by a small group of Iranian immigrants and patriots, the Minneapolis-based Foundation secures U.S. health care services at greatly reduced prices or on a pro bono basis for Iranian children. With administrative services donated by the Eftekhari family, 99 percent of contributions to the Foundation go directly to securing treatment for the children. The Foundation serves Iranian children regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.
"Our efforts are truly a labor of love, and our success is grounded in being focused on the children we serve, rather than on the people who serve the organization." said co-founder, healthcare executive and Iranian-American immigrant Nazie Eftekhari. The evening celebrated the generosity of volunteers and donors from all nationalities and walks of life, including physicians and nurses whose life-saving measures have changed the destinies of countless Iranian children. According to Eftekhari, the Foundation has seen a significant increase in the demand for health care services this past year.

Princess Yasmine Pahlavi, Foundation co-founder, daughter-in-law of Her Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi and wife of His Majesty Reza Pahlavi, II, said that the children of Iran have helped unite people in a cause that some believe is impossible. "Look at what the children of Iran can do," she said, "allowing us to show the best of America, the enormous heart of America, and the amazing medical competence of America to the neediest and most forsaken of our people."

"The Foundation for the Children of Iran is a testament to the generosity of Iranians, Europeans, and Americans who have opened their hearts to the vulnerable children of Iran," said Princess Yasmine Pahlavi. "Their generosity reaffirms the truth that while governments may quarrel, people are tied together by a common bond of humanity that is enduring and reflective of the nobility in each of us."
Hosted by the evening's emcee, journalist Rudi Bakhtiar, the event also recognized Firouz Naderi, Ph.D., a native of Shiraz, Iran, who immigrated to the U.S. many years ago. Dr. Naderi is an esteemed Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He was selected by NASA in 2000 to lead the Mars Exploration Program where he successfully launched three missions to Mars, placing the heralded twin rovers on the planet.

On behalf of the Foundation, Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi honored Dr. Naderi by presenting him with an Ovissi sculpture depicting "The Declaration of Human Rights" as proclaimed by Cyrus the Great centuries ago. Her Majesty also noted the generous donations by compatriots from all over the world. "This evening I ask you to join me in celebrating our collective achievement. Let us continue to extend the hand of love and caring to all we can. Surely when all is said and done, history will remember those who reached across barriers with kindness and friendship."She continued by saying, "I am proud of the accomplishments of Dr. Naderi, my daughter-in-law Princess Yasmine, Ms. Nazie Eftekhari and all the capable young Iranians. I hope to see them one day serving our country-Iran -directly."

Additional Iranian immigrants, donors and honorees of the evening included internationally acclaimed designer Bijan, renowned artists Ovissi and Ghass, legendary singer Sattar and Shahryar, a popular young singer, both of whom performed pro bono. Also present were award-winning actress Mary Apick and daytime soap opera actress Nazanin Boniadi.

About the Foundation for the Children of Iran:

The Foundation for the Children of Iran, a non-profit, tax exempt 501 © (3) organization, was founded in the United States in 1991 by Princess Yasmine Pahlavi and Ms. Nazie Eftekhari. The purpose of The Foundation is to enable children from Iran or of Iranian origin to receive health care services in the United States. All healthcare services are provided by a primarily volunteer medical community. The Foundation attempts to provide medical services where there is a reasonable chance of a reduction in morbidity or mortality. For additional information, please visit
Editor's note: Footage from the 2008 Bahar Ball can be viewed at, or on YouTube: Nazie Eftekhari's videos.

Foundation Phone: 952-896-9190
Fax: 952-896-4880