By Mikaprok for SouthFront
At a time when the United States is imposing sanctions one after another against Iran, “persians” in the US feel themselves comfortable.
A formal reason to write about this – the last week it was anounced that in Uber, instead of Mr. Kalanik, corporate governance is shifted to Dara Khosrowshahi.
Let’s start with him. It is very interesting – unlike the previous underdog, Mr. Khosrowshahi is from the American establishment.
Dara Khosrowshahi was a long-time CEO of Expedia, and now moved to Uber for a fantastic salary, keeping in mind company that records billions of dollars in loses every year.
Khosrowshahi’s brother, Kaveh Khosrowshahi, is a managing director with Allen & Co. His cousin, Amir Khosrowshahi, co-founded Nervana, an artificial intelligence company that Intel acquired last year for more than $400 million. He is also cousins with Hadi and Ali Partovi, high-powered twins who are both founders and tech investors.
Two other family members include Farzad “Fuzzy” Khosrowshahi, who played a role in creating Google spreadsheets, and Avid Larizadeh Duggan, a London-based general partner at GV.
And that’s not all.
His distant relative Hassan Khosrowshahi, co-founder of Future Shop and investment bank, one of the richest people in Canada.
Another relative – Darian Shirazi, founder of Radius.
He was on of the early Facebook employee and eBay advisors. By the way, the latter e-market was founded by Pierre Morad Omidyar, person of Iranian origin.
Mr. Shirazi is also distant relative of Amiran Ansari, who donated a huge amount of money to so-called Ansari X-Prize, the biggest technological competition in the world with prizes up to tens of millions of dollars.
One of the first laureates was well-nown Elon Musk, who was mentioned by Hadi Partovi at the time.
By the way, space conquest has its own list of sponsors. Majors are: Citigroup, Intel and Verizon. At the level of exec-level of corporate governance there are: Hamid Biglary, Sharif Shirazi, etc…
Tasks for the competitions were provided by the Stevens Institute of Technology with President Nariman Farvardin, relative of Kaveh Khosrowshahi.
And in the previous company of today’s CEO Uber, Expedia, traditionally sponsored Ansari X-Prize.
This is a small world.
If you accidentally spot any area of the national economy in the United States, where there is money / resources or need some fresh brains, then at the top you will find exactly 1-2 Americans of Iranian origin.
They are literally everywhere.
For example, the recently passed away first female winner of the Fields Medal – Miriam Mirzahani.
Or take ex-CEO Youtube Salara Kamangar. Or the same Shahram Dabiri, the creator of WoW (World of Warcraft), who worked on the game from 1999 to 2007.
It’s an amazing.
If we unite all ethnic minorities from Iran we get about half a million according to official information and about 2 million unofficial. It is impossible to say exactly, because all those people who left in the period 1980-1981 and their children listed themselves often without national binding. Moreover they traveled sometimes through Europe.
With only 0.6% of the country’s population (and this is the largest estimate), they are one of the most influential and wealthy communities in the melting pot.
At least 3 influential families stay permanently in the Forbes list, if we look at the formal grounds. If informally, then there is much more evidance.
One of the three Iranian households has an annual income of more than $ 100K (the average is 1 out of 5).
It is interesting to note that they are one of the most educated social groups in North America for the moment.
E.g.: in 2003 in Stanford most of the foreign students who successfully passed the entrance exams were from one particular educational institution – Sharif University of Science and Technology in Tehran.
From 1985 to 2005, the number of Iranian students (both local and foreign) in the most prestigious star-striped universities tripled.
For comparison, in Canada, for local universities its number increased by 240%, in Australia – by almost 1500%!
In contrast to the level of education: the Iranians are also the least religious groups. Not only in Muslim context – formally, there is abot 1/3 of believers, – but also among the ethnic groups inhabiting the United States.
A surprising fact, if you look at modern Iran and compare it to the reign of Shah Pahlavi.
Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi lives in the US and in all interviews he formulates religious views as follows: “I was brought up as a Shia Muslim and I am very much a man of faith.”
Of course, these are the words of a diplomat, not a Muslim.
Although outwardly they look like a densely knocked down closed community.
Iranians regardless of the internal ethnos, maintain contacts with each other and always act as a united front. Borrow money, take collective obligations, etc. Where there is one person two more appear immediately :-)
They penetrate businesses as families and do not consider themselves as individual entrepreneurs. Even at the level of Forbes-like awards. So they write, as in the good old days, this land belongs to “Khosrowshakhi” without specifying a member of the community.
Following Dara, we are now waiting for the arrival of new faces in Google and Facebook.
There are a lot of Iranian people on the second roles.