Asad Khan introduced today’s speaker, Atoosa Alavi. Atoosa is an intellectual property attorney and entrepreneur. She is currently the Chief Cousel for AlphaMicron in Kent and owns the start-up company Immobileyes, Inc. Her presentation was titled Iran: Then and Now.
Atoosa was born and raised in Mashad, Iran. Mashad is a holy city and a pilgrimage destination. Her parents still reside in Iran, but she says she is unable to visit them at this time as she feels it would be unsafe. After high school, she moved to England to attend school and spent 15 years there where she studied to be a dentist and oral surgeon. She eventually moved to the United States where she earned her JD from Case Western Reserve University.
Atoosa shared a slide show featuring the geography, history, tourism, and religion of Iran, noting that a common misconception is that the entire country is a desert filled with camels. While they do have some deserts they also have green, mountainous areas too. The country has a rich history dating back to the Persian Empire, which has influenced the architecture and gardens of Iran today. The capital city, Tehran, saw 6 million tourists in 2017.
She shared images of her family and growing up in Iran prior to the Revolution in 1978-1979, which she says was similar to the US at that time. She also shared facts about the nation’s capital and the country’s wealth obtained through the oil and petroleum industry. She acknowledged that women in Iran are in a different position than some of their neighboring countries with 60% enrolled in university. They are required to wear a hijab now which came about after the revolution.  
A Q&A session followed her presentation during which she indicated that she misses the warmth of the people of Iran most when she thinks of her home country. When asked what she likes best about living in America she says that it is the unique feeling (considered arrogance by other countries) Americans have knowing that they can do anything or become anything and that they have a path to do so. She is thankful that she sees this in her own children.