Center for Persian Immersion and Cultural Education
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Bahareh Hedayat (Founder & Director)
Bahareh was born and raised in Tehran and moved to Los Angeles in 2001 for Graduate studies. She has a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from USC. When she moved to the U.S. and long before she had children, Bahareh made a commitment to herself to pass along the Persian roots and language. When her first son was born, she was disappointed to find out that there were very little resources for Persian speaking children in Southern California. On one of her trips to Berkeley, she got to visit Golestan and meet with Yalda, the wonderful director. Yalda encouraged and supported Bahareh to start a Persian Immersion program in Orange County. A dream came true for Bahareh, gifting her children, the Persian heritage, culture and language in a nurturing, creative and joyful environment. She shared this dream with the community as she welcomed her first class to Bahar Kids. Bahareh has been a member of Golestan Colab since May 2014.
Bahareh is a volunteer at several cultural, educational and charity organizations. Singing and reading to children during Persian story time at the Irvine public libraries is one of her favorite activities with her three children.
Maryam Naghshineh (Art Teacher)
Maryam Naghshineh was born in Munich, Germany. She moved to Iran when she was two, and was raised in Tehran. She started taking art classes from the early age of 7 at "Kanoun Parvaresh Fekri Koudakan” and "Abbasi Museum of Arts. She then studied art under supervision of Master Ali Reza Sadaghdar at "Kandelous Art Gallery".
Maryam entered Iran's school of visual arts "Honarestan Honarhaye Tajasomi", and majored in graphic design. She then moved to the United States, where she received her art degree in graphic arts and fine arts in 1999. She is also a designer at Aqua Paisley fashion line.
Maryam Naghshineh currently resides in California where she continues to create art and design.
Laleh Alavinejad (Art Teacher)
Laleh is a professional photographer. She moved to Irvine in the beginning of 2015. Laleh studied electrical engineering at Azad University in Tehran and worked in that field for couple of years. She then decided to pursue her passion for Art and subsequently received a Bachelor of Art in photography from Tehran University of Art.
She loves working with children and sharing her love and passion of art with them. She has also been conducting the Persian story time at Irvine University Park library since 2015.
She lives in Irvine with her husband and 5-year-old daughter who also attends Bahar Kids.
Sara Najafi (Music Teacher)
Sara, Composer and Pianist, was born and raised in Tehran. She took Orf music lessons by Naser Nazar, director of Pars Music Institute for children in early nineties. She then studied at Music Conservatory and subsequently entered Art and Architecture University for a Bachelor’s program in 1998.
She has learned and grown her musical skills under supervision of most renowned Iranian musicians such as, professors Lili Sarkisian, Kambiz Roshanravan, Hossein Alizadeh, and Ahmad Pejman, Farhad Fakhredini, and Chista Gharib.
Sara has composed works for short films and long films, including "Opposite", "A striped Dream", and ”Zagros”. She has taught the piano, Orf, theory and harmony to many children throughout her years of studying and practicing music.
Sara has a Masters degree in composition from Tehran University of Art. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Pegah Nazemzadeh (Music Teacher)
Pegah Nazemzadeh was born in 1980 in Isfahan, Iran. She started playing Setar, when she was 9 years old under the instructions of Ali Keivani and then Tar at the age of 18 under the instructions of Hedayat Sayareh. She joined master Houshang Zarif private classes for Tar and Setar at the age of 20 while also teaching children and adults.
Pegah started performing in public at the very young age and then joined the Iranian classical music orchestras and bands such as Sarang, Delnavazan, Sepideh, Avaye Mehr, Women Music Orchestra of Isfahan and Music Orchestra of University of Isfahan.
Studying at University of Isfahan, she joined the University Music Center and was selected as Deputy Secretary of the Music Center by the members and established music classes. Pegah was awarded and recognized as the second best Setar player by the Fajr Music Festival of Isfahan in 2000. She received Diploma of honors for playing Setar and Tar in Sepideh Music Band - awarded as the best women music band by the Fajr Music Festival of Isfahan.
Pegah is a resident of Southern California where she is teaching Tar and Setar to her students. She loves teaching and working with children.
Sevin Ataie (Advisory Committee)
Sevin is the co-founder of Persian Story time program at International Society of Children with Cancer (ISCC) and at Heritage park library since February 2014. She started this program with her love and passion to expose the children to Persian culture, art and music from early childhood and to build a strong supportive Persian community.
She has a background in painting and singing. She also holds a certificate of training in watercolor from the prestigious College of Fine Arts at Tehran University. She has a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from Tehran University and a master’s degree in Public Health management from UCLA.
Sevin works as a pharmacist at CVS Health. As a member of our Advisory Committee,Sevin helps us to improve the quality of the programs offered at Bahar Kids.
Yasaman Mostajaran (Advisory Committee)
Yasaman (Yasi) grew up in Tehran and had an interest in Iranian poetry, culture and literature from her early teen years. She studied computer engineering in Iran, completed her Masters in the US, and continued to work and teach in Information Systems field.
Searching for a more meaningful vocation, Yasi completed her second Masters in Clinical Psychology. She then started working with young children and their families. Yasi is currently a doctoral candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute, working on her dissertation and is a Psych intern at OMID Multicultural Institute. She also holds regular Poetry and art sessions at Omid institute. Yasi started working Persian calligraphy in 2013 under supervision of calligraphy Master, Hojat Amani. In 2014, she along with Mr. Amani founded a company called Samaa Design creating artistic apparels and accessories.
Yasi loves working with children and has two sons herself. She shares her experience in teaching Persian culture, poetry and art with us at Bahar Kids.
Kabeh Vaziri (Advisory Committee)
Kabeh Vaziri has over ten years of consulting and advisory experience in large multinational corporations as well as technology startups. An enthusiastic problem solver with insight into innovation, she has helped many executives build and grow strong project teams and achieve their desired business outcomes. Kabeh led product operations for WiserTogether, Inc., a high growth start up, offering a personalized health care treatment decision support for consumers.
Prior to that, she was director of research at CEB where she led consulting, benchmarking, and quantitative research for an elite group of 300+ heads of project management offices at Fortune1000 organizations. Kabeh has been involved in philanthropic efforts over the years and volunteers at International Society of Children with Cancer.
Kabeh has a Ph.D. in engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. from Amir Kabir University.