History

ISAW first commenced its activities in 1996  when two of the most active and perhaps most patriotic UW students joined hands to found the most well known community of Iranians in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region. Iranian Students Association of Waterloo was formed as the result of their efforts to celebrate Iranian culture and to bring Persians closer to each other so that together they can better celebrate, co-operate and flourish. This student association has since grown larger and stronger, with a greater variety of events for a broader audience.

Although ISAW's exterior may have changed throughout the past 15 years, its goal in bringing together the Iranian community of the Kitchener-Waterloo Region has never wavered. A club that first started with Games Nights and Movie Nights, then developed a large enough audience to organize its first  Nowruz celebrations in 2000; an annual event that has drawn in more and more people every year. Through the years, the "Bomber Party" event also became quite popluar. The devastating Bam Earthquake of 2003 saw the first of many "Waterloo Night" fundraisers, in which students performed traditional music for as a means of supporting several orphans through the "Maadar va Koodak" foundation for over four years. Another event that was deveoped in this time was the Festival of Fire or "Chahar-Shanbe Soori". In 2009 ISAW's vision and organizational structure, and thus its constitution, saw drastic reforms as the graduate student population began to express interest and request various events. Since then ISAW has organized an annual Yalda Night celebration, held a number of Poetry Nights, a Photography Exhibition, and continued events such as "Bomber Party" and the Nowruz celebrations.

ISAW has worked closely with many groups in and outside of the Waterloo region throughout the years. One of the most frequent is collaborating with the other universities of Southern Ontario to organize two annual Parties for Nowruz and Yalda, both held in Toronto. In 2006, an initiative with the same universities saw the organization of a mini-Universities Fair for Farsi speaking High School students, followed by talks from distinguished Iranian professors. In recent years, ISAW in conjunction with Partov, has invited inspirational speakers or Iranian Authors to the UW Campus to better connect students and the larger community. ISAW has also had the pleasure of hosting members of the Iranian Cultural Group in its Poetry Nights. Previous collaborators also include: KWIranians, Pendar, and GISO.

ISAW hopes to continue serving the Iranian community throughout the upcoming years. None of these would be possible without the efforts of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to organize these events. Help ISAW flourish and grow by becoming a volunteer.

History