Who We Are
We are citizen volunteers – Iranian-Americans and allies – from the greater Seattle area who seek to reverse decades of hostility between the United States and Iranian governments by developing people-to-people relationships between our two countries.
The goal of the Seattle–Isfahan Sister City Association (SISCA) is to build a community in Seattle to support and incubate nonpolitical, people-to-people collaborations with Isfahan, Iran. We seek to reverse decades of hostility between the United States and Iran. We work to emphasize our common humanity and shared aspirations and to support finding practical roads away from confrontation and war.
We seek to develop collaborations between students, teachers, city government and business leaders, artists, writers, poets, musicians, athletes, professional people, workers, religious leaders, and other groups with shared interests. In the long term, we hope to establish an official sister-city relationship between Seattle and Isfahan. A secondary goal is to provide a model for other U.S. and Iranian cities.
In April, 2015, a small group that included five Seattle citizens traveled to Isfahan and informally proposed to the Isfahan mayor’s office that the two cities work to establish a Sister City relationship, using the sister city relationship built between Seattle and Tashkent during the Cold War as a model. In mid-June, the Seattle Times printed an Op-Ed submission proposing such a relationship. That article led to an outpouring of expressions of support and offers of help. Supporters of the idea initially formed a “Seattle-Isfahan Sister City Organizing Committee,” which was open to anyone willing to work toward the goal described above, and it still is! As a result of our initiative’s momentum, we are now the Seattle-Isfahan Sister Cities Association (SISCA).
Our Action Model
We will emphasize volunteer initiative and use new internet tools to maintain total transparency and consensus decision making. For example, this website was initially created by Seattleite Larry Johnson, who was one of many people who stepped forward and said “How can I help?” after reading about the sister city idea in the Seattle Times. Larry is a classic example of how citizen initiative’s become successful, with the help of those who are willing to stick their necks out! See, for example, The Giraffe Project.
Anyone who is interested in supporting this effort will be able to find a way to participate through this website. Tell us more about yourself and become a member. Visit and like us on Facebook where we encourage citizens to post photos and comments in an effort to promote dialogue. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Our Operating Principles & Guidelines
We are and will remain “non-political.” We will neither promote nor defend the policies of the governments of either Iran or the United States, or engage in partisan political advocacy. By promoting exchanges between the people of Seattle and Isfahan, we will emphasize our common humanity and shared aspirations and support efforts to find practical roads away from confrontation and war.
We plan to harness the power of the Internet to promote understanding, tolerance and peace.