Azar arrived in the U.S.. from Iran, newly married, in November, 1956. She had been a student at the University of Tehran with a major in chemical engineering, wanting to continue her education at UCLA, and to Azar's great surprise, UCLA discouraged her from continuing that path because women didn't study engineering in U.S. in the 50's. She enrolled in Immaculate Heart College and graduated with a degree in Chemistry; years later, Azar received a M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science. During her college years, she had two children, the older, an attorney, and the younger, an investment banker (retired).
The first 7 years of her career, Azar worked in research centered on blood issues, and the correlation between fatty foods and heart disease. Then, she worked in clinical laboratories for 9 years, and after Azar completed her Masters then worked for the State Department of Public Health. She is proud of her work, not only because it was important to the field, but also because while her children were growing up, she was in a very small group of professional women who had careers while simultaneously raising their children. After retiring, Azar took French classes at UCLA and enjoyed learning a new language; after her grandchildren were born, she focused on being a doting grandmother.
Azar enjoys spending her free time helping with Women's Health because, since she immigrated to this country, it was obvious that women were not treated with the same focus and importance as men. It's time to level the playing field.