(Editor Note: In the print version of this article, The Golden Gate Xpress misstated the legal status of Ariana Hatami’s alleged killer. We originally stated that Hatami was killed by a former co-worker. The accused killer has not been convicted and has issued a not-guilty plea by reason of insanity earlier this year. We apologize for the misstatement.)
Ariana Hatami was a business management major expected to graduate from SF State during the Fall 2017 semester. On Dec. 17, 2016, Hatami was killed by a former coworker in her apartment in Daly City, she was 23 years old.
She is remembered by family and friends as a hard-working and passionate young woman who was dedicated to receiving her bachelor’s degree in business and continuing her job as a banker.
“There was a delightful innocence and passion behind those big, amazing Persian eyes,” Hatami’s mother, Julie Hatami said. “For those who had met her for the very first time she exuded a warmth that drew them in, especially with that smile.”
As a young child, Hatami and her older sister Yasamin moved all over California, transferring to multiple schools along the way, in order for her family to follow her father’s job as a general manager for StrataCom Inc.
Watching her father working in business was pivotal in Hatami deciding that she would follow the same path. Her drive led her to multiple jobs — most notably she worked as a hostess for Arya Global Cuisine, a Redwood City restaurant.
Hatami started at SF State during the Fall 2012 semester. She continued to work at Arya and later found a second job at Forever 21 in Stonestown Galleria during the summer of 2014. She later worked as a teller for Wells Fargo Bank. For a time Ariana worked all three jobs while continuing her classes at SF State.
In the summer of 2016, Hatami once again propelled herself through work by accepting a position as a preferred banker in the First Republic Bank. It was here that she touched the hearts of many coworkers and customers.
“I’m very proud of Ariana and her accomplishments,” Farzin Hatami, Ariana’s father said. “She was a beautiful and bright young lady who was determined in becoming a successful businesswoman. She also had a very generous heart in forgiving others.”
Farzin’s background in business was a big help for Ariana. She would often come to him for guidance and advice while studying for her business midterms and finals. And these “study times” as Farzin would call it would become his fondest memories of his daughter.
“She would bring me her business assignments because she wanted me to check that her work was accurate and good,” said Farzin. “I immensely enjoyed each session I would have with her and she always impressed me, even at a young age, when she understood business concepts so beautifully.”
In 1998, Ariana met her father’s family in Tehran, Iran for the first time. Her extended family, which was often called a “one thousand member family,” poured out all their love for Ariana, her parents and her two siblings.
“She absolutely adored her little brother Yeza,” Julie Hatami said. “They had a very special bond and he would always go to Ariana for advice. Yasamin, her older sister, also looked up to Ariana and they confided in each other and were best friends.”
The Ariana Mae Hatami Foundation was founded by Farzin and Julie Hatami and is dedicated to providing the necessary aid and care for victims of domestic violence. AMHF is set to follow the “big heart” philosophy which was conceived by Ariana herself. Its mission is to help connect people and be a liason to anyone who is lost or doesn’t know where to turn because they have become victimized.
Ariana Hatami is survived by both her parents, Julie and Farzin Hatami, her older sister, Yasamin Hatami and her younger brother, Yeza Hatami.