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Growing Up Irooni- Ari Rastegar and the Business of Being Iranian

Leyla Shams
May 10, 2023

During the pandemic, article after article started coming out about Ari Rastegar, a half Iranian real estate developer in town, and so called 'Oracle of Austin.' A lot of what he said in his interviews struck me as particularly ‘Iranian,’ so I was really curious to have a conversation with him to see if being Iranian had any explicit effect on the way he lives and runs his business.

To my surprise, he thinks a LOT about his heritage, and is actually fluent in the Persian language. This is quite uncommon, especially for people who are Iranian on their father's side, and who came to the US at that point in time. Many people from that time period were trying to get their children to assimilate to the detriment of learning about their heritage. As you'll hear in the interview, however, Ari's father kept his children immersed in Iranian culture and the language as well. Listen below:

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