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About Us

Chai and Conversation started in 2010 as a little side project among friends, as a way to familiarize people with the Persian language and culture in a fun, entertaining, and digestible way. Since then, it’s steadily grown with several courses and cultural offerings, including blog posts, videos, interviews, and more. We’re constantly working to provide valuable learning material, and we’re so excited for you to join us on the journey to learning the Persian language.

Leyla Shams

Your teacher

Leyla Shams was born in Iran, but moved to Texas at the age of 4. Because she grew up living in the same house as her grandparents (and because her mother Farzaneh Nouri taught the first Persian language class for kids in the Dallas area), she grew up speaking Persian (and loving it!). She started Chai and Conversation as a side project while working at an architecture studio, but has since ventured to working on it full time. She currently lives in Austin with her husband Chris, who appears on the podcast from time to time, and two rambunctious neem-rooni sons.

Chadwick Wood

Our teammate

Chadwick Wood grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and now lives in Austin. He is helping with the technical side of Chai and Conversation, and slowly learning some Persian as well, using the podcast. When he’s not helping out with Chai and Conversation, he makes apps through his company, Coffeeshopped.

You can learn Persian with us right now!

We make learning the Persian language fun, accessible and most importantly, ACHIEVABLE! No matter where you are on your Persian learning journey—join us!