August 24, 2022
The Real Tara joon is a social media content creator, which is not our general interviewee target. But, she has amassed a massive following on Tiktok, with almost 1 million followers, and even though she just started on Instagram, she has over 200 thousand followers there as well. Her videos really resonate with people from all over the world, but here’s the interesting thing- she’s Iranian, with an accent, and is a proud Muslim that wears hijab.
August 17, 2022
Bahador Alast is a mohandes, or engineer, by day, but he has over 278 thousand subscribers on Youtube following a niche that he’s been able to fulfill and thrive in so well- comparing languages to one another. His videos usually consist of two people from different cultural backgrounds with different native languages comparing certain words in their language with him moderating. They end up discovering similarities between seemingly disparate cultures that they were not even aware of, and often end up really bonding and having a wonderful time. The videos are so fun to watch, and take you on a journey into what unites us all even if it’s not obvious on the surface. I did a poll asking who I should interview for this series, and Bahador was the most requested guest! I learned so much about curiosity, languages, and being open minded from this conversation. Listen below:
July 13, 2022
Zahra Tabatabai is the founder and sole woman behind the Brooklyn based beer company Back Home Beer. You might have seen her instagram or Twitter profile by now- she boasts three different flavors of beer, named Sumac Gose, Persian Blue Lager, and New Day IPA. Although it was released less than a year ago in October 2021, her beers have had quite an impact and presence in the Iranian community- but despite the success of the social media platforms of Back Home Beer, Zahra is pretty private, so she doesn’t show up herself very often on her feeds. I was so curious to get to know more about her, and was so delighted by her charming personality. I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know her as much as I did. Listen to the interview below:
June 08, 2022
Dr. Shieva Ghofrany is an OBGYN better known as Big Love Fierce Juju on instagram, where she posts daily videos about topics like pregnancy, female hormones, stds, really all that good stuff that doesn’t often gets talked about openly. She’s recently the co creator of Tribe Called V, an online program made to ‘increase our knowledge to decrease our anxiety’ about pregnancy and childbirth.
June 01, 2022
Payam Banifaz is an actor and comedian based in LA, and he’s been in a ton of tv shows and movies you’ve probably seen- Shameless, Silicon Valley, Veep, and most recently Everything Everywhere at Once. But many of you might know him best for his amazing videos depicting growing up in an Iranian American family with a very Iranian father. He started making these videos in April 2020, and they immediately gained traction and have become such an endearing and poignant depiction of what it’s like to grow up in an immigrant Iranian household.
May 25, 2022
Melody Moezzi is most recently author of the book The Rumi Prescription, in which she talks about how the poetry of Rumi became a lifeline for her, helping her to gain wisdom and insight in the face of a creative and spiritual roadblock with the help of her father, a lifelong fan of Rumi’s poetry. We covered so much in our Growing Up Irooni interview, from the controversy of Coleman Barks and why Melody is actually a big fan of his work, to learning Persian poetry in its original language, to becoming an artist in a culture that isn’t always the most hospitable to being an artist as a profession, to discussing mental health in a culture that isn’t always the most hospital to talking about mental health, and so much more.
May 11, 2022
Omid Roustaei is known by his online name the Caspian Chef, under which he publishes a popular blog and has an active instagram presence- I've been using his recipes to cook amazing food for a couple of years now, and have always been fascinated by his stories and his voice on his recipes. Also, his methods of cooking are very relatable to me- we talk about why during the interview.
April 06, 2021
Kaveh Hoda is a physician, musician and podcast host living in San Francisco. His expertise is in gastroenterology, hepatology and, according to him, making fun of medical grifters. He cohosts the humor adjacent medical podcast, the House of Pod, which is how I first learned of him. Along with his cohost Lizzie, he explores topics related to the medicine, which, as we touch on in the interview, is really a microcosm for society at large. Medicine is something that affects all of us in one way or another, and we’ve especially seen how important the medical field is now during this pandemic. I was also able to ask him how to influence your children to become medical doctors, which is every Iranian parents dream. Listen to the interview below:
March 24, 2021
Mohammad Ali is better known as Persian Poetics on both Instagram and Twitter. He went viral just a few months ago on a Twitter thread where he talked about the bestselling poetry book in the English language, a translation of Rumi’s poems by Coleman Barks. In the thread, he went through a details look at Coleman Bark’s translations, and revealed that Barks doesn’t even know the Persian language. Since the thread went viral, Mohammad Ali has picked up the pace of his own more accurate translations of Rumi and other Persian poetry.
January 26, 2021
John Ghazvinian is the author of the new fantastic book, America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present, a comprehensive new survey of the bilateral relationship, based on years of archival research in both Iran and the United States, which he has been working on since 2008. For the past many decades, the relationship between the United States and Iran has been very hostile and toxic, defined by coups, hostage crises, inflammatory slogans, devastating sanctions. But it hasn’t always been this way, and the two countries actually had quite a lot of mutual admiration in the past. The book chronicles that, all the way back to 1720. Iran is often on the front page of the news in the US these days, but you will probably be surprised to find out that it was often on the front page of the US news in the 18th century as well.