September 27, 2023
I am so excited to share with you my interview with Arya Shahi, author of the fantastic new debut novel, An Impossible Thing to Say. It’s coming out this week, September 26th 2023, so no matter when you’re listening to this interview, please drop everything and go buy it- you will love it.
September 13, 2023
So excited to share that Navied Mahdavian's incredible debut graphic memoir, This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America is NOW OUT and available for purchase! And to celebrate, I’m so excited to share with you all the conversation I had with Navied after reading his incredible his work.The book is set in rural Idaho where Navied moved with his wife and dog in November 2016- yes, the month Trump got elected. I could NOT put the book down and enjoyed reading it immensely- it brought up so many issues we all think about so much, like issues of identity, language, culture, and being “others”- I had so many questions for Navied and feel so lucky I got to sit down and ask him some of them. He’s delightful to talk to, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
September 08, 2023
In this episode, we dive into an enriching conversation with Samira Mohieddin, discussing her experiences growing up in a Persian family that migrated to Canada. We unpack the challenges and dynamics of navigating multiple cultures, languages, and political climates.
August 30, 2023
Gisue Hariri and her sister Mojgan are absolute heroes of mine as you’ll hear in the interview- I first learned about their practice as an architecture student at the University of Texas. They were one of the very few female led firms that we learned about in architecture school as it remains a very male dominated industry. And I was even more ecstatic to learn that they’re Iranian women. Every time I would visit New York City, I’d make sure to visit a coffee shop they designed there, and would leave feeling incredibly inspired.Gisue was the first person I contacted when deciding to live in New York this summer, and she graciously invited me into her own for a wide-ranging discussion about everything from finding inspiration growing up in a small town in Iran, her ambitious plans to study in the United States and return with a world-class education to make Iran better, to how she and her sister pivoted had the confidence to begin their own firm in the competitive New York landscape after the Islamic revolution thwarted their plans to return to Iran to much much more.I could have talked to Gisue for hours, but we managed to pack a lot into the short time we did have! Please enjoy the interview.
July 05, 2023
In the latest episode of our podcast, we're joined by Sierra Urrich, the director of this insightful documentary. In 'Joonam', Sierra embarks on a personal journey to understand her Iranian identity, bridging the gap between her upbringing in rural Vermont and her family's roots in Iran.
June 21, 2023
I am thrilled to announce the newest episode of our podcast, Growing Up Irooni. As many of you know, my goal with these podcasts is to explore a myriad of experiences, narratives, and perspectives within the Iranian community. This week, we have an exceptional guest whose work has profoundly moved readers across the globe: Marjan Kamali, the award-winning author of "The Stationery Shop."
June 08, 2023
Delighted to introduce the next episode of our podcast where I had the privilege to engage in an energizing conversation with Arian Moayed - an Emmy award-nominated actor, passionate thespian, and charismatic influencer of the Iranian diaspora. Arian has been enchanting audiences in shows such as Succession, Love Life, Inventing Anna, and the recent Ms. Marvel series. His inspiring journey, spanning over two decades, has seen him assume diverse roles across platforms.
May 24, 2023
Kayvon Zand is a nightlife personality and musician living in New York City, and goes by the pronouns he or they. I’ve been a fan for years, and love their extravagant and very extra style. In the past year, Kayvon has been turning their attention to Iranians in Iran, and holding live discussions with them about a variety of topics, most notably how life is like for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Iran. I sit in on them every once in a while, and the discussions are often quite fascinating. Since the beginning of the zan zendegee azadi movement also, Kayvon has been really vocal in connecting this movement with the cause of queer rights in Iran, and showing how they are inextricably linked. We talked about his relationship to Iranian culture, the language, but also about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Iran and how things have changed and how they haven’t.
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.
April 11, 2023
I’m so excited to share with you today my interview with Firoozeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi. Funny in Farsi came out when I was in college, and it’s almost hard to remember what a huge huge deal it was at the time. Really, before that, we had zero mainstream representation of Iranians. The one thing we had that we could all point to was not without my daughter, and that was a horrifying depiction of what Iran and Iranians were. But then Firoozeh came out with her book, which is a delightful, funny, heartwarming memoir of what it’s like to grow up with an Iranian background in the USA. She touches on what it was like during the hostage crisis, and when Iranians were constantly negatively stereotyped in the media. But she also looked at the really lovely positive things that came from being an immigrant in this country. Iranians are often not allowed the levity of talking about their experiences in a way that say Greek people are in a movie like my big fat greek wedding. That movie was allowed to be funny and light and silly- and in a similar way, this book was the same, and really humanized Iranian Americans both for a western audience and for Iranians.It’s now been 20 years since the book came out, and so much has changed since then. It was such a delight and joy to be able to talk to Firoozeh about the context in which she wrote the book, and how things are different now. And what being Iranian meant to her then, what it means now.