Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Author Nahal Tajadod Releases New Novel, Praises Iranians’ Unique Qualities

By Katayoun Halajan
Nahal Tajadod is an Iranian author and scholar based in Paris. Her published works include a biography of Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic (“Rumi: The Fire of Love” or “Sur les Pas de Rumi”); a book of Mawlana’s translated poems (“Le Livre de Chams de Tabriz – Cent poèmes”); a history of the church in Persia (“Les Porteurs de Lumière – L’Epopée de L’Eglise de Perse”); and an account of the mini-saga that she experienced renewing her Iranian passport (“Tehran, Lipstick and Loopholes”).

Hushi, Whose Designs Are Worn by Madonna and Brad Pitt, Branches Out into Art

By Susanna Huth
Hushidar Mortezaie – better known as ‘Hushi’ – is an Iranian designer and artist who works in collage, painting, illustration, installation art and fashion. Born in Tehran in 1972, Hushi emigrated to the U.S. in 1975, where he currently resides. He launched his fashion career in New York in the 1990s with fashion designer Michael Sears. Together, they set up the boutique ‘Sears and Robot.’

Iranian-American NASA Engineer Firouz Naderi Stars at iBridge Conference, Talks About Mars

By Peyman Pejman
Hundreds of entrepreneurs, scientists, and hi-tech startup executives of Iranian descent – many of them Iranian-Americans – attended the third iBridge conference in Barcelona from December 8 to 10. The gathering, which brings together representatives from such major technology brands as Google, Snapchat, 500 Startups, Yandex, Intel and Plug and Play, is, according to the organizers, an opportunity to

Iranian-American Diplomats, White House Staffers Take Center Stage in Washington Women’s Panel

By Nazenin Ansari
In May 1875, Mirza Mohammad Ali Mahalati became the first Iranian to visit the U.S. and acquire American citizenship. Known as Hajj Sayyah for his tireless traveling (he spent 18 years touring Central Asia, Europe and America), Hajj Sayyah stayed for 10 years in the U.S., and became deeply impressed by U.S. President Ulysses Grant, who he met several times. Grant had been

War Correspondent and Novelist Peyman Pejman Discusses Journalism and Thriller Writing

As a fearless reporter and war correspondent, Peyman Pejman witnessed major milestones in the contemporary history of the Middle East: from the 1978-79 Iranian Revolution to the Israeli invasion of Beirut to the two Iraq wars and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan....


Iran Will Dominate U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, Says Author and Wall Street Journal Journalist Jay Solomon

By Peyman Pejman
As a foreign affairs and national security writer for The Wall Street Journal, Jay Solomon arrived in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Until that point, and by his own admission, he had spent little time in the region. The pro-Iran Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah had kidnapped

Sotheby’s Hosts Launch of Calligraphy Book by Rose Issa and Venetia Porter

Sotheby's London recently hosted the launch of a lavishly illustrated art book on calligraphy co-authored by curator Rose Issa and by Venetia Porter, the British Museum's curator of Islamic and contemporary Middle Eastern art."Signs of Our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti" examines how artists...

The Shah’s Final Years: Interview with Author Andrew Scott Cooper

Andrew Scott Cooper is the author of "The Fall of Heaven," a new book on the last days of imperial Iran. His previous book was "The Oil Kings."Q. 
What led you to write a book about the Pahlavis and the final days of Imperial...

Award-Winning Author Nina Ansary Praises Iran’s Defiant Women

Nina Ansary was 12 when she left Iran with her family at the onset of the 1978-79 Revolution. She has lived in the U.S. ever since. Her book, Jewels of Allah – inspired by her doctoral research in history at Columbia University – tells the story...


Royal Photographer Henry Dallal Celebrates Queen’s 90th Birthday With Commemorative Book

By Paola Totaro
Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebrations last May were a lavish weeklong affair. One glamorous highlight was the Royal Windsor Horse Show held at Windsor Castle, involving more than 900 horses and 1,500 participants from all over the world. Soon, a specially commissioned book of the show is to be released with illustrations by the Iranian-born photographer Henry Dallal, a royal photographer who is also internationally recognized for his beautiful portrayals of horses.

Berlin Cancels Tehran Museum Collections Show as Iran Withholds Loans

The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) is a treasure trove of masterpieces by pre-eminent artists – from Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin to Picasso, Warhol and Rothko. More than 60 paintings from the collection were scheduled to travel to Berlin for a historic exhibition opening...

Award-winning Photographer Reza Looks Back on a Prolific Career

Reza Deghati is one of the world's most famous photojournalists - so famous that he goes by his first name alone.An awardwinning National Geographic photographer, he has for the past three decades captured countless images in countries and conflict zones around the world. His...

Iran’s ‘Qanat’ Irrigation Tunnels Become UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has recently inscribed 11 Iranian treasures on its list of World Heritage sites. They're neither mosques, nor monuments, nor majestic royal palaces: they are qanats, those ancient irrigation tunnels that have allowed water to be delivered for centuries to the...


Iran’s First Feminist Qorrat al-Ayn Is Brought Back to Life in New Movie

By Katayoon Halajan
Shabnam Tolouei is an Iranian-born actress, stage director and playwright who moviegoers will remember as the lead actress in Shirin Neshat’s movie "Women Without Men" (winner of the Venice Film Festival's top Golden Lion award in 2009). Tolouei is now back

Iran and the Oscars: One Winner, One Runner-Up, Twenty-Two Submissions

Asghar Farhadi is a standout among Iranian filmmakers: he's the only one ever to have won an Academy Award. At the Oscars in 2012, his drama A Separation received the prize for Best Foreign Language Film.Farhadi's latest film, The Salesman, is Iran’s submission (in...

An Iranian’s Adventures in America: Maz Jobrani Discusses his New Movie

The Iranian-born actor and comedian Maziyar Jobrani – known as ‘Maz’ to most people – is a major hit in the U.S. That's thanks mainly to his stand-up act, but also to minor parts in Hollywood movies such as The Interpreter (starring Nicole Kidman and Sean...

From Shakespeare to Stalin: Actor Paul Chahidi Stars on Film and Stage

It’s a late summer afternoon somewhere in west London. Paul Chahidi has just come off the set of “The Death of Stalin” – an upcoming movie focusing on the power struggles that preceded the death of the Russian dictator in 1953. The film is...


UNESCO Adds Five Countries to List of Those Celebrating Nowruz, Bringing Total to 12

Since time immemorial, Nowruz has marked the first day of spring and the start of the New Year for the people of Iran. Yet Nowruz is celebrated by many other nations. So important is the tradition to millions of people from different ethnic and...

The Festival of Yalda’s Ancient Links to Christmas

By Fred Parvaneh
While Christians all over the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas, Iranians living inside and outside the country are celebrating one of their most ancient festivities: Yalda.

Featured in Vogue, Jalan Sahba’s Clutch Bags Blend Exoticism with Italian Chic

Jalan Sahba was born to an American mother and an Iranian father. Raised in Italy, she later lived in North America, India and Africa. She now designs and runs her own brand of luxury hand-stitched clutch bags. Made in Italy, these are regularly featured in...

Globetrotting “Little Haleh” Makes Passport-Free Travel Possible

Interview by Sara Damavandan
Many people dream of traveling the world. Yet few actually manage to make the journey. Visa restrictions and strict border controls have made it increasingly difficult. For tens of millions of people today, unrestricted


Shirin Neshat, Actor Abbas Bakhtiari Star in Shakespeare’s Tempest

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is the author of a tragicomedy called The Tempest, which is believed to have been inspired by real-life accounts and voyager journals.A trio of Iranian talents recently featured in a...


‘The World’s Fastest Fingers’: Percussionist Mohammad Reza Mortazavi

By Azadeh Karimi and Ali Eshtyagh
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi is an Iranian percussionist once described by a German TV channel as "the fastest fingers in the world." Growing up in Isfahan, he began taking drum lessons when he was six years old, and was so prodigiously gifted that his tombak (percussion) teacher gave up teaching him after three years. Four years later,

Paris-Based Vocalist Darya Dadvar Longs to Perform in Her Native Iran

Darya Dadvar was born with a beautiful voice, and a love of poetry and music. The Paris-based vocalist and opera singer – whose name means 'sea' in Persian – has endless affection for her native Iran. Yet she left the land of Khayyam, Hafez, Ferdowsi, and...

New iPhone 7 Commercial Features Music by Iranian-American Rostam Batmanglij

From the Cookie Monster to Taylor Swift, Apple has used endless ways to convince us to buy their products. Now, the new iPhone7 commercial features a finely crafted track titled "In a Blackout" – co-written by the young Iranian-American artist Rostam Batmanglij.Born and raised in Washington D.C.,...