Ugly Persian Houses

You know what’s tackier than an ugly Persian house?

Using architectural critique as a cover for xenophobia and racism!

This site’s writers insist they’re not racist but in the same post drop the term “Ugly Persian Creep” (replace “Persian” with “black” or “Jewish” – does it still sound not-racist?). On their about page, they ask “if you love America, why turn all of your houses into reminders of the very place you fled?”

(Not even gonna break down why that’s so messed up but suffice it to say there’s nothing remotely Irooni about this style of architecture whatsoever, so why peg all of Persianity with this hideousness?)

Yikes, dudes. Just… yikes.

(P.S. This site is annoying too.)

Martha and Najmieh Cook Baghali Polo

Iranian chef and cookbook legend Najmieh Batmanglij taught Martha Stewart how to make baghali polo with lamb shank on TV this week, as well as explaining Norooz, chahrshanbeh soori, and the haftseen. So cool! (Click the photo above to watch the segment.)

(via the lovely new blog Yadashts)

Dalia Sofer on Hedayat

In the 2006 documentary Forever, by Heddy Honigmann, which explores the reasons people visit the famed Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, an Iranian taxi driver standing before Sadegh Hedayat’s grave is visiting because Hedayat wrote of alienation. Later, he turns to the camera and sings the kind of song that, if you are an Iranian trying to keep loss and alienation at bay, will make you weepy.

The Believer – Sadegh Hedayat’s THE BLIND OWL.

Dr. Shahkar Bineshpajooh

Persian Michael Buble cover, shiny suit, long hair, the fact that he sings the words “pedar-sukhteyeh bisharaf” in a formal setting of white people while backed by a freaking philharmonic orchestra, AND he’s a doktor? I think I’m in love.

More here. (Thanks Maman!)

Maz Jobrani at TED

Maz Jobrani talks at TED about being Iranian-American, travel, casting, comedy, etc.

(Thanks, Yogurtsoda!)

Have Iranian-American Weddings Gotten Too Divooneh?


As guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres outside the banquet hall, the bride was placed in a glass coffin. The groom fitted on a white half-mask. Then, the carefully planned Phantom of the Opera theme devolved into chaos.

Condensation formed inside the coffin as guests delayed filtering in. When the groom finally took his cue to present the bride, the lid wouldn’t budge. Before long, he was slamming the glass trying to break through as the bride wailed inside, her makeup running down her face. It would be an hour before she was finally freed.

You know things have gotten way too out of hand when even the king of Persian pop Shahbal Shabpareh (whose anecdote is above) thinks we need to calm it down on the wedding front. Read the whole story in the LA Times.

Asie Mohtarez

Asie Mohtarez – Brooklyn-based Perzhian girl comedian with a solid Tumblr and a Bollywood obsession – is awesome and funny. Everything she writes about Persianity is totally right and honest and hilarious. Somebody give this girl a TV development deal already.

Here is her stand-up:

Here is a tour of her Brooklyn apartment:

Here’s the Thing – Episode 9: Asie Mohtarez, comedian from miskamagic on Vimeo.

Pomegranates on KCRW

The beautiful new compilation of Iranian funk music, “Pomegranates,” was covered yesterday on KCRW. Producers Mahssa Taghinia and Arash Saedinia talk about the music and Schnabel plays Googoosh’s Gol Bi Goldoon. Listen here:

Buy the CD at Finders Keepers.

(Merci, Nazanin!)

Etsy-Irooni: Schauleh Sahba’s Azadi Print

Azadi Tower - Schauleh Sahba

I love seeing Iranian things on Etsy. This is an Azadi Tower print by Schauleh Sahba. The lines are made up of the word “freedom” in five different languages. Pretty sweet!

“Shaherezad in Santa Monica” at the Annenberg Beach House

Reading of the verse drama, “Shaherezad in Santa Monica” by Majid Naficy.

Following the romantic and immigrationary travails of the poet Shahram, his lover Shaherezad, and the new man who comes between them, this lyrical drama set in various Santa Monica sites brings Persian and American sensibilities together.

This is the debut reading of Majid Naficy’s new work. It’s on Monday, January 18, it’s free (click above to make a reservation, which you’ll need to get in), and it’s at the very cool Annenberg Beach House. A definite don’t-miss if you’re in LA.