Producing radio is the hardest work!

Putting together a weekly radio show on Iranian arts and culture. Hear podcasts of the show HERE

There are so many people in London with varied and interesting stories and the Iranian community holds a good few of them. The hardest part about hunting down notable Iranians in London is that mostly the web and the media covers Iran’s politics and it’s socio-religious tumult and little public attention is given to its arts and everyday populace.

The whole reason for putting this show together, now in it’s second season the first having been in 2005, is to string together all the wonderful pearls modern Iranian culture has to offer and to create some kind of jigsaw image of this multifarious diaspora in the meantime.

Some truly great characters have passed through the studio: comedian Maz Jobrani, charity founder Camila Batmanghelidjh and so on. Some lesser known artists have shared their insights and art with us: poetess Dorna Aslanzadeh for example.

But the Iranian community is not really a community at all I find. With some brave people struggling to bring us together, we are still so different that even a Norooz party can be considered “not my type of thing” as quoted by some young Iranians faced with Iran Heritage’s pricey event this year.

The first thing anyone asks me when I approach them to come on the show is “Is the show political or religious?” and then “Is it in English?”

What I have discovered is that everyone loves the landscape, the food, the language even if they cannot speak it. Everyone has some memories and increasingly the memories form the ideal Iran we all can be so easily be a community in loving.

While some speak Farsi, some don’t, some eat meat some don’t, some have are muslim, some have other beliefs, some are rich some are poor, some are genuine, some are not, some have been to Iran, some not, some have many Iranian friends, some very few, some have large families, some are without families… we all have a good memory of what it is that makes us Iranian: our past. Even those who has never been to Iran remember their grandmother’s visit, or a dish their mother cooked, or a story their elder sibling told them of what Iran looked like. There, in the past, we are all united.

So how do I put together a show that is not a string of reminiscences? Because we deal with the arts, that has been fairly easy, but hunting down Iranians for the show can prove much harder. I have to sieve through piles of political stories to find one that mentions everyday people. Even so, great events take place as in the Persia exhibition at the British Museum and the Kiorastami season all over London in 2005 (both of which we got exclusives on). Despite these one-off events I’m not satisfied. Where is the soap opera that focusses on the dichotmoties faced by an Iranian family in London? Where is the one space for all Iranians to meet? Where is the one definitive event we can all go to?

Turning for a moment from the past to the future then, I hope this kind of media attention might take place, and we in London become more united, and anyone out there with a subject possibly worthy of a radio show, will get in touch!

Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!