Presenting Leyla Shams: A Story Of An Iranian-Preneur (11)

Whenever someone asks me if I speak Farsi, I wish I could say “100% yes!”. Unfortunately, I am not fluent in Farsi. I speak Azeri, which is obviously also cool, however, most Iranians speak Farsi.

And so, when I came across this company, Chai & Conversation, I was excited to see something that I could use. They are the only free online resource made exclusively for those wanting to learn conversational Persian via online podcasts. 

Happy to share my interview with Leyla Shams, the Founder of Chai & Conversation.

leyla shams

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1. What is your business – what do you offer?

Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation- it’s a podcast for learning conversational Persian.

“Alone in Iran – What Was I Thinking?” Guest Blogger (6)

I came across this post on “Heart My Backpack”  about Silvia Lawrence traveling to Iran for the first time. The apprehensions she heard from others before she went, compared to her own reactions when she got there could not be more different.Here is her story!
——————————————————–silviaI have never had people express so many opinions about my travels as when I decided to backpack through Iran for two weeks. Everyone seemed to have something to say about it, with responses ranging from “That is amazing, I would totally join you if I didn’t have a U.S. passport,”

2 weeks before Norouz…yup, Party Time!

March arrives and typically one thought comes to my mind: “It is almost time to PARTY!” Ok, that is not the only thought. Really its about Iranian New Year approaching and the hope of some weather in which I can actually breathe without feeling like the antarctic has entered my mouth.

But the next very close thought is that the Annual Iranian New Year celebration will be coming soon. Each year, the Iranian Association of Boston hosts this party at a local hotel in Boston, flies in a famous Iranian performer, as well as includes other dance performances throughout the night.

This however is not just a party.

Why is there “Grass” on your table?!

I have received this question more than once. Anytime I am either explaining the “Haft-seen” (our table set up for Iranian New Year) and I get to the part about the “grass looking object” I get blank stares and confused expressions. But that is all part of the fun. Confuse them… and then surprise them!

The “grass” looking object on our table during the time of Persian new year are sprouts that are grown out of Lentils and it is called “Sabzeh”. (They can also be ground out of wheat but we have always used Lentils)

Here are step by step instructions. Its simple and I have faith that you can do this!

1. Place the lentils into a bowl and soak them in water for about 2-3 days. Watch them carefully because if the water is absorbed, add more water.

Yes, You CAN Eat That Tadigh: 5 Ways to Make Persian Food Healthier! Guest Blogger (5)

Ok, let’s face it. There is NO chance I am ever going to stop eating persian food. No..No..No. However, am I open to learning how I can make it healthier? YES!  And so, I was excited to have recently received an introduction to Taji Mortazavi, the founder of We’re Talking About Food. Devoted to democratizing health, Taji believes that anyone CAN live a healthy lifestyle regardless of medical condition, career, budget or other secondary factors. Excited to share her guest post with you below! 

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Taji

Greetings! Let me start off by thanking Shirin for letting me guest post on her blog. I’m super excited to share a few tips and tricks with everyone about making Iranian food healthier. Although I’m only half-Iranian, I have a full love for Persian cuisine. I’ve noticed it’s not so much the ingredients that are unique, but rather the innovative and delicious flavor combinations that intrigue me. As much as I love this traditional cuisine, I’ll admit it doesn’t always go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle.

“Building Bridges with Friendship, Culture, and Humor: My Life as an Iranophile” by John Henry Silva, Guest blogger (4)

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 1.34.18 PMAs a non-Iranian Iranophile my friends who are Iranian often are surprised that I know a thing or two about t’aarofing. So I’ll start off with a joke.

A woman is ready to give birth to twins. She is waiting, and waiting, and past her due date. So she goes to the doctor for an examination. The doctor uses his stethoscope and hears the twins communicating. They are saying, ‘please, you first.’ The other one says, ‘no, no, you first, please.’ The other one says, ‘no, no, no, please, go ahead.’

Recipe #8: Dolmeh (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmeh, or Stuffed Grape Leaves, are very common in so many different cultures within the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Each type has a little bit of a different variation… one extra spice here, one less spice there.

I can safely say though that any kind I have had, I have loved. Although, I will be a little bias and say that I think this recipe is probably the best one ;)

Have it as a snack, as a meal, or both!

Enjoy!

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Making Our Own Iran – One University at a Time, by Afsheen Sharifzadeh, Guest Blogger (3)

Our next guest blogger, Afsheen Sharifzadeh, shares an experience that is all too familiar to many of us. The intersection of culture, tradition and university.

Thank you Afsheen!

Read his experience below!

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Growing up Iranian-American is a medley tournament of sorts. It’s a circus balancing act with your you, a profound backgammon match versus society’s woes to assimilate, a game of charades in two or three languages, and the finale is a 2,500 year-old relay race with your forefathers.

As the first generation of American-born Iranians comes of age, we face a classic conundrum not unfamiliar to other diasporas.

Presenting Sara Ketabi: A Story Of An Iranian-Preneur (10)

I have been following Sara’s website for a long time now. Her experiences, travels, and stories are amazing. She is an Iranian-American born here in the US with parents who came from Iran and she is the founder of Eat Feel Fresh. This is the first social media website dedicated to healthy eating and the one-stop-shop for healthy recipes, nutrition articles, diet advice, food facts, natural beauty advice and more.

Had the pleasure of interviewing her recently, and hope you enjoy learning more about her!

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What is your website about? What do you offer?

As a holistic nutritionist, ayurvedic practitioner and health coach, I am passionate about educating confused 20-somethings about the world’s most conflicting science- nutrition. After blogging for several years, I decided to make www.eatfeelfresh.com a social media website, allowing users to post their own recipes and articles so people can read and share the real truth on what works and what doesn’t.

TheSaffronLife (and me) on the radio – 1st time!

Despite the fact that I try not to often write about myself here… I couldn’t resist this one!

I was recently accepted to be on a local radio station and talk about TheSaffronLife. This was my  first radio interview… ever! Although I was a bit nervous, I was so excited to share with listeners  more about this blog as well as more about Iranians and Iranian-Americans so that we can continue to spread the word about our amazing culture, people, and traditions. Hope each of you do the same in your own daily lives!

And so, I wanted to share this with you.

Click the image below for a short video clip, and click here for the full audio!

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Hope you enjoy it!