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!









Hope you enjoy it!

Jemma & Amir: A dating story, by Jemma Douglas, Guest Blogger (2)

Some of the most interesting relationships are those that are intercultural. I have always thought about how they have become so much more common, but not without some surprises and new learnings.

Meet Jemma & Amir. An American girl…dating an Iranian-American guy. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 8.44.53 PM

Read Jemma’s dating story.


Guest Blogger: Jemma Douglas

When I moved to Boston a year ago, I knew ZERO Persian people. In fact, I barely knew what country “Persians” came from.  If you had asked me, I would have stared at you blankly and shrugged. All I really knew about the country was that SNL did a funny skit about its president sometimes.

But that was all before I met Amir at school.

True Moments, A Photo Series (7): Reza’s trip to Iran

Thank you to Reza Taymouri for this photo submission!

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 5.18.44 PM

Reza, one of our Facebook fans, recently went to Iran and offered to share his experience with us through his photos.

He says, “I thought that Iran is beautiful-especially the cities I have visited (Mahshad, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran). It has so much to offer with attractions, is historical, is cultural, and has amazing & delicious food.

Recipe #7: Chicken Noodle Soup (The Persian Version)

I just realized it’s been a while since I posted a recipe. As I sit here, warm under a blanket and the heat on (Yes, even though its still about 50 out… but  I am cold already) I figured it was a good time to post a soup recipe to prepare us for the cooler Fall and Winter months (nooooo…!)

This may seem like any other Chicken Noodle Soup, but it has the persian touch to it ;)

Enjoy it!

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 9.09.42 PM











1 pack thin noodles
2 potatoes
4 carrots
3 tsps green peas
4 cups homemade chicken stock or
3 cans chicken stock…

“Wait, you want to invite THEM??”

(Disclaimer on this post: I am taking a more humorous approach to this process below!)

I believe this might be one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding and even harder for a persian wedding. Why is it harder?

Well this is where the concept of “Tarof” kind of comes back into play. In our culture, sometimes you just have to invite people for the sake of the invitation and not because you actually want them to be there on one of the most important days of your life.

Floss, Hair, and a 6 year old…A story by Avisha Soheili, guest blogger

Cultural mixups and confusions happen more than we all think. Our first guest blogger, Avisha Soheili, presents  the Cultural mix-up she experienced!


Guest Blogger: Avisha Soheili

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.38.21 PM

As an Iranian Dental Hygienist who deals with the public everyday,  I frequently come across funny, amusing, shocking cultural  moments with my patients.  I can probably write a whole book based on all these moments in my life and some of them just make me smile every time I think about them.

One aspect of my career is to educate the public regarding the health of the their teeth and gums and this is usually accomplished by visiting public schools.  On one of my trips to an elementary school, I was faced with a class of 40 first graders. 

Behind the scenes: Iranian Wedding Series (Intro)

I mentioned on our Facebook page that I am going to start a series about Iranian Weddings…oh boy!

Growing up, I went to quite a few  Iranian weddings. The first one I went to, I was about 8 years old, and I stayed up until 4 am. I have no idea how, but I did.  Another one I went to,  I was the flower girl. Yes, flower girl in an Iranian wedding (we don’t typically have flower girls…so I jumped at the chance!).

Now, it’s at the point where my own friends are getting married. The stories, the decisions, the debates, and the fun is endless.

Back to topic: what will this series be about? Just like any culture, there are so many bits and pieces that go into planning a wedding. I will share some of those pieces but also share a little bit of the humor, the stress, and the minute details that others may never think of or even hear about that are unique to the Iranian culture.

Kind of like a “behind the scenes” of Iranian weddings.

The series will include:

1. Guests and Invitations (yikes.. there is a lot that comes with this!)

2. Planning of the Ceremony and Traditions

3. Actual Wedding Day

For each of the sections, I will highlight vendors/businesses that can help you in your own planning or for someone you know!

Are you ready? Well, you can never really be ready.

Photo from

Photo from

2013 PAAIA NexGen Leadership Conference: We wove a Persian rug.

I was truly impressed. Throughout my life and after many, many, MANY different Iranian events that I have attended, this was the first that I left with new learning, true enjoyment and most importantly a true personal connection. Sure, all the persian parties with loud music and dancing and beshkans, (and too much cologne), are also fun. But the connection and enjoyment that I experienced this past weekend at the 2013 PAAIA NexGen Leadership Conference, goes beyond this and is much deeper.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 7.59.28 PM

I am a 1st generation Iranian, born here in America, with parents who immigrated here from Iran. There have been many times in my life that I have asked myself “Am I more Iranian?” or “Am I more American?”. I never felt I was 100% either. And this conference, reassured me even more, that I don’t have to choose or debate this. I am Iranian-American.

Instead of running through what the whole event included (you can just look on the website for that!) I will share with you my takeaways on two different levels: professionally and personally.

Presenting Aitak Ajangzad: A story of an Iranian-Preneur (9)

Just a few days ago, I was on my way to work and talking to one of my best friends and said to her “I wish we had more cultural centers locally dedicated to educating children or really anyone about the Iranian American culture. I worry our culture will be lost one day” We really don’t have much… and most of those that do exist are probably in California. Coincidentally, just the next day, I saw a link online  for the a creative school of language and arts. They had a fundraiser going on, so I donated some money. Although this is not currently in Boston (I hope one day!) I was excited to see this and wanted to support it.



Aitak Ajangzad is the Founder of a creative school of language and arts for Iranian American children, through music, storytelling, visual arts, theater, poetry, and dance.


Here is her story:
What is your business?

I’m starting a creative school for bilingual/multilingual Iranian American children in NY and DC, which includes special early childhood classes for children as young as one years old. The goal of our program is to create a loving, musical and artistic environment for children and families to gather together, socialize, engage in fun cultural activities and learn about Farsi through interacting with friends and through meaningful hands on experiences like music, story telling, visual arts, theater, poetry and dance. Although our principle audience is Iranian-American children and their families, we will also be offering a special music program for children of all backgrounds.








Why are you starting this school?

The development of this program has been part of my doctoral dissertation research at Columbia University. My academic and professional background has been strongly concentrated on the practice of music,  visual arts, and education.

Upon starting my research, I soon realized that throughout the past few decades, not much attention has been given to children’s cultural education. I also conducted several interviews with 2nd generation Iranians my age, and asked about their experience with Farsi schools when they were growing up. I mostly heard unhappy stories about being forced to attend Farsi schools by their parents, while their education at these schools constantly failed to make any relevance to their lives. This contrast, along with their parent’s insistence and their dislike of the programs, often resulted in them facing identity problems as they grew up.

I wanted to find a solution to this problem and offer a new program which proposed a new pedagogical approach in teaching language to these children, starting from an early age.  Also, I wanted to stress on the importance of early childhood education. Starting cultural education from an early age, helps children gain understanding and learn about their parental language within a warm community. This will all hopefully build a ground for a healthier and happier growth in children.

What were some challenges you faced, if any?

In developing the program, one of the biggest challenges was to create appropriate educational material for children. Therefore, I have been active in developing these materials because there is really a big need here. Especially children’s music, it‘s amazing how little music has been produced for children through out the past three decades. Music is a really strong educational medium for children. So as a music educator I believe that there should be a lot more dedicated on recognizing music as an educational medium, and creating more musical materials for children and teachers to use.  Also we don’t really have many professional educators in the field, so in order to face this challenge we plan to hold teacher training programs.

What are your goals for this school?

Today children grow up in multicultural classrooms, recognizing themselves more and more as part of a global community. My goal is to introduce our program within several communities in the east coast through the next year, and also provide more opportunities for children’s cross cultural understanding and education.

Thank you for this interview Aitak!

Help support this school and donate to this campaign. Think of it as a possible future location for your own children one day.

Other information:

Learn more with this video! 

Facebook Page

“Baba”: doesn’t only mean Father…

“Baba” One word and only 4 letters,  but with so much meaning. Whenever I say this word, feelings of warmth, gratitude and love fill me.

Most know this word to mean “Father” and this is it’s literal meaning. However, sometimes we stick this word randomly into sentences, kind of like a place filler when you just feel your sentence needs some more… terms of endearmeant?

Examples of usage, not referencing your Father

“Ok Baba, just do what you want”
“Eh baba, why are you doing this?!?!”
“Baba, nagoo” Meaning, “dude, dont say that”

Or my favorite
“Na Baba!” meaning something like “No way!”

Other definitions for your entertainment. Regardless of its many uses, its main meaning is the one I know and love.

I have always used it in the past, I use it today, and I will use it forever.

However you choose to use the word, wishing all the Baba’s out there a wonderful day!