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I use words like thugs and siyah.

I have a lot of friends – thugs, sefeed people, PERSIAN, siyah’s, etc. Okay, I don’t actually refer to my friends like that… anymore.

officeI was raised in a pretty lenient household – I was free to do what I wanted (sex not included), stay out late, go out with friends, etc. But that doesn’t mean I was safe from hate. My parents frequently used derogatory terms to describe anyone from a race that wasn’t Persian or white.

Black people are thugs and cheaters. Mexicans are hamals. Arabs are shady.

Even with my family visiting us from Iran for the first time – their judgements of people are based solely on the color of their skin and the stereotypes that match it: “well she’s Mexican, they’re good for that type of work” or “ahhhhhh Arab??? No wonder he looks kaseef” (translation: dirty).

kanye

And it wasn’t just my family. My friends came from all different backgrounds – South American, Indian, Asian, white, black — but whenever it came to boys and dating, our rating of them included their race. We had nicknames for black guys (BBC’s = big black cock), white guys were just oh he’s white, etc. And our first question whenever a friend mentioned they had a new crush was what is he?

I don’t think I realized the error in our ways until even after college: when I entered the work world and saw firsthand how racism can change people’s lives — how much race plays a part in getting hired and moving up the food chain. I saw how gentrification can be a bad thing and how our society positions one race to be more successful than another.

Suddenly, it wasn’t so much about whether I was dating a black guy — but that…

the struggle is real and as people of color, we are all fighting against it.

books

Back then, we didn’t know any better – my family doesn’t know better and doesn’t realize that strength comes in numbers, and in college, my friends and I didn’t think that we were being harmful.

But not knowing any better is still racism.

And that’s pretty difficult to accept especially with people who don’t actually think they’re being racist – my family thinks their assertions are facts. And I’ve tried to explain to them politically, socially, and emotionally why they are wrong — but to them, I’m just “too sensitive.”

And that’s why at s&f we have posts where we use the same language that some of us grew up with. We promised we wouldn’t be PC…

We can’t change where we came from, but we can change where we are going.

We only hope you read enough to differentiate between the sarcastic from the real. We don’t claim to represent the entire generation of young Iranian Americans, but we do claim to represent ourselves and attempt to create a dialogue. 

Because without the dialogue, how will we ever grow as a community?

So hate it or love it, we want to hear it.

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10 Hottest Persian Women

These are the women who should be our examples, our inspiration. As we always say, screw tradition, do what makes you happy. Here are just a few Iranian women who inspire us:

1. Nazanin Boniadi.

best known for her roles in How I Met Your Mother, Scandal, and Homeland.

(Fun fact: first Middle Eastern to ever get a contract with American daytime television).

But what you may not know… she was set in following the Persian path – attending medical school at UC Irvine (where she won the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant), but ended up dropping out and pursuing her passion of acting. When she’s not wowing audiences on screen, Nazanin works as a spokesperson for Amnesty International USA with a focus on the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women, and prisoners of conscience.

2. Shermine Shahrivar.

Miss Europe, 2005. Iranian-German. Student.

(and she dated Kanye). 

Winning Miss Germany in 2004, Shermine went on to dominate the beauty pageant scene. You don’t have to be for beauty pageants, but you can’t deny that Shermine went on to do great things. Currently, the face of American Apparel and a student at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

She also radiates Persian pride — in 2005, she was host of the Oberhausen, Germany Nowruz celebration, said to be the largest in the World.

3. Marjane Satrapi.

Author of Persepolis. No brainer.

Award winning graphic novelist and filmmaker. Master of tongues: fluent in Farsi, French, English, Swedish, German, and Italian. Most importantly, she speaks her mind:

If people are given the chance to experience life in more than one country, they will hate a little less. It’s not a miracle potion, but little by little you can solve problems in the basement of a country, not on the surface.

4. Sarah Shahi.

Actress. Former NFL Cheerleader. Sinfully hot.

And she’s Persian loyalty: a descendant of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar of the Qajar Dynasty. Do we really need to say more?

From The Sopranos to Dawson’s Creek to The L Word, Sarah’s resume speaks for itself. Her given name was Aahoo (translation: gazelle), but she changed it to Sarah after being tormented in school.

How mad are those tormenters now?  

5. Davar Ardalan.

Public media guru. Interactive storyteller. Social media expert. Voice for Iranian Americans.

Davar has time and time again educated the country on Iranian traditions and examined the close cultural dynamics between Iranians and Americans. She also made sure everyone is aware of the significance of the haftsin. Most importantly, she constantly strives to give a voice to women of color.

6. Sara Racey Tabrizi.

Former America’s Next Top Model contestant. Known for being “too sexy for the fashion industry,” but not too sexy for us.

(what does “too sexy” even mean?) 

She was dismissed from ANTM in the 7th round, but that didn’t stop her from modeling for multiple brands including: L’Oreal, Converse, Pulse, King and Maxim. She went on to sign modeling contracts with TBM Models and Talent, APM Model Management and Mensa Management.

Take that, Tyra. Living proof to always try, try again.

7. Parisa Tabriz.

Dubbed “Google’s Security Princess.”

She spends her day hacking into Google. Yes, you read that right. Plus, her title actually is Security Princess” at Google. She gets paid to think like a criminal so that Google can continue their impenetrable existence on the internets. 

“Some people in other parts of the industry, they introduce themselves as, like, ‘vice president,’ with all of these certifications. I couldn’t give a shit. You could be Code Monkey Number 507, but if you’re doing cool stuff, I’m much more interested in talking to you than to whoever’s senior vice president.”

She also exclusively wears black. #respect

8. Kathreen Khavari.

Actress. Proves that she can actually do any role. Beauty and the brains.

(she’s also a JOONIES alum)

She graduated on the Dean’s Honor List from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in infectious diseases. Post-degree, she took a leap of faith and moved to New York where she pursued acting gigs and ultimately, developed the web series “Famous Farrah.” The web series married her love for acting and her background in science in a pretty damn funny way.

But most people know Kat through this video — where she proved that diversity comes in many shapes, sizes, and accents. Basically, she’s not about portraying that terrorist role in Hollywood, and we’re down with that.

9. Nazanin Mandi.

Triple threat: model, singer, Persian. Part Iranian, Spanish, Mexican, and Native American to be exact.

Did we mention she can sing in five different languages? Mastery of jazz and classical music? Check. She’s currently working on her debut album with the talented Miguel… who’s also her main squeeze. Her modeling resume ranges from Maxim Magazine to Esquire, GQ India, and Cosmo Girl (with many more included). Fact: brown is beautiful.

10. Kiana Hayeri.

Photographer. Breaking stereotypes all day.

Born in Tehran, raised in Canada – Kiana strives to bridge the gap between her Iranian heritage and Canadian upbringing. Something so many of us first generation-ers experience. She uses her camera to tell stories with a “social message,” – focusing on young women and the challenges that Iranians face both in Iran and abroad. Some of her works include “Beyond the Veil,” and “Your Veil is Your Battleground:”

Your Veil is Your Background

Your Veil is Your Battleground

JOONS – WHO WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST? LEAVE US A COMMENT AND WE’LL ADD THEM TO THE LIST.

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6 American Foods I Don’t Get as an Iranian AMERICAN

I don’t consider myself a foodie:

a pretentious term used for people who eat super expensive meals in tiny portions.

… but I love food. Like, hi I’m Persian, I need more than one bite of koobideh.

My American side loves burgers, hot dogs, donuts, and anything else you can imagine. At the end of the day, I was born in Wisconsin. 

But there’s just some American foods I can’t get on board with.

I don’t get the hype and I feel like people who do, are just lying and really need to rethink their life decisions.

1. Grits.

Living on the east coast, I’ve been introduced to the world of southern cuisine. I welcomed hush puppies with open arms, but grits? Even the name sounds shady.

 2. Biscuits and Gravy.

Why do you need to dump sludge on your biscuits? It makes them soggy. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of biscuits? Gravy is the recipe for indigestion and heart burn.

 3. Red Velvet Cake.

Frosting I’m down for. Cake that has red food coloring (which adds no value to the taste) doesn’t make sense. It looks like a science project gone wrong.

4. Wings.

Thank you for pouring gallons of sauce over the tiniest chicken wings I’ve ever seen. You have to order 20 just so it makes a dent in your appetite. Does someone have a pitcher of water I can chug?

5. Bacon JAM.

People are putting bacon on everythingBut bacon JAM? Just no.

6. Casserole.

Is it soup? Is it pasta? Do you mix it with rice? Why is soup an ingredient?

Casseroles are like the khoresht rejects.

JOONS, am I missing out? Comment us with your least/favorite American foods.

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#TeamMelli Player to Watch: Javad Nekounam

Javad Nekounam: Iran’s Talisman. Team Melli Captain. World Cup Veteran.

This is his second World Cup appearance (first time in 2006 where he played alongside Ali Daei and Ali Karimi). 

Source: Zimbio

Zimbio

Nickname: Neku.

Sidenote: his nose is so worthy of #ManlyNoseMonday. 

Most notable achievement: where do we begin?

He has represented Team Melli 140 times.

javad1

Prior to his second World Cup, Nekounam played for CA Osasuna in the Spanish first division – in nearly 174 games and scoring 26 goals.

According to his former Real Madrid manager, “He is the kind of player every team needs as he contributes in so many different ways. The bigger the occasion, the better he plays.”

He scored the goal against South Korea that sealed Iran’s fate to move on to the World Cup 2014.

FIFA

FIFA

Known for his passing ability, defensive acumen and powerful long-range shots.

#TEAMESTEGHLAL

World Soccer Talk

World Soccer Talk

 According to Iran’s general team manager, all the ladies in Asia find Neku cute.

Sorry ladies, he’s married to Iranian model Nasrin Moghadam and welcomed a baby boy two years ago (future soccer player??)

Stormnotify

Stormnotify

We’re counting on you, Nekounam.

Nekounam: “We are ready. All of Iran is ready.”

What are your predictions for the #IRNvsBIH game? Remember to share your fan love with us!

#TeamMelli vs. Argentina: The Highlights

The game ended 1-0 in favor of Argentina — but Team Melli played their hearts out with all odds against them.

This was a must-watch game.

Again, we asked our joonies to send us photos of their team spirit and they didn’t disappoint.

We were all celebrating Team Melli around the world.

One word: defense.

They are now the top defending team, according to FIFA.

top

two words: shady ref.

Source: Iran Wire

Source: Iran Wire

But Team Melli maintained their sportsmanship.

Because they’re awesome.

Even after this happened.

ali

But we’re in awe of Team Melli.

They defended against one of the best football players in the world (what a Messi). He couldn’t get one goal in till the 90th minute.

That’s enough cause for celebration. And Iranians everywhere wore their pride out loud.

They were screaming in the streets of Iran.

In Brazil:

The face paint was on point.

Source @pedestrian

Source @pedestrian

Flags were flying everywhere.

Source: yahoo

Source: yahoo

The food was delish.

(Sorry Argentina, none for you). 

Source: @peyvazzzin

Source: @peyvazzzin

But most of all, there was unity. We were with Team Melli.

Team Melli Goalie Daniel Davari Hugs Alireza Haghighi post-Argentina game.

Team Melli Goalie Daniel Davari Hugs Alireza Haghighi post-Argentina game.

 You know President Rouhani and Javad Zarif aren’t playin:

Oh but they’re watching.

From Farrah and Saaghi:

Bosnia best be ready because…

Made by @Saaghi_Joon

Made by @Saaghi_Joon

JOONS, comment with your photos and tweets of support to #TeamMelli.

(Iran vs. Bosnia is on Wednesday, June 25 at noon EST). 

#TeamMelli Player To Watch: Reza Ghoochannejhad

Reza Ghoochannejhad: plays forward for Team Melli.

In today’s game against Nigeria, Ghoochannejhad will be the key player in Iran’s counterattacking play.

All about that defense… and making sure he can break it through.

His last name might be a bit of a tongue twister (no complaining there), but it’s okay ladies…

he goes by Gucci for short.

In June of 2013, Gucci scored the only goal for Team Melli in the World Cup qualifier against Qatar. Then he scored against Lebanon in the game that ended in 4-0 (in favor of Iran… duh).

And finally, he scored the winning goal in the match against South Korea (1-0), which led to Iran’s qualification at the top of their group for the 2014 WORLD CUP.

Thanks Gucci.

 And don’t let those football legs fool you, he’s a also a whiz at the violin.

(because what Persian family allows you to grow up without playing/attempting a sport and an instrument).

In fact, he hopes to be part of a philharmonic orchestra when he retires.

fifa2014worldcuponline.com

fifa2014worldcuponline.com

We’re rooting for you today, Gucci. Make us proud.

Share your team spirit photos with S&F — tag us on Facebook or tweet at us @Sex_Fessenjoon!

 

 

Get Ready for Team Melli’s First Game Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day: Iran vs. Nigeria

iri

And Team Melli had their last practice today. They’re ready.

Source: Facebook, Team Melli

Source: Facebook, Team Melli

Ashkan Dejagah says, “I am 100% ready for tomorrow.”

Baby, so are we.

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Go Team Melli, go!

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Praying for Team Melli extra tonight.

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Facebook: Ashkan Dejagah

Fans are already sporting their Team Melli pride.

Iranians everywhere are rooting for this team.

Taken outside Team Melli’s hotel in Brazil as they head to practice:

Twitter: Negar Mortazavi

Twitter: Negar Mortazavi

How will you be wearing your team spirit tomorrow?

Face paint? Jersey? HAIR DYE?!

(also taken outside Team Melli’s hotel in Brazil): 

Twitter: Negar Mortazavi

Twitter: Negar Mortazavi

Share your team spirit photos with S&F — tag us on Facebook or tweet at us @Sex_Fessenjoon!

We’ll be featuring your styles tomorrow after the game! 

 

Fashion Trends: World Cup 2014 Edition

Traveling to Iran for the World Cup, and at a loss as to what to wear? We got some fashion options for you.

Pre-approved by the Islamic Republic. Male model sold separately.

You have options:

¡Viva España!

Team Italy?

Germany!

June 21. It’s on Argentina:

Of course, you have to show some love for the home team.

BRAZIL:

How will you represent for the World Cup games?

Thanks to POOSHEMA for their team spirit. Click here for their site!

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World Cup 2014 Iran Photos

Iran made it to the World Cup against all odds.

You know we’ll be cheering louder than anyone.

With these posters:

Team Melli Facebook Cover Photo

Team Melli Facebook Photo

Reza Ghoochannejhad AKA “Gucci.”

Iranian-Dutch. Plays “Forward.” #8.

imgur

imgur

Andranik Teymourian AKA “Ando.”

Iranian-Armenian. Plays “Defensive Mid-Fielder.” #14.

imgur

imgur

Sardar Azmoun: the youngest Iranian player to ever play a European match at age 18.

Rides horses for fun. Plays “Forward.” #69.

imgur

imgur

 Ashkan Dejagah: he embedded the name of his wife and daughter on the external side of his Nike Mercurials.

Iranian-German. Plays “Attacking Mid-Fielder” or a “Right-Winger.” #24.

imgur

imgur

Javad Nekounam: represented Iran’s national team over 140 times and played in two World Cups.

Team Esteghlal. World Cup Team Captain. #6

imgur

imgur

 For more photos, click here.

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17 Reasons Persian Weddings Are The Best

No one knows how to party quite like Persians do. Fly in the family to one location to celebrate the union of two people (the ultimate success) and here’s what you get:

1. You meet new “cousins” and other family members you were never aware you had.

And it doesn’t even feel weird when they kiss you like your grandmother does because by the end of the night, it’s like you knew each other all along.

fam

Source: giphy

2. Sofreh Aghd.

Decked OUT. Bring out the crystals, diamonds, and shirini.

Source: Party Bravo

Source: Party Bravo

3. The bride basically gets to sit under a woman-made fort for the duration of the ceremony.

Your inner child applauds you.

4. She also gets to lick honey off her soon-to-be husband’s finger.

Talk about kinky.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

5. No one is giving you weird looks for making this noise all night:

6. The only wedding where black is an appropriate color to wear.

And everyone looks like they stepped out out of a fashion magazine (botox included).

black

Source: giphy

7. The wedding ceremony is the pre-party to the tequila shots.

if you haven’t hidden a flask in your purse. And the underage kids get a free pass.

This isn’t a catholic wedding where you sit… and stand… sit back down… and stand… for God knows how long.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

If you’re the bride:

8. The judgement and smack-talk doesn’t even faze you as you walk down the aisle.

Mostly because you got married before your ameh’s daughter.

Source: giphy

9. There’s always a group of old Iranian women sitting in the corner and watching how everyone else conducts themselves.

especially on the dance floor…

The highlight of their night is when they see one of the javoonha (youths) do something risqué.

judging

source: giphy

 10. The older the Persian woman… the closer to your mouth they kiss.

This isn’t a reason why Iranian weddings are the best, but at least you know what to watch out for.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

11. Brides can get away with wearing mounds of makeup.

For the most part. The struggle is real.

Source: Party Bravo

Source: Party Bravo

12. Persians don’t cheap out on the food.

whether it’s kabob or a choice of chicken or steak.

This is just round one:

13. The only wedding where your uncles revert to their frat boy ways and double fist all night.

Just tryna’ function.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

14. There’s always one random family member who gets up to inappropriately toast the bride and groom.

Improv at it’s finest. Hold me back bro.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

15. Bouquet toss? No, it’s all about the Knife dance.

(if you win).

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

16. Um no one will be throwing cake in your face when it’s time to cut the cake.

Keep it classy people. We’re Persian.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

 But most importantly…

17. You’re not self-conscious.

You’re surrounded with people you love… people who get you and your Persian ways. People who know how to have a damn good time and are there to celebrate together.

Source: giphy

Source: giphy

*disclaimer: if you do hook up with someone at the wedding… everyone will see and they will ask you about it the next day. Anonymity doesn’t exist at Iranian weddings. 

Are Iranian weddings your favorite? Tell us why.

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