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Ashley: I Thought My Middle Name Was “Joon”

Joonies,

We’re pretty picky here at S&F specifically with the men we date, the friends we keep, and the people we choose to feature on our blog.  But like many of the other amazingly talented Iranian Americans doing big things– Ashley Momtaheni is truly one of a kind.  There aren’t a lot of people out there who are wildly successful, but manage to stay incredibly sweet, easy to talk to, and truly courageous. 

I walked away from this interview feeling like I had actually learned something– just hearing about the lessons that Ashley’s learned through her experiences and her accomplishments is jaw dropping.  I literally hung up the phone with her and felt a sudden urge to go save the world (I obviously didn’t, but you get what I’m saying). The best part? Ashley got one step closer to her dream job after our interview with a new position at Warner Brothers and S&F couldn’t be happier for her.  We wish Ashley all the best and hope that you joonies walk away from this interview as awestruck as I was.

xo,

Farrah

ASHLEY MOMTAHENI: RISK TAKER. HALFIE. JOONMAGNET

To the right

– Tell me about yourself… 

I was born and raised in New York.  I grew up in a town called Scarsdale, which is 25 minutes outside of Manhattan.  I’m a halfie- my father is Persian and my mom is actually this 5 foot 10 blonde hair, blue eyed “glamazon” woman.  I have a brother who’s five years older.

The experience I had growing up partially in Manhattan opened my eyes and allowed me to learn about the Iranian culture in a different way.

I grew up very close with my father’s side of the family.  Most of our relatives- his siblings- have moved to the U.S. since the Revolution.  They’re scattered between Florida, DC, Virginia and New York.  I always had a strong connection with that side of my family and then this extended family that consisted of people my father knew when he was growing up in Iran.  They came here together to study and work– they’ve been like aunts, uncles, and cousins — I grew up with their kids.

I learned about my Iranian culture through this extended family, as well as my family on the East Coast. 

Although, I didn’t grow up in a fully Persian household — I was still immersed in the culture.  My mother can cook Persian food better than my dad can.  It was awesome to see my mother adapt to the culture.

I’ve never been to Iran but, it’s on my bucket list. [Read more…]

NIMA: I’m 22 and I’ve Worked On An Emmy Nominated Show

JOONIES:

In true S&F style, we’re bringing you another interview — featuring one of the finest from the Iranian American community:

ADAM/NIMA POURAHMADI: BRILLIANT. MOTIVATED. HOTTERTHANADOCTOR.

The kind of guy you can bring home to your Daddy joon, not just because he’s smart, but because he’s already achieved SO MUCH and at such a young age.  And apparently, we aren’t the only ones who think so– check him out on “The Men of AJE.”

I met Nima by chance through the wonderful world of Twitter — during our first meeting at Starbucks, I was in complete and utter awe at how intelligent and kind he is.  Not only, one of the sweetest guys I’ve met on the East Coast but, how many 22-year-olds do you know who’ve already worked at two major media organizations? He was so easy to talk to and instantly made ME feel comfortable enough to be myself.  Nima is charismatic and is truly making Iroonis proud everywhere.

Did I mention he’s a freaking cuuuuutie?  Sorry Nima, I’m not a playa, I just crush a lot.

xo,

Farrah

Introducing HUFFPOST Live’s NIMA POURAHMADI

– Tell me about yourself…

I was born in a small Illinois town, population was like 30,000 or so- surrounded by corn fields, so definitely not the typical Iranian American upbringing by any means, but we had a lot of family friends in Chicago.  My father was the president of the Persian Educational Cultural Society and that was my exposure to the Iranian American community in Chicago on the weekends.

The Persian Educational Society was this group of Iranian expats that would get together one Friday night every month.  They would have speakers and the kids would go to something similar to Sunday school- where they learned to read and write, and talked about the culture and played games.  That is where I learned how to read initially and then I continued my lessons every summer when I went back to Iran.

In Iran, I studied Farsi for two summers at Dehkhoda.   It was single-handedly the coolest experience I had in iran.  Dehkhoda is an international school for expats, and for those who are interested in Iran and Persian culture.  Classes were for three hours in the morning and then they give you the rest of the afternoon to explore.  My classmates were from all over the world– Korea, Japan, Colombia, Venezuela, etc.  You just meet incredible people, and you can go explore Tehran together.

– What was the most valuable thing you learned at Dehkhoda? 

The most valuable thing I learned there is just being able to connect with other Iranians.  Many Iranians try to break away from the stereotype of Iran– in terms of proving how modern we can be and how we can party.  Like when Nick Kristof went to Iran, we expect him to say, “oh, these people are just like you too.”  

The most important thing about going back to Iran is learning to understand more of the culture and background of the country.

[Read more…]

IPANEEMA: I Love When Bitches Don’t Text Back

At S&F, we love finding those Irooni kids who are doing exactly what they shouldn’t be- comedy, film, stripping… But if it’s music, then we’re even more hooked. Clearly you joonies were as well, when we shared this young producer’s Rack City Remix in an earlier post (and below). I got the chance to interview IpaNEEMA (yes, his name is Neema)– at his studio, where he makes all kinds of magic happen.

While Neema insists  he’s a ‘weird kid’, I think he’s just a bit different because he’s never told a lie and he believes in earning over entitlement — but quite frankly, those are great reasons to be weird.

But in all honesty, I hope this interview captures the passion and strong morals that make Ipaneema– and it impresses you all as much as it impressed me. I know he’ll be size 42 font and causing lots of eargasms in the future. (read for explanation).

Oh, and the fact that he’s disgustingly talented also helps.

Enjoy the music Joonies.

xx,

Saaghi

IPANEEMA: THE ANTI DOODOOL-TALA.  

[Read more…]

Arash Tebbi: I Want to be Great.

S&F initially became familiar with Arash Tebbi through his hilarious ‘Shahs of Sunset’ Parody: “Queens of Sunrise” (see below). We’ve watched every video since, and none have ever disappointed.

When I interviewed Arash, I realized it was one of those rare moments that I was going to walk away from the conversation with more than I expected. Great advice is hard to come by, especially because we usually tune out our parents’ lectures. And also because finding someone who is young, but wise beyond their years AND articulate enough to talk about their story is rare.  Oh, the fact that he was charming also helped- so Kudos to his momma who raised him right!

I know we’ll be seeing A LOT more of Arash and his company RUGGER PRODUCTIONS, because his ambition has no limit and his intentions are good. And I’m not sure if he’s a Nicki Minaj fan, but ‘Greatness is what we on the brink of’‘ was the lyric I couldn’t get out of my head while writing this.

Joonies, I hope you enjoy and take away as much as I did.
xx,
Saaghi

–  Tell me a bit about your background- have you ever lived in Iran?

I’ve lived in San Diego since I was 8 months old, and my parents are from Tehran and Rasht. I was raised in a household that was modern, yet traditional at the same time, so it kept me in the culture. I went back to Iran once in 2000, but I’ll never go back. I made a few videos for the the uprising in 2009, and I got a few death threats. They’re still up on youtube (Check his Channel Here).

–  The best or worst thing about being Persian?

The best thing is the consistency of hospitality.

Every Iranian home has a welcoming, “We’re gonna give you every type of food in our house, challenge you to eat everything” vibe.   [Read more…]

Parisa: Everything I Do is Half Assed

Um bullshit- nothing this girl does is half assed.  We first heard of Parisa when she was an intern at the National Iranian American Council— an organization dedicated to furthering the interest of Iranian Americans through outreach focused on Congressional policy issues and cultural events– through her coverage of foreign policy hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.  It was during this time that we discovered Parisa’s personal blog IranStories — now featured on Aslan Media as “I Heart Iran.”  Fellow blogger dedicated to bashing stereotypes?  WE’RE SOLD.

Parisa Saranj:  Blogger.  Lover of Iranian Culture.  Self proclaimed Hardcore Feminist.

Introducing Parisa joon

Parisa was so honest, quirky and fun throughout her interview.  I feel like I was able to learn so much from her just through a single conversation about her experiences as an Iranian American.  At S&F, we love hearing stories about how people surpassed what was expected of them and went on to do something amazing, and Parisa is a true testament to that.  So we hope that you guys will enjoy reading her interview as much as I enjoyed talking to her.

xo,

Farrah

– Tell me about yourself- where are you from? 

I was born in Esfehan, Iran in 1985.  I left in 2003 to come to the U.S. when I was 18 years old.  I came here with a green card.  the initial plan was to come here just to live with my family, not specifically for college.  My uncle had applied my father for a green card 13 years ago.

My dad, mom and I ended up getting a green card.  But because my brother was over the age of 21, he couldn’t get one.  So my dad basically dropped me off in the U.S. where I lived with my aunt and uncle.  After a year, I went my own way.

If my brother had gotten a green card too, my entire family and I would’ve moved here together.  But when he didn’t, my mom had to stay in Iran and my dad had to leave me in America after six months because he was unable to find a job.

My brother got his green card last week and is here with me now.  But in the meantime, my mother passed away, and my dad remarried and went off on his own.  So it’s just me and my brother now, and he’s staying with me here in the U.S.

– What was one of the biggest challenges you faced coming here from Iran?

There were three things that I would consider the biggest challenges.

(1).  Dealing with crazy relatives.  I had one relative who believed that I was too much of a “Muslim” girl so they would force me to eat bacon, buy me sexy lingerie and swim suits.  I was like this girl straight out of Esfehan – from a close knit conservative community – I had never worn anything smaller than a large, God forbid my boobs ever showed!

My relatives were forcing me to do the opposite of what I was accustomed to.  They just picked on a lot of issues and it had nothing to do with the fact that they are Iranian.

I lived with them in Orange County (California) and after, I moved to the furthest point I could think of.  I went to Massachusetts for college and I haven’t been back to California since.

(2).  The fact that the toilets here don’t have water to wash yourself with.  In Iran, we have a hose — a “shelange.”  Luckily, I discovered the wonderful world of feminine wipes that you can buy from CVS.  I would die without them.  I don’t go anywhere without them.  I really think if I didn’t find them, I would go back to Iran just to have a hose in the bathroom.

(3).  The biggest struggle was the fact that nothing here tastes like the food in Iran.  Unfortunately, I just got used to it.  I became a vegetarian two years after I moved here.  There is this entire industry of vegetarian food out there that I just love and I feel so much better about myself now.  I love tofu, different pastas and pizzas.  The world of vegetarianism is so vast and there is so much to explore.

So it was an agony to go to the bathroom, eat tasteless food and deal with my crazy family.

Honestly, culture shock or language barriers weren’t struggles I dealt with.  I loved being on my own.   [Read more…]

David Golshan: No Tala Here.

There’s funny, and then there’s David Golshan Funny.

Let me tell you the difference: For Persians, funny is a FOB accent and talking about Persian Parents. Perfect the two, and you’ve got a great family friendly routine. That’s where most Persian Stand-ups draw the line.

Then there’s David Golshan Funny. There’s FOB accents, Persian Pop singers, Bill Clinton Impressions, Michael Jackson Routines, and a whole lot more.

With him, there is no line- it’s all fair game, and thats kind of how we like to play here at S&F too.

He’s a comedian, an actor, and a businessman.

He’s been on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker with a butler who fed him grapes- and Shahs of Sunset. He has a few alter egos including Chef Tony Montana and ex-Black Cats Pop Star Shahram Shattarang (check them all here) & finally, he reps his roots by hosting Middle Eastern Night at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory.

There’s a reason I could not stop laughing during this interview (I wonder if David heard me snort at one point #embarassing).  Golshan can deliver punch after punch, and it gave me one of my best ab workouts. Hopefully, it’ll be just as good for you joonies…

-Saaghi 

– Tell me a bit about yourself…

I was born in Long Island, NY. When I was less than 1 years old, I moved to a small town called Beverly Hills.

I attended Beverly Hills High School which was essentially one big Persian Party, their mascot should be the Black Mercedes instead of the Normans.

From there I went to Pepperdine University, where I graduated with a degree in Political Science. I was preparing to go to law school, and had a fashion internet catalog business on the side. It was a hobby I had for a few years, and I worked on it about once a week. Then one day, as I was walking back into a Law Prep Course from lunch, I checked my orders and saw that I had made more money in that short time than I had in the past five years combined.

I picked up my books, and told the guy ‘it was nice meeting you, I’m outta here.

– Do you have any siblings?

I have three older siblings, who are all married with kids. I pretty much grew up with five parents.

Clearly though I didn’t get all the attention I deserved or else I wouldn’t post half naked pictures of myself on facebook. I work out because of all the attention I didn’t get from the women in high school.

– How do you think your Persian and Jewish side interact?

They definitely clash:

My Persian side wants to go to an SBE club, buy bottles, go crazy, make it rain. My Jewish side wants to grab the money as it falls to the ground screaming, ‘WTF are we doing! We need to invest this!’

[Read more…]

AMIR K: SWAG & STUBBLE

AMIR KAMYAB: Comedian. Actor. Writer.

The SEXIEST Iranian Comedian around.

Why is he so sexy?  Let us count the ways:

Do we really have to point out the obvious?  Look. At. His. Picture. Its pretty obvious why we are so obsessed.

Enough said

Amir K. isn’t your typical struggling artist.  Not only is he educated, but did we mention how TALENTED he is?  Plus, Farrah has a fattie crush on him, so how can we NOT call attention to our favorite clown?

Most importantly, he’s out there breaking stereotypes everyday through laughter.  Screw Farrah’s psycho ass, we love Amir K., not just because he’s damn good at accents, but he brings all different types of people together through his passion: his jokes.

The S&F team caught up with Amir K. to find out if he ever had a hard time gaining acceptance from his Persian dad when he decided he wanted to become a comedian (in reality, we just wanted to learn the ways to win over his heart).  

– Where are you originally from?

I was born in Tehran, Iran and came out to Southern California at the age of three.  I pretty much grew up there and went to high school in Villa Park, and UCLA for college.

(SWOON). 

After college, I bought a place in Huntington Beach and did real estate for awhile.  I ended up eventually moving back to LA and started to follow my dreams, which is stand-up comedy.

– Was it a difficult transition for you when you moved to California from Iran? 

I was so young that I didn’t really have a hard time.  But, my mom couldn’t speak English when we first came here, so we all had to go through it together.  The adapting was much easier because I was so young, it would have been much harder to adjust if I had come as a teen.  But at the age that I moved to the U.S., its easier to learn new languages.  I can speak Spanish too, so I’m really glad that it happened at that time of my life.

– How did you deal with the cultural conflict of being Iranian and American? 

My experience growing up was not typical.  We didn’t live in a neighborhood with too many Iranian people.  The Iranian culture I knew came from my grandparents when they would come to visit from Iran, and from my parents. My family was never the super super overwhelming Iranian type.  We celebrate a little bit of everything.  At Thanksgiving, we have turkey and Persian food.  We celebrate Christmas too, and eat Persian food and ham.  I love it.

I didn’t really have too many Persian friends growing up.  In my high school, there were probably three Persian kids and I was two of them.

– Were you ever “hated on” for being an Iranian? 

Even if I don’t have a beard, I always have a little stubble…

(Did we mention we love that?) 

… and when I’m in places like Arizona or Montana, some people automatically think that I’m some Muslim guy just based on the way I look.  Sometimes I’ll play an Iranian character for one of my jokes and its so funny to see how people to respond to that.  Even in places like Vegas where so many people from Middle America come to visit, you see these “red-necky” people in the audience and they automatically think I’m the Muslim guy I’m playing.

It’s so easy to get people to preconceive something about you, especially if you speak or look a certain way.  

Its always interesting to see how people respond to a certain character — sometimes they really think that you ARE that character, when you’re not.

But, I think I grew up in a pretty cool area.  People just weren’t prejudiced.  Of course, we joked around, but we all made fun of each other whether we are Iranian, Mexican, Asian, etc.  But it wasn’t in a malicious or cruel way, we were just having fun.  California is a liberal place.

– Were your Persian parents strict? 

I was really scared of my dad.  He is your typical Middle Eastern dad.  My mom was always cool, but my dad was very disciplined.  My parents divorced when I was very young, actually two years after we came to the U.S.  So my brother and I lived with my mom in the beginning, and then, when we got older and required discipline, we moved in with my dad.  Especially because I was getting in trouble being the class clown.

We still spent a lot of time with my mom during that time, which I thought was a good balance.  We weren’t JUST Momma’s boys.  My dad was the “tough love” parent, but it was a good love.  I’m glad that it happened because it made me into who I am today.  My dad taught me to be more street smart, he taught me how to handle business and to do ANYTHING in life.

– How did your family feel about your career change to comedy?

I would have started stand-up a lot sooner had it not been for my father.  It has always been my dream to do stand up.  But for our culture, its not the easiest thing to do.  Your parents respond, THAT’S what you’re going to do?  Stand-up isn’t a viable career option for Iranians.  They look at you like some street performer.  So I did the school thing for my dad and when I first started doing comedy, my parents didn’t see it as a successful career path.  But once they saw my show and saw that I actually had talent, they opened up to it.

There is honestly nothing I’d rather do, there is nothing else I CAN do.  I’d rather kill myself than not do stand-up anymore.

– Your Persian dad is better than ours because…

… Because he had a mustache when I was a kid.  It was really cool.  I always wanted to grow one because my dad had a cool one.  Then he shaved it when I was about 15 years old.  I was disappointed because once he shaved it off, all my dreams were crushed.

– Did you ever rebel?

I didn’t rebel purposely.  I was so scared of my dad.  I wasn’t scared of any authority other than my dad.  So if I got in trouble, if I was drinking with my buddies and the police came, I wasn’t scared of the police… I was scared of my dad.  My brother was super studious and he had great grades, and I was just the opposite.  I was social, I went to school to hang out with my friends.  I think that was my form of rebellion.

I would get in trouble everyday, but I wasn’t doing it intentionally.

– What do you love about Persian girls? 

I love Persian girls, but I haven’t been around a lot except at UCLA.  Persian girls are really beautiful.  That’s my favorite part– how beautiful they are. 

– What do you hate about Persian girls?

Sometimes you come across those Persian girls that are super annoying, like those Beverly Hills ones- The Beverly Hills Persian girls are so high maintenance and materialistic.  I know its a stereotype, but they are like that in SOME parts of L.A.

(AMEN AMIR)

– Ever dated a Persian girl?

My girlfriend in college was half Iranian and half Irish– she was from England.  Every experience I’ve had with a Persian girl is a different type, they’re never your stereotypical Persian chick.  I’m not biased in anyway, I’m definitely not against dating a Persian chick, I just haven’t been in a serious relationship with too many.  I don’t have a specific type.

– Single? 

Yes!

Aww don’t be embarrassed

– What’s the worst part about sleeping with a broken heart? 

Just thinking about the other person, and going to bed and not knowing if they’re thinking about you.  Getting emotional about it and just having them on your mind all the time.  Everything reminds you of them.

– Are you a player?

I’m a suuuuuper nice guy.  No games. I just like someone in a relationship that likes the fact that I’m a comedian.  If you can’t take a joke or handle having witty banter back and forth, or you can’t understand and carry an intelligent conversation, or you get offended by little things, or you get embarrassed about something in public — then its just not going to work.  I’m super sweet to you if I’m in a relationship with you.  But you have to be on my level, I like witty girls. 

– What do you think about one night stands? 

Everybody has a one night stand.  Its a part of life.  Its part of growing up and being an adult.  I don’t think its necessarily a bad thing.  BUT, its not good to have a one night stand every night, that’s just weird. But I don’t think its a bad thing if you’re young, you meet someone at a bar and end up getting a little drunk, and something happens between you two– and hey, if you realize that you don’t get along with that person after and don’t end up seeing them again, I don’t think its wrong.  At the same time, I don’t think you should be putting yourself in those situations all the time.

Just respect yourself and respect your body.  Everyone has to have fun sometime.

As long as you’re not a whore about it and just being crazy!

Amir K. on tour with Maz Jobrani

– What advice do you have for the younger generation of Iranians out there?

Its funny– older people get weirded out by my jokes sometimes because my jokes can be inappropriate at times, but the younger people love it.  And I think its time for change — its good for us to be pushing boundaries and doing these things, like you guys with this blog.  The younger Iranian culture is more Americanized and we should take advantage of these opportunities.  It’s all good!

– How do you like your Fessenjoon?

Savory and sweet!  Especially on my tahdig!

WE LOVE YOU AMIR K.  Keep up the great work.  Check him out on his website: amircomedy.com — you will NOT be disappointed.

SEXANDFESSENJOON@GMAIL.COM

FACEBOOK US

Love always,

THE S&F TEAM

Zahra, You have a Hole.

Zahra Noorbakhsh: Writer. Comedian. Satirist. Filmmaker.

Our Favorite Unconventional & Funny Female.

Why? Because she’s decided to tell the world the challenges she faced growing up in a Persian family by publishing her dating experiences as a Muslim Iranian-American in “Love, InshAlla: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.”

Huffington Post and NY Times (CLICK FOR LAUGHS) recently published an excerpt of her story on the awkward parent-child sex talk she received in her teenage years on their website: Her mother not-so-delicately reveals that 14 year-old Zahra has a hole, and she must guard it from the hole-hunters (men).

The S&F Team caught up with Zahra to get the low-down on what happened after she discovered her ‘hole’, and how she came to a compromise between her American-ness and certain Iranian traditions.

– Growing up, how did you feel about being Iranian?

I hated it. I didn’t get to love my Persian-ness until I was in college and developed a penchant for sarcasm, which helped me combat the stupid questions. Up until then, “Iranian” was the label I was born with that left me constantly having to defend my heritage, where I felt forced to patiently answer questions, like “What’s a Persian?

I remember when I was in 5th grade, my teacher was telling the class how Iranians were “not-good people” ruled by a “a very-bad man,” Khomeini, and what a hard job George Bush Senior had, trying to stay out of the Iran-Iraq war. I could feel my classmates glaring at me. I should’ve told my parents what she’d said, but instead I just came home screaming: “WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE IRANIAN?!” I threw my backpack on the couch and ran into my room crying. My parents were so confused. They were like, “What do you mean? Everybody else sucks, we’re the best ones!”

“Everybody else” of course, refers to EVERYBODY ELSE. An ego I’ve come to love about my Persian-self!

My parents were also very adamant about holding onto their culture and religion and this was frustrating for me as a kid. I so badly wanted them to assimilate. My mom wore hijab at the time, which ALIENATED us from Iranians who didn’t practice and the rest of the non-Iranian, non-hijab wearing population.

“Now, in retrospect, I realize my parents held on so tightly because the culture was threatened at every angle, and I’m glad they did.”

immigrant parents…they try.

– How About now? How do you deal with the cultural conflict?

I get frustrated with the idea of cultural conflict as a ‘bad’ thing. We have to have conflict in order to reflect and develop; people need conflict in their relationships in order to grow the hell up, cultures need to be challenged by their younger generations and by opposing ways of life, because that’s how we develop into healthier societies. Personally, I’m glad America IS a melting pot and got that going early on, because I’m really not into scarlet-letter “A” iron-ons. Maybe another culture will help us get passed the religious right in this country so they’ll get their stranglehold off my Planned Parenthood.

EVERY country needs its immigrants, because at the very least, we learn from conflict– as individuals and countries.  My whitey-white boyfriend needs me, because without me he walks out into public wearing his button-down shirt with basketball shorts, tube socks and hiking boots (I’m not even going to scare you with the color clashing happening here, I’ll just orange is in the mix). 

Our foreign policy, foodie culture, trade, educational system, and the mining of our own resources are equally in dire need of a Persian girlfriend. 

When I hear anti-immigrant sentiment, demanding everyone to “go home,” it makes me laugh.  You know what happens to a country whose immigrants don’t stick around and really are just tourists? It’s called, Greece!  Love your immigrants so they don’t leave you.

[Knowledge  = power.  Learn from the unfamiliar.]

Zahra Noorbakhsh

– How do you believe your friends influenced you?

I went to a different elementary school for almost every year of grade school. I didn’t have a sense of identity that was actually “me” and not just “me conforming to yet another new school-culture.”

I didn’t have a lot of Persian friends growing up, aside from a Farsi school that my dad used to drive us to every Saturday, a two-hour drive from Sunnyvale to Sacramento, so that my younger sister and I could be around other Muslim Iranians and learn to speak Farsi. My parents were really dedicated to giving us some experience they’d had of “home” and “community” as they’d known it in Iran. No matter where we moved to in the Bay Area (Fremont, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, San Francisco, Danville)–Farsi school was a constant.

And apart from the consistency, it was nice, because all the girls at the school wore hijab and girls and guys were expected to dress modestly, so it was an escape from the social pressures of middle school—where some girls wouldn’t talk to me if I wasn’t wearing Stussy shirts and Guess jeans. (sad to learn recently that after 9-11—and the Islamophobia that came with it—their school was shut down) I didn’t connect as much with my non-practicing Persian friends as a kid. In my teen years, I felt from them the same pressure to conform to Western standards of beauty, which always left me feeling too fat, too tall, too loud and just not “hip.”

It wasn’t until college, again, that I started to get more comfortable with my own femininity and culture that I stepped out into society—as the French would say—and came into my own.

For me, my religion had been a security blanket from all the social pressures coming at me, demanding that I conform. As a Muslim girl, my answer was always simple: “I can’t, it’s against my religion (smile and then proceed to educate).”

This of course was my experience of a select group of 3 people I came into contact with and does not mean that you now go to your Persian co-worker or Persian neighbor and blather on about how you heard from your Persian “token” friend, Zahra, that Persian girls were “all” too into their Stussy shirts and Guess jeans to play with Mervyn’s-brands Zahra (that’s what they called me) and look at me and all my cultural insight—NO, you’re not allowed to keep reading this interview if you’re going to do that! However, if you want to facebook me so that you can facebook them and make them feel really, really bad about the nickname… I will make it easy for you to make that happen.

– So what happened after you discovered your hole and let a hole hunter in?

Well, I definitely wanted to be able to relax and have fun, but it was so much more complicated than I’d imagined. Guys seemed to look at themselves as the “conquerors” no matter how I approached it – which just kept me from trying to sleep with them at all. It’s definitely guys that can’t just have fun without confusing it with a bunch of bullshit.

My mother in the story I wrote for Love Inshallah was right: most guys really are after “your hole,” or at the very least, they’re not very good at seeing past “holes” well enough to think like a human being!

As much as I hated admitting it, I realized, sex for me couldn’t be casual – it was so much more of a mind game than dating actually was.

I had to bite the bullet and date, get to know the guy, and make sure he was the type that would be able to have fun, equally, and not make assumptions about me just because I was having fun too.

I found that guy and haven’t let go of him since. It’s too damn crazy out there, man!

– So what piece of advice would you give younger girls just discovering their hole and hole-hunters?

There is a huge misconception that guys don’t carry the relationship drama that girls have. Guys are idiots where emotions are involved, especially guys in college! They won’t admit that they get attached or that they fall in love. They project it all and then make like Bill Clinton, and deny the intent to gratify. Always listen to your heart, and if it tells you that you’re confused, they’re probably being confusing!

When you think its you, its probably them.

(AMEN TO THAT ZAHRA)

– How many Persian guys have you dated and which do you prefer?

Not a one. I can’t date a man better dressed than me. It’s just too much pressure. I like men that I don’t have to perform for – men that don’t need me to be a princess so they can feel like a prince. I have to perform all day! When I come home to a guy, I like to know that I can be myself: crack dirty jokes, watch Bones on Netflix (yes, Bones, it’s embarrassing), and just be an idiot in Target pajamas. Not that Persian men don’t love their girls in Target PJ’s!

– On One Night stands?

For straight women, one night stands are a ‘look as sexy as possible’ event. If you’re into that, go for it. I can’t enjoy myself with that kind of distraction. I think it’s always better to get to know a guy. Then when something embarrassing happens during the deed – like it always does – you can laugh about it!

– How do you like your fessenjoon?

Savory!

Buy the book because we guarantee you’ll enjoy it as much as we did: Love, InshAllah available January 24th and check her out at: www.ZahraComedy.com

FACEBOOK US

sexandfessenjoon@gmail.com

XX,

THE S&F TEAM

Amir, SON OF THE BITCH

Hey Jooniesssss,

We always like to start off the weekend with a BANG (not literally …. most of the time) and we thought what better way to start the weekend than with a post solely dedicated to THE hottest, funniest Persian comedian, we’ve ever seen.

Meet Amir K., our flavor of the week (or month-take your pick):

Take me home tonight!

Now he’s the kind of guy, you might be able to bring home to Dad: UCLA educated  and even better (for us): not your typical engineer, doctor or lawyer (BOOORING). Nothing says SEXYYYY like a guy that can make you… AND your family laugh.

AND he looks good when he makes jokes...

Amir K., we just wanted to give you a little shout-out and say: we love you, your long hair and your insane, new beard (it might get in the way during a make out session, but we’re willing to look past that).

Still hot? We think so

So joonies, if you meet a hottie this weekend who’s not your pre-parent approved doctor or real estate agent, don’t turn your back JUST yet.  You might be missing out on something like this:

HAHAHA not sure what he said, but we're laughing anyway...

And if you’ve yet to experience Amir K. in action, check it out, we KNOW you won’t be disappointed (especially those of you with Middle Eastern DADDY ISSUES like Saaghi– see here):

Like what you see? So do we! We’ll be watching reruns of Amir K. this weekend, but share YOUR hottie run-ins from the weekend- can’t wait to see if they beat Amir jooooon:

FACEBOOK US

sexandfessenjoon@gmail.com

XOXO,

S & F Team
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