Kasra, Connecting the Persain community to Hollywood

The presence of U.S. based TV networks serving the Persian audience worldwide has been the raising ground for many young journalists who are
active in various fields of journalism. OCPC was able to get one-on-one with Kasra Ghanei, one of the leading journalists active in reporting on American cinema and entertainment. Kasra is an internationally recognized television reporter and personality, currently contributing to PBC television network and Tapesh Magazine. PBC is currently rated as one of the most watched Persian satellite network serving the global Persian speaking public.

It’s been a few years since satellite TV technology improvements and the proliferation of satellite dishes have linked Persian communities in the
Middle East to Persian communities living in the West, initiating a cultural communication channel between both peoples that had been largely sealed
for more than two decades.

Today, over twenty U.S.-based television networks serve the Persian community with American and Persian made content and programming. These outlets, who compete fervently with each other, rely on meager advertisement revenues that serve as the only source of their delicate existence. Aside from the difficulties, however, which are mostly creative, financial and resource oriented– not uncommon even among their American counterparts, few of these media outlets along with their journalists are playing a major role in connecting the Persian community to American culture and society.

Generally speaking, reporters such as Kasra agree that the Persian speaking television viewer is a Western-exposed viewer with enormous interest in American cinema and culture. “Dating back several hundred years, the
significant influence of British, French and later American cultures and arts
on contemporary Persian society and lifestyles, has instilled an anecdotal fascination for Western offerings among Persians” says Kasra . He continues
to add that “This fascination continues to exist today, in particular, when dealing with Hollywood films and celebrities.”

Kasra who himself admits to bearing a deep interest in American arts and cinema, has been active in the frontlines of Hollywood’s biggest events and gatherings. Persian T.V. viewers have become accustomed to watching him interview America’s biggest stars and celebrities from the red carpet. From
his unprecedented interviews with celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Omar Sharif, Adam Sandler, John Travolta, Brendan Fraser, John Voight, James Caan,
Terry Hatcher, Ed Harris, Salma Hayek, Joel Silver, Christian Bale and
George Clooney, to his most recent interviews with the legendary directors Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, Kasra has proven to be an effective journalist reporting from the heart of American entertainment’s biggest events.
In many instances, Kasra believes that “reporters like [himself] have been the only representatives of the Persian speaking community” at important international conventions and gatherings. Recently, when star-athlete David Beckham was in Los Angeles at the opening events of the David Beckham Soccer Academy of Los Angeles, the young journalist was there to grab a
one-on-one interview with the celebrity soccer player.

The interview was aired as part of a David Beckham program special which rated very high among the millions of viewers who tuned in worldwide. Or, in another occasion, Kasra was able to place his microphone in front of Oscar-winning film maker Michael Moore and grab the latest scoop on his upcoming project that may or may not be a sequel to Fahrenheit 911. This kind of
access to important international luminaries is notable for the Persian community, as they feel caught up to the events that are occurring all around their communities. But, more importantly, they feel a closer connection to the rest
of American community.

Persian journalists have been instrumental in the discovery of the rising trend
that proves Persian actors, writers and filmmakers are, more than ever before, connected to many of Hollywood’s best motion pictures. While most Persians are aware of Shohreh Aghdashloo’s magnificent performance in House of Sand and Fog (earning her the well-deserved Oscar nomination), there are also other great Persian artists with which the community is not as familiar. One example would be when Kasra met the talented Massy Tadjedin, the screenwriter for
the Hollywood film titled The Jacket, starring the Oscar winning actor Adrien Brody. Once Kasra interviewed Massy on the red carpet, he learned that she was indeed a 27 year old Persian writer/film maker with an English degree
from Harvard. Or at the premier of Oscar winning producer and writer Paul Haggis’ stunning film, Crash, Kasra was able to interview the two Persian
actors in the film, Shaun Toub and Bahar Soomekh, along with Paul Haggis himself. Many remember Paul Haggis from his Best Picture Oscar winning
film, Million Dollar Baby.

The news of these overachievers’ success serves as inspiration to Persian artists, no matter where they live in the world. It also serves as a reminder to the Persian community that their artists are involved in the very center of American culture and society

Reporting on arts and cinema is comparable to light US entertainment
for most Persians living in the U.S. and abroad. However, if it wasn’t for journalists such as Kasra, the Persian community would not be able to learn about the achievements of these hard working artists. Without that, it’s
unlikely that our community would be able to uphold its artists. Fortunately,
such journalism serves as an important bridge between the two cultures and
that is very rare to find in today’s geopolitical environment.

Lion and Sun

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Shahryar in early May to talk about
what has been going on with him since we last spoke almost a year ago. For
our readers who remember our first article back in August, Shahryar had just come out with his debut album appropriately titled Sweet Beginning, with hit songs including “Niaz” and “Bitab”. But that wasn’t the last we would hear from Shahryar – he has done it once again. His new album, Parseh, was officially released in March with cutting edge arrangements by Roma Kanyan and deep and intense lyrics by artists such as Jaklin and Shahyar Ghanbari. And this time, his record label (Chehreh Nama) not only produced his album but also distributed it – something that makes a huge difference in how widely the album gets distributed. After its release, feedback from his fans was amazing – the
CD has been selling at an unbelievable rate, first in Europe and now here in
the states.

“Do you know the meaning of ‘Parseh’?” Asked Shahryar as we began the interview. I actually did not know the meaning of the word when I first picked
up his CD so I had to ask! Parseh means to wander or drift. It is the name of the title track which starts off with a piano solo and continues to be a beautiful love ballad. Shahryar’s main focus this time around was to start a new concept –
poetic and intense lyrics combined with catchy beats.

“I wanted to introduce the young generation to these beautiful lyrics using good beats and rhythm,” explained Shahryar. “To turn the deep lyrics of a poet like Shahyar Ghanbari and put a 6/8 beat on it is not very common to do!”
Shahryar has also used the talent of two young poets in Iran, Mehdi Moradi and Omid Hashemi, who wrote the lyrics for the songs “Setayesh”, which is one of the hit songs of this album, and “Javuneh”, respectively. He also has a track named “Baghe Khial”, which has a vocal/euro-trance feel to it, written by a southern California poet named Bijan Saeedi. So from world famous to up and coming poets, Shahryar has created an album that will truly get you hooked.

How did this album come about? After a strenuous experience making his first album, Shahryar wasn’t sure if he wanted to go through making another album, but through the energy he got from his fans and from emails and praise from all over the world, he was inspired to make another album. After much thought and planning with arranger Roma Kanyan, in a record breaking 12 months, he
completed Parseh. If you recall from our first interview, Shahryar has his degree in Architectural Design so he explained that this CD in some ways was sketched and created like a work of art and of course lets not forget that Shahryar’s talents go beyond just singing. Having played the piano since the age of 11, he is a true musician who composes a lot of his tracks himself.

Since the release of Parseh, Shahryar has performed at a number of locations
in southern California attracting large crowds of his loyal fans everywhere he goes. In fact, turn to our “Where Was OCPC” page to see pictures from his album release party in Hollywood! Currently he is touring Europe and Canada and hopefully soon we will have the pleasure of seeing him in concert here in Orange County.

The Persian Wedding

From ancient Persia to present day Iran, the celebration of the uniting of man
and woman is described in this unique book. The visually captivating tradition
is carefully presented as a work of art, with ten paintings by internationally renowned artist Nasser Ovissi as well as many pages of photos of the ceremonial wedding setting and its details and symbolism. This beautiful bilingual book is written in its entirety in English and Farsi.

The author, Bijan Moridani, has researched the available information of the past as well as Iran of today. He presents the antiquity and the persistence of the tradition despite a tumultous history, and finally as he writes in his introduction, “in the end it’s love, love and love…”

Here’s a preview of some of the traditions that are fully explained and defined in this wonderful book!

Khastegari (asking for her)
– On a predetermined date, the young man and his family dress up and go to the young woman’s family’s house. They are greeted warmly… The girl enters the room carrying a tray of teacups and offers it to the guests. This is not an easy task. She is nervous and her hands are probably shaking..

Namzad-bazi (engagement flirtations)
– There is no married person who does not remember the exciting, wonderful memories of the period of time in which they are engaged. In a culture where any contact between a man and a woman is strictly limited, even after namzadi (engagement), this episode, which lasts from the night of the engagement to the actual wedding, is treasured. It usually starts with brief visits, most often in the presence of family members, an exchange of loving looks and occasionally, if they are brave and an opportunity presents itself, stealing a kiss, which is always associated with the feeling of anxiety and excitement…

Shirbaha (the value of milk)
– The literal translation is the value of milk given to the bride as a little baby. It symbolizes the hard work and endless effort spent in preparing a little girl for a grown up life. In many English language writings by non-Persian writers or even Persian ones, I have seen this tradition mistaken with “buying the bride” which shows the culturally limited understanding indicated in these writings…

Jaheeziyeh (preparing for an independent life – the dowry)
– Traditionally, the bride’s family prepares almost everything that the couple will need to start their independent life. Jaheeziyeh may include Persian carpets, a refrigerator, furniture, etc. It also indicated the economic capability of the bride’s family…

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks in next month’s issue about the Sofreh-ye Aghd, which is the traditional ceremonial setting.

Real Life Back in the “OC””

Leaving Berkeley was a life decision that was not easy to make. Not only was it the city of my college experience, it was home to one of the happiest and most memorable periods of my life. If you’ve never been to Berkeley, let me try to give you a quick visual. First, it’s hard to believe that the city is part of America as it is so different, it might as well be a country of its own. Some like to call it “”Bob Marley Town.”””Mom and pop” stores are abundant and they compliment the street vendors of Telegraph Avenue quite well. The campus architecture is one of classical brilliance and the number of homeless people, an important component to the city, remind the passerby of the reality of life on a daily basis, something rare to Orange County and the countless other bubbles abundant in America. The element I love most about Berkeley is its people. I would argue I learned more from the people than the professors as the city is abounding with some of the most creative, intelligent, compassionate, and worldly people I have ever come across. So to say the least, it was difficult for me to make the fateful decision to come to southern California for law school rather than stay in the bay area as I did enjoy both options. After all, I’d have to make it home sooner or later and although Berkeley and all its memories are close to my heart, Orange County is home.

I returned home to OC early June and I had an interesting time adjusting to life here, especially since I’ve been away for four years. Everything has changed, well, at least to me. The OC landscape has been further developed. Wholesome Choice has become a center point in Irvine. Magazines like OCPC have been born from the Iranian diaspora community here in OC while southern California universities and colleges have finally begun to pay attention to Iran’s rich history and official language by instituting Persian language courses and Iran history classes, something very integral to my college experience in Berkeley. The people have changed as well, for better or worse. I’m not an authority on standards, but on a superficial level, it does seem that the kids I grew up here have changed drastically in many respects. The Honda Civics have been traded in for luxury cars and a man’s chest full of hair has been exchanged for a waxed one to compliment the thinned eyebrows above (some things I just don’t understand)! The cats have been replaced with little fluffy dogs. Some things, however, remain the same. Although my generation has grown up, many still don’t care about the world beyond their own. A political discussion or an exchange of ideas pertaining to Iran or the Middle East is still taboo, but the practice of gossiping is very widespread.

Whatever it is, OC is a place with different meanings to different people. After being gone for so long, it is a bit easier for me to view OC from an outsider’s perspective. As I continue to start the next chapter of my life here in OC, I will document this place’s complexities from a unique perspective.

STOP-GAP

On May 5th, 2005, the Disneyland in California as well as all other ten Disney theme parks from all around the world began to celebrate the “Happiest Homecoming on Earth.” The “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” is Disney’s first truly global celebration and is centered on the 50th anniversary of Disney’s very first theme park – Disneyland. This celebration is the largest in Disney history, and will operate for an epic eighteen months before it comes to a complete end. Since Disneyland’s grand opening in 1955, more than 500 million people have visited the Magic Kingdom. Disneyland’s homecoming event features an adorned version of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, a new parade and fireworks spectacular, a new ride in Tomorrow Land, and the long awaited reopening of Space Mountain.

The heart of the 50th Anniversary Homecoming event is the renovation of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The landmark castle, an international symbol of Disney magic, has undergone changes to literally transform itself into the “Crown Jewel” of Disney and Disneyland. Disney Imagineers gowned the castle in richly colored royal banners and decorated the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with large, sparkling, custom made jewel-like sapphires, diamonds, rubies all trimmed in gold. To top things off, the five most prominent spires of the castle will each be adorned with golden bejeweled tiaras – all 5 tiaras represent iconography of each particular decade of Disneyland history.

The creation of Disneyland is represented by a symbolic pair of famous Mickey “Ears” peeking up over the horizon to see the wonders to come. One crown commemorates the creation of Tomorrowland in 1965, and another honors Disneyland’s beloved Main Street Electrical Parade. One tiara represents the Indiana Jones Adventure and wields the famous “Eye of Mara” guarded by snakes while the last and final tiara celebrates the 50th anniversary of Disneyland represented by fireworks and the one and only Tinker Bell herself.

“Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams,” the all new nostalgic musical parade was created specifically by Disney Imagineers for Disney’s 50th anniversary event features one of the largest casts of Disney characters and performers ever assembled. The innovative new daytime parade highlights classic Disney stories
and characters that have contributed to the establishment of Disneyland over the past five decades. Imagineers combined our favorite Disney moments and beloved characters with gorgeous floats, classic songs, and energetic performers to bring the Disney inner child out of all of us. The parade features seven floats featuring: Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, the Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, the Lion King, and a float specifically designed for Disney Princesses and their Princes.

Continuing with the 50th anniversary’s nostalgic tone in celebration well into
the night, Disney technicians, artists, and Imagineers developed an all new nighttime fireworks extravaganza, entitled “Remember… Dreams Come True.” Using the nighttime skies over Disneyland as its canvas, the fireworks spectacular emphasizes the power of wishes and dreams. During the show, Tinker Bell surprises the audience with a truly unprecedented flight sprinkling pixie dust above Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – a scene reminiscent of the opening sequence for The Wonderful World of Disney. “Remember… Dreams Come True,” wonderfully incorporates new state-of-the-art pyrotechnics technology, custom pyrotechnics, over 25 Disney movie tunes, and over 80 pieces of Disneyland attraction music, sound effects, and familiar vocal sound bites for
a breathtaking show.

The new ride unveiled for the 50th Anniversary is Tomorrow Land’s new “Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters.” Inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 2, “Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters,” is the first theme park attraction in the world to feature a real-time interactive on-line opponent using webcam technology. This new technology allows guests on the attraction and player’s online at home to play together increasing the score of riders on the attraction by raising the value of the targets along the way.

Also in Tomorrow Land, the long waited return of Space Mountain happens July 15, leading to Disney’s actual 50th anniversary on July 17. The Space Mountain attraction sports brand new special effects, new rocket vehicles, a new custom composed soundtrack, as well as a new finale featuring a longer re-entry tunnel filled with amazing lighting effects.

As a Southern California resident, you have to travel down to Disneyland to take part in its 50th anniversary event. Disneyland’s not called the Happiest Place on Earth for nothing! So what are you waiting for? Let go and let loose for a day – skip your classes or just call in sick for work. Go have some fun at Disneyland!

Heart Savers

It’s rare among us to go in for a checkup when there are no apparent signs of illness. However, you may be surprised!

Early detection can reveal asymptomatic and often life-threatening diseases generally not detectable by physical exams in preventing possible health risks that we may not be aware of.

Heart Savers is a pioneer of this technology. It is a state-of-the-art institute for heart, lung, and body imaging with a new focus on dermatology. The center is directed by Nazie Fallah who has over 20 years of experience in the diagnostic medical field and beauty therapy. She has been the director at Heart Savers since 2004 and manages every aspect of business as well as consultations; with the exception of medical decision makings. Alongside Nazie is a team
of highly trained professionals dedicated to
the highest degree of knowledge and
patient satisfaction.

Dr. Matthew J. Budoff is the medical director of Heart Savors. He is well known for his research and works on EBCT and is extensively involved in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Hossein Alimadadian is the director of cardiology at the center who has been a practicing cardiologist for 25 years. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

On the technical side there is Michael Sells. He is a Radiology Technologist who works with advanced systems such as 3D imaging to draw accurate readings from the procedures.

With such an outstanding team of professionals, Heart Savers uses only the highest technology for customer care.

The Electron Beam Computerized Tomography (EBCT) is the only FDA approved system that accurately images calcified plaque in the arteries. Moreover, it produces 30% less radiation exposure than conventional CT’s. According to Nazie, “There are only 6 or 7 health centers in all of southern California that carry this device”. This preventive systems’ painless yet effective procedure provides accurate results while reducing the risks of high- dose radiation. Methods of colonoscopy and invasive angiography, which are normally associated with extreme anxiety, are no longer an issue with EBCT. It does not require any tube insertions or lengthy procedures; hence patients won’t have to avoid regular checkups.

The Center for Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser (CCD) is the dermatology department at the center. It is equipped with the newest technology for various skin treatments run by a team of experts whose experiences are accountable.

Dr. John L. Peterson is the Medical Director of CCD whose long-term practice is greatly acknowledgeable. His clinical expertise is in general and cosmetic dermatology. He serves his patients best with the combination of his accomplishments and an ongoing devotion.

Janet Petterson is the Registered Nurse of CCD with over 25 years of experience. Her specialty in laser treatment and aesthetic dermatology is highly creditable. Her care for patients is her top quality that leads to outstanding results.

One of these advancements is LightSheer laser hair removal. It is a safe and effective method for removing unwanted hair for all skin types, including ethnic and tanned skin.

ClearLight is a gateway for a clear skin. It uses the Acne PhotoClearing (APC) technology to destroy the most common bacteria that causes acne. It is quick, painless, and effective on all skin types. ClearLight is UV safe with no known side effects, which makes this medical breakthrough a miracle worker.

SilkPeel Dermal lnfusion is a breakthrough treatment that combines exfoliation with deep delivery of skin-specific solutions to improve and revitalize your skin.

Last but not least the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology corrects a variety of skin conditions such as facial skin imperfections, signs of photo aging, birthmarks, unwanted hair, unsightly small veins, and much more. This system provides superior cosmetic results that never fail.

The advanced dermatology and preventive body imaging at Heart Savers, located in the St. Joseph Medical Center in Irvine, is a safe and affordable breakthrough to most of your internal and external medical needs. Heart Savers is a step away from a healthier, happier, and more confident you!

Historical Figure a writer’s mind can be a powerful thing…!

Hence, it acquires a lot more than intelligence and the ability to write. It is a combination of the author’s deepest feelings captured by his/her life’s circumstances of the present and the past, that leads itself to readable words on a piece of paper. Sadegh Hedayat is among the most remarkable writers of Iran whose works can be identified by this notion.

He was born in Tehran in 1903 to a well respected family. According to his brother, Mahmoud, Sadegh was a very lovable child whose sweet speech and
wit was always admired. Though, by the age of six, he displayed a lack of desire to play with children of his age and became an introvert.

He finished his secondary education at a French school, St. Louise Academy in Tehran, where he took full responsibility of writing, publishing, and distributing the school’s newspaper. Thereafter, he was sent to Europe on a government scholarship to study dentistry. He eventually gave up that goal and focused on the study of pre-Islamic language and literature. He explored the works of many well-known writers and admirers such as Omar Khayam, Dostoevski, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Hedayat was fascinated by the philosophies of Buddha and Zoroaster (Zartosht). He published “ “Ensan va Heyvan”” (“”Man and Animal””) in 1924
and became a vegetarian in defense of the animal kingdom against the ravage
of men. Later on he distributed “”Favayedeh Giyah Khari”” (The Advantage of Vegetarianism) in Berlin.

Through Rilke’s admiration of “”death””, Hedayat became intrigued with the “”knowledge of the unknown.”” So much in fact that he tried to commit suicide
in 1927 by drowning himself in River Marne in Paris. In a letter to his brother, Hedayat wrote, “”I did something really crazy, but luckily it did not do me in!”” The cause for his behavior still remains unknown, but one could guess that he must have led a complicated life.

Upon his return to Iran in 1930, Hedayat’s first line of short stories called “”Zindeh Be Goor”” (Buried alive) was distributed, but he felt isolated from freely putting his thoughts down. He left for India around 1936 where he published his masterpiece “”Buf-i Kur”” (Blind Owl). The novel was withheld from publication in Iran until 1941, due to the controversial issues that it contained.

The “”Blind Owl”” says a lot about Hedayat’s character and his state of mind:

The novel’s central emphasis is on the modernized women of his era. The dual image of women as the virtuous and the prostitute is not well absorbed by the male standards of the 30’s. Hedayat’s frustration with this phenomenon sets women as the core problem of life and death. Since, women are the birth-givers; they can not be the heavenly creatures forbidden from misconduct or sexual intimacy. The author’s inability to deal with this realism brings him to a stage of psychological disturbance.

By the end of 1930’s, Hedayat’s career as a writer reached the end of its lifespan. His addiction to drugs and alcohol was a gateway to self destruction as a writer and eventually himself. On April 4, 1951, Hedayat ended his miserable days by committing suicide for the second and last time.

Aside from being a writer, Sadegh Hedayat was also a painter and an admirer
of music. Although his literary works seem disturbing, even as we speak, his academic ambition as an artist, his creative mind, and his recognition as the best writer of his time, makes Sadegh Hedayat an unforgettable figure in our history!

Forugh Farrokhzad

Thus far, I have introduced you to a number of legendary men
in our history. Stereotypically, it’s rare for us to view women as great heroes and legends. This month I would like to introduce you to a woman who has given birth to the power of self-expression in ancient Iran: a freedom of speech foreign to women of her time!

Born in Tehran in 1935, Forugh Farrokhzad is one of the rare cases of Iranian women who defeated the rigid image of feminism in the early 19th century.

She discovered her talents at the age of 15 and attended Kamal-ol-Molk’s Technical School seeking knowledge in the fields of painting and dressmaking. Although both subjects were appealing to her, (specially painting which became a second avenue of her talents), she captured self expression in poetry. At the age of 16, she married her cousin Parviz Shapoor and gave birth to her only child, Kamyar a year later. Within two years after her son’s birth, her marriage failed and she left her son and husband to pursue her passion as an independent woman. The greatest importance in Farrokhzad’s three stages of development as a woman: her marriage, divorce, and abandoning of her child, was her personal declaration of conflicts between social expectations and her own tendencies:

It was I who laughed at futile slurs.

The one that was branded by shame

I shall be what I’m called to be, I said

But, oh the misery that “woman” is

my name.

Her decision to pursue poetry was against the norm of women at that time; hence, it attracted much attention and opponents. “The Captive”, “The Wedding Band”, and “Call to Arms” resemble her perspectives on conventional marriage, difficulty of women in Iran, and her incapability to live a conventional life as a mother and a wife. She suffered a nervous breakdown in September of 1955 that led her to a psychiatric clinic. Following her recovery, she went to Europe for a period of nine months during which she studied film and became acquainted with writer and cinematographer, Ebrahim Golestan. Her most famous work, “The House is Black” was filmed in 1962 with the help of her colleagues who believe that it represented Farrokhzad’s view of contemporary Iran.

She has published five volumes of her poetry, 4 of which became available during her lifespan and the fifth volume that was published after her death: “Prisoner” (1955), “The Wall” (1957), “Rebellion” (1958), “Another Birth” (1964), and “Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” (1965). Farrokhzad was killed in 1967 in a fatal car accident at the early age of 32.
Her tomb in Zahiro-Doleh cemetery in Tehran is regularly visited by thousands
of her most loyal fans.

Forugh Farrokhzad is one of the most distinct women in Iran’s history. She
has been able to defeat the social norms of symbolic restraint in woman’s
self –expression. In one of her most famous quotes she says, “Until you reach
your liberated and free self, isolated from constricting selves of others, you will not accomplish anything. Art is strongest when it avails itself only to those who thoroughly surrender their whole existence to it”.

Her poems are an effect of emotional and psychological frustrations that gave
her the strength to turn “from personal to collective, from the female to the human, and from the private to the public.”

She has given the women of her country the courage to declare a voice by encouraging them to understand their state of oppression while giving them a reason to fight silence!

Cover Story Kamran & Hooman’s New Album: “20”

After nearly two years of anticipation Kamran and Hooman released their
long awaited album “20”. This summer sensation has topped charts since its release in June, becoming the number one selling album at VIRGIN RECORDS in Dubai, and has maintained its number one position since its release on eworldrecords.com, fueled by fans of all ages vying to get their hands on this musical masterpiece. Innovative, energetic and dynamic, “20” is a fresh breeze
to the stagnant and repetitive Iranian musical scene. Unquestionably, Kamran and Hooman’s youthful approach to music, along with their inclusion of various harmonic elements, such as R&B, Hip Hop, Dance, Latin influences and ambient electronic beats has sealed this duo’s fate as an integral force in the new era of Iranian pop music.

Since parting ways from the Black Cats in search of greater artistic freedom,
the two brothers are determined to create original, quality music. A majority of the lyrics on “20” are the product of poetic prodigy Maryam Heydarzadeh. Her insightful, romantic and moving poetry is beautifully paired with the acoustic engineering of Ramin Zamani. Zamani has been a pioneering force in Persian music, producing many of the most sought-after and notable releases of the time.

To add to Kamran and Hooman’s success is their music video’s debut
on MTV Europe, creating an international demand for the album while simultaneously introducing Iranian music to the wider, global music market.
Their concerts have sold out one after another from fans who can’t seem to
get enough. An upcoming concert scheduled for Thanksgiving 2005 at the Universal Amphitheater is also highly anticipated.

The Avang Music Company, which has spearheaded this production, is scheduling a music video shoot for “Fadayeh Saret,” directed by Armin
Hashemi in September. Avang is very pleased with its cooperation with
Kamran and Hooman and anticipates further cooperation between Avang
and the two brothers.

The Premier of “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam”

Young Professionals in the Community

John Fuentes Photography
John Fuentes has been a freelance photographer for the past 15 years. He has won several competitive awards for scenic, nature, and special effects photography in Alaska while stationed in Eielson AFB, serving in the United States Air Force.

His passions for artistically capturing time and events have been recognized by his clients and peers.

With a career in the Hospitality Industry, he gained the necessary interpersonal skills to capture his clients at their best. From his charismatic demeanor and caring for each client, he will ensure your comfort to gain the ultimate portrait for you.

John specializes in “Story Telling Photography” or “Candid Photography” that captures children, individuals, couples, and families within their environment or selected location. Also, with the assistance of CYRUS Productions in Laguna Hills, you have the option of a “Traditional Style”, studio controlled portrait. John has also added to his resume Weddings, Engagements, and Personal/Professional Event Photography.

Interview with Kourosh Pirnazar
by: Shaghayegh Farsijani

Tell us a little about what you do?

I do storyboards for Gold Pictures for a new TV project called SIN. I work there as a Production Assistant, so when they go out to shoot documentaries or any other outdoor shoots, such as corporate videos, I will go and do it under their name.

How did you get into Film?

I orginally started to become an animator but the problem there was as an animator you have to be really consistent; by drawing the same thing over and over again with small changes. I could draw both pictures but they just weren’t alike, so I decided to go into “stop motion animation” which is when figures are really there and you just have to shoot them. That was the first time I actually got behind the camera and decided to direct and set up shots. From then on I went into movie making. The movie that encouraged me to go into this field was “Saving Private Ryan”. The way the movie was made just fascinated me, so throughout high school I made short films with my cousins and friends. I went to the film school at Cal State Long Beach for four years and will be graduating this semester. While I was studying I worked on short films and documentaries and that is when I met a lady by the name of Melissa who helped me get this internship.

How did you become familiar with OCPC?

Exactly one year ago my mom brought the magazine home and I started flipping through the pages when I saw Mr. Danosian and I said, “Oh my god! That is my art teacher!” From then on I started reading the magazine every month.

Final thoughts?

It is good to get involved with this magazine or just the Persian community in general because no matter what you are involved with, you are helping the community. As you know, the LA and Orange County area have a huge Persian community so you should do a lot to get involved.

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