News & Updates

2 months ago

Nahid Sewell

Note from an American friend in my circle regarding his recent visit to Iran. Feel free to share.

I just returned from traveling in Iran for two weeks. With Iran so prominently in the news, I thought you might be interested in a few observations I made during the course of the journey. The group and I started in Tehran, headed north to the Caspian and some villages in the Alburz Mountains, then began a long overland loop to Qom, Kashan, Yazd, Isfahan, Shiraz and back to Tehran.

Some comments:

1. The facts on the ground in Iran are not consistent with the evil image of the country one draws from the media, which focuses on the theocrats, not the people. Iranians on the street were overwhelmingly welcoming, rushing to have their selfie pictures taken with us and inviting us to their homes for tea and to meet the family. The warmth of the welcome was manifest everywhere we went, from the kids to the adults;

2. Shia are much less devout than Sunni. In Iran the sale of alcohol is forbidden, but the sale of small stills to make your own alcohol at home is legal—similar in years past here in the US when the sale of cannabis was illegal but you could legally purchase all the paraphernalia to smoke it. Behind the walls that enclose their homes Iranians sing, dance, wear trendy clothes and get high;

3. During the entire trip no one had a moment of anxiety or felt a shred of hostility from the locals. There was an almost total absence of police checkpoints except for the occasional speed trap, and no evidence of any overtly repressive measures to control the people. The women, however, were dressed decorously, wore head scarves, and many older women were cloaked in black chadors, but not masked in full burqa as one sees in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States;

4. Large portraits of Khomeini and the current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei were ubiquitous. According to the locals, if a free election were held today less than 10% of the people would vote for the regime. There is a generalized longing for the country to open up, improve its economy and raise the standard of living. Our in-country cash expenditures went directly into the pockets of the people, little if any to the support of the Govt;

5. There is no obvious economic suffering in the country. Tehran is a dynamic city with nightmare traffic--new cars predominate, restaurants are full, the retail stores seem to be thriving, and the bazaars are packed with shoppers. How long that will last in the face of increasing sanctions is anybody’s guess;

6. Iran is an artistic and architectural marvel. One gets sensory overload walking through the centuries-old mosques, madrassahs & mausoleums with their incredibly elaborate Islamic motifs. In the countryside crumbling mud-walled castles and citadels crown the hills—all are open for inspection. Even in the holiest of shrines in Qom there are clerics who greet visitors, serving as guides and explaining the differences between Shia and Sunni beliefs. Non-muslims are allowed in the mosques, photos are permitted with few exceptions, and one has a sense of a much less restrictive environment compared to Sunni venues. This relaxed attitude was a big surprise.

All-in-all, Iran was a great experience. May Allah keep us from going to war…
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3 months ago

Nahid Sewell

Really?“Venmo recently banned the use of "Tehran" on their service. They say it violates their terrorism policy. Tehran is the capital of Iran and the city of origin for almost half a million people in the United States. It also happens to be my name. A name I am very proud of. I will never change my name BUT I will change their perception of it. "Tehran" is used in over 2000 business names in the US alone. 2000 businesses and 1 amazing & cute comedian.
Venmo suspended accounts of people paying for tickets to my show.
Pay attention now because later the cost will be too high. War always begins with culture/heritage first. Make Love. Not War.” - #Repost IAmTehran

—————
On June 19th Tehran will be the Host of "PERSIAN GIRLS NIGHT OUT!" Comedy Show at UCLA presented by Minority Reportz.

Tehran Ghasri was born and raised in Washington D.C. to an Iranian father and African-American mother, who met each other at college.

Professionally known as Tehran or sometimes as Tehran SoParvaz, Tehran is an international comedian, actor, host, television and radio personality, and entertainer.

His parents chose the name Tehran as a reminder of his Iranian roots and culture. Much of his clothes are custom made to proudly display the name Tehran. The nickname “SoParvaz” which is a more literal way of saying “So Fly” was added much later.

Speaking, reading, and writing Persian, Tehran has great respect for his Iranian heritage as well as his American side. In his humor he encourages young Iranians to learn Persian and appreciate Iranian culture. As a proud Iranian-American, Tehran has always been a leader in the community, working diligently toward a stronger, more united better tomorrow.

Hosting highly rated TV and Radio programs, the sharp witted comedian has been compared to a mix of Dave Chappelle and Stephen Colbert meets Maz Jobrani.

Tehran holds degrees in international politics and communications, economics, and law from George Mason University.
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#venmo #venmobansTehran #venmome #tehran #iran #usa #persian #blersian #tehranlife #inspiringiranians #inspiringmen #standupcomedian #iranianamerican #persian #GWU #DaveChappelle #StephenColbert #mazjobrani
#TehranSoParvaz #TehranGhasri #comdeyshow #djdancing #standupcomedy #femalecomedian #persiangirls #persiangirlsnightout #tehran #sponsorswanted #needsponsors #redcarpet #bestofla #laevents #ucla #minorityreportz #jamesbridgestheater
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4 months ago

Nahid Sewell

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6969485/Human-rights-lawyer-sentenced-148-lashes-38-years-jail-I...

Human rights lawyer sentenced to lashes and 38 years in jail in Iran
Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, was handed maximum sentence for all of her seven convictions.
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6 months ago

Nahid Sewell

She won! ⭐️⭐️⭐️!!!! Congratulations to 25 yr old Iranian American female director Rayka Zehtabchi on winning an Academy Award just now!!! The film she directed, PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. was nominated for (BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT) ⭐️
Read more about Rayka at this link, www.glamour.com/story/period-end-of-sentence-netflix
(Post photo and text updated after Rayka won her Oscar)
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7 months ago

Nahid Sewell

Concert time! #gerrynschaks #concert #crooners #timelesssongs #timelessclassics ...

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10 months ago

Nahid Sewell

Thank you Addison Library for hosting my book talk. Great discussion on life under Islamic rule, as experienced after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, as written in The Ruby Tear Catcher. #publiclibrary #addisonpubliclibrary #therubytearcatcher #bookclub #booktalk #addisonillinois ...

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10 months ago

Nahid Sewell

Chicago peeps, I’d love to see you at my presentation at Addison Library on Monday, October 22, 7 pm. You can sign up using this link addisonlibrary.libcal.com/event/4268806 #chicago #addison #addisonlibrary #nahidsewell #therubytearcatcher #bookclub #booktalk ...

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