Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Mona Kiani of Englisi Farsi

For this Raising Neem-Roonis interview, we talk to Mona Kiani, founder of Englisi Farsi where she creates books, flashcards, and other learning materials for people wanting to teach their kids Persian using phonetic English script. She grew up in Australia with two Iranian parents, but like many second generation Iranian kids, rebelled against the language and culture.

Raising Neem-Roonis- Interview with Azadeh Shams

Azadeh Shams is a toy designer living in Milan, Italy. She specializes in creating toys for children bilingual in both Persian and English. She has also become an internationally known expert on raising bilingual children, frequently appearing on the massively popular Man o To network. I became familiar with her work on Instagram, where she frequently posts videos on how to raise bilingual children, and often teaches by providing scenarios and offering multiple choice answers of how to deal with challenging situations.

Growing Up Neem-Rooni- An Interview with Tehran von Ghasri

Tehran Von Ghasri is a half African American, half Iranian comedian who reads and speaks Farsi fluently. Originally, I wanted to interview Tehran to ask him about being raised in a half Iranian family and how his father managed to keep him interested in the Persian language and culture. However, our interview took place a couple weeks after the death of George Floyd and the reemergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and all over the world.

Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Shabnam Rezaei

When I first envisioned the Raising Neem-Roonis project, one of the first people I knew I had to interview was Shabnam Rezaei, co founder of Big Bad Boo, a production company that specializes in animated series that showcase different cultures and languages. I actually met Shabnam many, many years ago in New York. I was working on a board game that teaches kids the Persian language and Shabnam interviewed me for a really successful blog she had at the time called Persian Mirror, in which she wrote about Iranian culture.

Complete Guide to Persian Cooking Resources

While learning a language is an important way of understanding culture, food is an equally important universal language. Iranians in particular are very passionate about cooking and eating, and in particular, cooking and eating together. We're raised knowing that there is always a seat at the table for guests, and that food is a pleasure best when shared.

Growing Up Neem-Rooni- An Interview with Adib Khorram

Adib Khorram was born in Kansas City, Missouri to an Iranian father and American mother. He studied theater at university, but later returned to a love of writing. His book Darius the Great is Not Okay is about a neem-Rooni (called fractional Persian in the book) named Darius who is struggling, as most teenagers do, to fit in, while also exploring his Iranian roots. In the book, he visits Iran for the first time.

Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan has in recent years become one of the most respected and recognizable Iranian Americans out there. He has many titles, but to name a few, he's the author of several books including his number one New York Times bestseller, Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, he's a commentator, professor, producer and scholar of religions. I met Reza at a podcasting conference last August shortly after coming up with the idea for this podcast series.

Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Maz Jobrani

Maz Jobrani is the most well known Iranian-American comedian, though he is currently extremely active in many different roles- making regular appearances on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, doing stand up comedy around the world, acting in movies and TV shows, and even hosting his own podcast, Back to School with Maz Jobrani. On top of all that, he's also the father of two half Iranian half Indian children, ages 9 and 11.

Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Arash Karami

If you're familiar with 'Iran twitter,' you've most certainly come across Arash Karami, a long time contributor for Al-Monitor. He offers some of the most astute and timely analysis of Iranian politics on the platform, and is followed and retweeted by the greats in the diaspora. He's also one of the reasons the Raising Neem-Roonis series came about. Arash wrote me on Twitter a while ago asking if I was teaching my children the Persian language, and we had a lively conversation about the challenges of passing on language and culture to the next generation.

Raising Neem-Roonis- An Interview with Naz Deravian

Raising Neem-Roonis is an interview mini-series featuring Iranians in the diaspora that are married to non Iranians and raising half Iranian children (hence the term neem (half) Rooni (Iranian)). Throughout the series, we explore the challenges and unique opportunities presented by raising half Iranian children, with topics ranging from raising kids to be bilingual in Persian (or not) to different aspects of Persian culture that should be passed on to the next generation (or shouldn't).