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Meet Farhang Celebrates A Night of Poetry and Nostalgia in Beverly Hills

Source: Farhang Foundation
An evening for the benefit of the translation of Dehkhoda's Charand Parand:  political satire from Iran's early twentieth-century Constitutional Revolution

Farhang Foundation is proud to announce its upcoming benefit event, Meet Farhang: A Night of Poetry and Nostalgia, on Saturday, June 5, 2010 from 7pm to 10pm at The Beverly Hilton's Stardust Room.

Time: June 5, 2010 from 7pm to 10pm
Location: The Beverly Hilton-Stardust Room
9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The evening will feature readings of selected Persian literary gems, set against the backdrop of live Persian music, with the purpose of raising funds for the translation of Iranian classical works into English.

Despite a large body of modern Iran texts having been translated to English, many Iranian classics - including works of social and cultural history of twentieth century -- have not yet been translated. The Iranian Studies program at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), affiliated with the Center of Middle East Studies at UCSB, hopes to rectify this, by translating a number of such primary sources into English and subsequently holding conferences about these works and their authors.  This project is intended to start in the summer of 2010, with the first of the translated works to be Charand Parand by Ali Akbar Dehkhoda(1879-1956).

Charand Parand (also known as Charivari), is a series satirical political and social essays penned in 1907-1908 and considered to be one of the masterpieces of modern Persian prose.  A notable intellectual and writer, Dehkhoda's satirical essays were both popular and extremely controversial at the time, taking jabs at all ruling classes.  As a result he faced fierce opposition from both members of the ruling elite and many clerics.  In later years, he became a celebrated scholar and was admired for his monumental works including, The Persian Encyclopedic-Dictionary, known as the Loghat-Nameh of Dehkhoda.

Farhang Foundation is proud to support such an important project with an evening of poetry readings by Elahe Akhavan, Shahrzad Ardalan, Galavij Motamedi and Mehdi Sayahzadeh, along with the live musical styling of Kamran Thunder & Mohammad HasaniSpace is limited and a minimum contribution of $75 per person is required. For event details and to purchase advance tickets, please visit  

Meet Farhang events are designed to invite members of the community to join and learn more about the Foundation and its efforts, in an intimate setting.  Farhang Foundation invites all lovers of Persian literature to join this edition of Meet Farhang: A Night of Poetry and Nostalgia, a worthy cause for the benefit of an Iranian masterpiece whose literary importance is only surpassed by its historical significance.

About Kamran Thunder
Performer, composer, recording artist, poet, Kamran Thunder (Tondar) was born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran. His master teacher was Afsharnia at the Tehran Conservatory of Music where he graduated with a specialty in ney.  In addition to performing and composing music, Kamran also is a media director and producer. He has created numerous songs and videos on human rights issues.   Some of his well known songs are "Edame Gol" and "Ma Bishomaranim".  Kamran is the founder of Studio Thunder, NeyArt, and director of RooyeshTV. He has published a collection of his poems called Divar, Zanjir, Hesar.  Kamran Thunder resides in Northern California where he works with various artists. He plays the ney, piano, daf and setar.  Mohammad Hasani and Kamran were classmates at the Tehran Conservatory of Music and have continued their working relationship by reforming their ensemble, after reuniting in the U.S.

About Mohammad Hasani
Mohammad Hasani was born in 1975 in Tehran, Iran.   As a young child he was inspired by his father (Bashir Hasani) who was a gifted saxophone performer. Even as a child he showed great potential in music. With great ambition and passion after many years of hard work, he was accepted into the only School of Musical Arts in 1989. He was especially interested in the Trumpet, which became his main instrument.             
Some of his accomplishments include, playing with the symphonic orchestra, air phone instruments orchestra, producing music for some exclusive theater plays (ex. Bertolt Brecht), working with various Pop & Jazz groups, producing and composing music for the Iranian State Broadcast; as a result, he was conducted to the House of Music of Iran.  In 2000, Mohammad entered the University of Iranian Broadcast in top of his class.  Currently he resides in Sacramento, CA with his wife and daughter, where he is working on various musicals projects. He considers himself a vocalist, performer, producer and composer.

About Elahe Akhavan
Born in Tehran, Iran, Elahe Akhavan was educated in Switzerland and Paris, where she focused on the history of art, literature and languages.   She has worked with Martin Lawrence Galleries and Chalk and Vermillion Company, as an Art Dealer and Consultant.   She currently resides in Southern California, where she teaches Russian Language and Literature.

About Shahrzad Ardalan
Shahrzad Ardalan left Iran in 1973 and has lived in many parts of the world, including Bournemouth, Paris, New York, Long Beach, and London and currently in Los Angeles.  She received her B.A. in International Business Administration from The America College in Paris.  She produces and hosts her two hour daily radio show on 670AM KIRN.  She is a Wedding Officiant, who performs ceremonies in English, Persian and French languages.  She also works with many charitable organizations, including Child Foundation, Universal Love Foundation, Kahrizak Foundation, The Children's Book Council of Iran- Encyclopedia for Young People, Cardio Start, ARM Foundation, Institute for Multicultural Counseling & Education Services, Iranian Cultural Center of Orange County, Mahak Foundation, Beverly Hills Relay for Life for The American Cancer Society, Sacramento Public Library Fundraiser, Iranian Children's Rights Movement.  She was the president of Ranch Park Rotary Club as well as the President of The Coalition of Iranian Entrepreneurs for three years.

About Galavij Motamedi
Galavij was born and raised in Iran. She majored in Persian Literature in college. She has been involved in many non-profit organizations and has been a major force in promoting the Iranian culture and Literature to the Iranian-American community in Southern California since her migration to the U.S. with her family. Galavij is the author of several books and has hosted various radio programs.  She currently resides in Los Angeles.

About Mehdi Sayahzadeh
Mehdi Sayahzadeh is a Los Angeles resident for the past 30 years, where he has been a very active member of the Iranian community.  He has held many positions, including board of trustee member of the Society of Iranian Residents, Executive Director of the Iranian Assistance Foundation, Administrative Manager of 24-hour Iranian Radio to mention a few.  Among his published works include:  "And...Thus Spoke Rumi" in two volumes, "Cup and Seed" in three volumes, "The Concise Lexicon of Essential Concepts in Rumi's Mathnavi"  and "Selected Poems of Rumi" from the book of Shams Odes.  Mehdi Sayahzadeh is currently the Executive Director of the Persian Research Institute.

About Farhang Foundation

Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate the art and culture of Iranian-Americans in its widest extent. The foundation supports academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports cultural programs such as celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, films screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. Farhang Foundation, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions plans major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture.

... Payvand News - 06/02/10 ... --

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