Shaheen Jafargholi

Sings "Who's loving you" at Michael Jackson memorial


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Setareh Cheshmakzan

Thank you Arash-1970! And Patriotic Welshman!

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

"and perhaps one day you will be able to say the same". 


Patriotic Welshman, accept my apologies. He is Welsh of course, not English!   No wonder he is such a good singer !;)


Bravo Shaheen Jan

by Arash_1970 on

A great singer ,a future star.His name is Shaheen ,an Iranian name. We are proud of your connection to us.

Setareh Cheshmakzan


by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

Please read what I have written carefully and do not take offence when offence is not given or meant.  

If Shaheen said last night in Larry King that he is "half-Iranian", I respect his wish to identify with his father's nationality. But, as I have outlined before, nationality does not transfer by genes.  It is a socio-cultural construct.  It is also the case that identity is not static, its formation is continuous, and in that respect, Shaheen in his process of growth and becoming may wish, may work towards and can become Iranian!  I would personally love that and would gladly and endlessly show off!

As I have mentioned before, if you have indeed cared to read, my interest in commenting on this case, is not limited to the case of Shaheen (who could indeed wish to be identified with Iran of which I am unaware) but the larger issue of identity, and in particular identities in diaspora.  For instance, I gave the example of some commentators arguing on other threads that true Iranians are not Muslims and that women protesting outside the Evin Prison were 'pretending' to be Muslims!  

I think my several comments are very clear and unambiguous.  I am sorry that you still feel offended. 



by A Patriotic Welshman (not verified) on

Would everyone stop referring to Shaheen and his mother as English. We Welsh find this most irritating. They are both British and both Welsh but most definitely NOT English. There IS a major difference.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I'm sorry, but your position is a very flawed one and represents a point of view I find offensive.

He is Iranian through his father (as he said last night on Larry King he is half-Iranian, which is true). For you to deny that is like denying he has black hair.

And by the way, you voided your own argument. If he persistently says he's from Swansea, therefore we have no right to call him anything else, that also means that no one has the right to say he is not Iranian through his father.

Setareh Cheshmakzan

Dear Lance-Rahim

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

May I apologise if I have upset you in any way before I explain more clearly what I have ACTUALLY said.  There are a number of issues you are ascribing to me which I did not say and which I list below and clarify: 

"You seem to wish to deny Shaheen the right to his birthright (of being accepted as a fellow Iranian) based upon the fact that his father was absent from his life".  

No, I don't wish to deny Shaheen any right.  Firstly, Shahin HIMSELF has not called himself an Iranian!  As a matter of fact, I do not wish to IMPOSE an identity on him which he himself has not claimed.  I respect HIS RIGHT to identify himself before you and I assign him an identity.  And secondly, I did not say that his father's absence from his life, as you say, through no fault of his own, makes him not Iranian.  What I did say is that his Iranian father has been absent and, from what we know, has not had much, if any, input into his upbringing, and in so far as that, he does not seem to be familiar -unlike yourself - with Iranian culture.  Neither does he speak Farsi - again unlike yourself.  I also, respectful of the efforts of his English single mother, made the point that "credit should go where credit is due". 

You say, "I am disappointed that you view him and perhaps all of us who are not 100 % Iranian as outsiders". "Even the owner of, Jahanshah Javid, could not be considered a real Iranian according to your definition" of "full-blooded" "100% Iranian". 

These are not my definitions! Neither did I even vaguely implied such meaning and definitions. In fact, I don't believe genes of any percentage proportion give anyone national identity!  Nationality does not come with genes.  Identity is a social construction and national identity, as a group identity, comes with sharing a collective culture,  sense of history, traditions and mores, and shared language/languages, which all create a sense of belonging, even as a minority member of a larger collective.  In your case, as you say: 

"Once I got older she taught me to read and write.  My baba and maman borzorg in Iran don't consider me to be a foreigner, ..."."my maman instilling a great love for Iran in my sister and me starting when we were little babies.  Over the years, my father has learned a lot of Persian just listening to his wife and children speaking the language and from hearing it on our TV everyday.  He eats ghorma sabzi, lubia polo, joojeh kebab and every other dish of Persian food that my mother has cooked for him over the years".  

This is a beautiful and clear narrative which confirms  the point I am making.  However, Shaheen has not shared what you have had in terms of language, read and write, getting to know and love Iran, having an Iranian family, that is, being part of an Iranian culture, and visits there.  You identify yourself with Iran, Shaheen does not.

You say: "No matter how little you may think of us, we will never stop being proud of who we are and who we've come from". 

Dear Lance-Rahim, I did not say or imply that.  In fact, I don't believe being Iranian or another nationality makes anyone either little or great; it is rather our humanity and compassion that makes us worthy.  However, I am truly delighted that you are proud of who you are in terms of your Iranian identity because such tender love is what our country needs to pull it through difficult times and to heal its wounds.

In relation to Shaheen, as I have said in my previous posts, I hope one day he would like to look for his other roots and discover Iran which, as you have experienced, is enriching beyond words ... But that is HIS DECISION only.  

Give my regards to your lovely parents for treasuring our heritage and instilling such warm sentiments towards Iran in you. 



To: Setareh & Anonymous-Kaveh

by LanceRaheem on

Except for, perhaps, Darius Kadivar, I may be the only other person to leave a comment on this thread who is "half" Iranian. 

While you both are certainly entitled to your views on who by right can claim to be an Iranian, I strongly disagree with you. 

To Anonymous-Kaveh: Why, may I ask, should one of the essential defining aspects of being Iranian be in having an Iranian name?  I consider myself to be Iranian and I always have, but my father is very much American.  My mother taught me her language from time time I was a baby.  Once I got older she taught me to read and write.  My baba and maman borzorg in Iran don't consider me to be a foreigner, but unless I misunderstood you, you seem to state that having a Iranian name is a defining characteristic of being a real Iranian.  I disagree.  When my grandfather, grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins in Iran tell me that you are right and I am wrong, I promise to reconsider my view.  Until then, I  will consider myself to be as Iranian as anyone else who loves everything about Iran.  

To Setareh:  I find your views to be the most troubling.  You seem to wish to deny Shaheen the right to his birthright (of being accepted as a fellow Iranian) based upon the fact that his father was absent from his life.  Shaheen is a young teenager.  How could he be expected to have developed a strong sense of being Iranian when he was denied through no fault of his own a strong Iranian role model in his life?  If anything, the worldwide Iranian community ought to welcome him with open arms and at least give him the chance to learn about his heritage so that he might develop a sense of pride in the people from whom he comes.  I am disappointed that you view him and perhaps all of us who are not 100 % Iranian as outsiders. 

Even the owner of, Jahanshah Javid, could not be considered a real Iranian according to your definition since one of his parents was only half Iranian.  His mother was half-American, so he, like me, has those pesky foreign genes floating around in his body, just as Darius Kadivar has French genes floating around in his and Shaheen Jafargholi hs Welsh genes floating around in this body. 

Needless to say, I comepletely disagree with you supposition that only two "full" blooded Iranian parents can produce and Iranian child.  In my own life, I give great credit to my very American father that he was secure and confident enough in himself and his manliness that he never interferred with my maman instilling a great love for Iran in my sister and me starting when we were little babies.  Over the years, my father has learned a lot of Persian just listening to his wife and children speaking the language and from hearing it on our TV everyday.  He eats ghorma sabzi, lubia polo, joojeh kebab and every other dish of Persian food that my mother has cooked for him over the years. 

It's odd now that I think of it, my father has never considered me to be a half-American even though he knows full well that I was born to an Iranian woman.  I'm glad that he doesn't adhere to your point of view.  He takes great pride in the fact that my sister and I fully embrace the beauty of both of our heritages.  Perhaps, if Shaheen's dad had stuck around, Shaheen would not be in the position he is now of having to justify his claim to his Iranian heritage to individuals who ascribe to your point of view.   

If anything, I consider my baba to be as half Iranian as an American can be because he by choice has spent his life loving an Iranian woman of whom he is very proud and always has been. 

As for me, my sister, Darius Kadivar, Jahanshah Javid and even the thousands of Iranian young people born and raised outside of Iran who can't speak Parsi, let me say that no matter how much some people may shout that we are not Iranians or a watered-down version of Iranians, we will never stop loving our heritage and we will always hold our heads high when we say that we are Iranians!  No matter how little you may think of us, we will never stop being proud of who we are and who we've come from.

Payandeh Iran and Iranians

Setareh Cheshmakzan

"get a life", don't worry

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

 we do care deeply about what is happening in Iran.  The issue here is not Shaheen! It is what is happening in Iran and with us, as far as I am concerned.

Davoud Banayan - Thank you.   I must say for me this is not about England vs Iran!  As you correctly pointed out, I am saying the Iranian father has not had much, if any, input in the upbringing of the child and therefore the credit should go to where credit is due, ie his English single mother.  

Davoud and "get a life", another blog similarly raising the issue of identity, displayed yesterday and the day before, was that of the video of the mothers and the family of the arrested protesters outside of Evin Prison.  Many shrieked Islamophobic rant, instead of appreciation, respect and support, and even went as far as claiming that these people are only pretending to be Muslims, out of fear!!!  That is, mutilating the identity of the majority of Iranians when it seems unattractive to them, or does not suit their particular agenda.  This is making the other person/people in one's own image or fantasy.  We all do that to a degree, but it is the degrees of the deviation from reality I am pointing to.  I found it very sad that these mothers put their own lives at risk just being there and protesting (and some indeed got arrested) and the response was that cruel racist fulmination.  

And finally Anonymous Reza - No you are wrong aziz.  I see your point and fantasy but my parents are both Iranian and living together, as happy as could be!  I was born and brought up in Iran, and my father is a gem of an Iranian man who always encouraged me to be fair, to think and to question.  And to humbly confide, I can dabble a word or two in Farsi, so no grudges there ;)  

Peace and payandeh baad Iran! 


all of u need to get a life

by get a llife (not verified) on

all of u need to get a life instead of arguing on here...there are people dying in iran.

shaheen's name is obv shaheen so iranian culture has def had influence in his life...just accept that he has some iranian influence and it's great to see an iranian name on something that was broadcasted internationally



Setareh, you are completely correct in your point of view

by Davood_Banayan on

Americans for a Democratic Republic in Iran.

Shaheen Jafargholi was born in England and his mother is from England.  England is a great country.  The founding father's of the United States of America had ancestors from merry old England.

England is a great place.

We must look beyond the fact that this individuals father was Iranian.  The father in this instance was absent.  He never took responsibility for the growth of the child.

We must give credit where credit is due, this child was made in England.

The following music clip sums it all up about Shaheen Jafargholi:




It was Shaheen Jafargholi, a

by Anonymousjgjhjg (not verified) on

It was Shaheen Jafargholi, a Welsh-Iranian singer from Swansea....//

Karen split from the boy's Iranian-born dad a few years ago, but added: "It's all amicable, so we're not another sob story."


Setareh che..

by Anonymous-Reza (not verified) on

It seems you got problems with Iranians although you have an Iranian name. Most likely you are half Iranians and half...(Whatever) and perhaps your father was Iranian and he left you and your Mom for whatever reason and now you are very upset!!!!. Get over it.



by choghok on

Just briliant!

I hope he will have his childhood though and not become a new michael jackson. 

Setareh Cheshmakzan

Anonymous 77, thank you!

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

Anonymous Kaveh, as it happens, I know a great deal about genetics!  You however have no evidence that his good voice and performance has come from his absent dad!  And even if it did, that would not make him Iranian!  Do Iranians all have good voices and are performers?! 

Congratulations and credits to his mum for raising such a lovely son and I hope they both feel happy and proud of his success.  



by Anonymous-irany (not verified) on

It is time for you to educate yourself and start reading some useful sceintific books before showing up and spew nonsense. English people, including welsh ones, got used to steal Iranian wealth and talents as they did it in the past centuries.


Nice but...

by KingReza on

...too bad once puberty hits, he's done...


nutcases there is no such thing as an iranian gene

by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

he has an iranian biological father, a welsh mother and I presume afrocaribbean granfather, WHOSE BEEN TRAINING HIM. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN IRANIAN GENE.
That's all by the by anyway and too stupid to discuss, if they push him anymore without more grounding he's voice is bound to crack


Word here is...

by Princess on

that Motown wants to sign Shaheen.

Best of luck to him!


Setareh cheshmakzan

by Anonymous-kaveh (not verified) on

He has a Persian name and Iranian genome(half Iranian), what else he needs to appear like an Iranian to you?

What do you know about human genes and behavioral genetics? Talent in different areas including Music is the joint product of heredity and enviroment.

Setareh Cheshmakzan

Mr Nouraee

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

If Shahin has not referred to himself as Iranian, and in fact persistently referred to himself as "from Swansea", then we have no right to call him anything else.  Even if he called himself Iranian but did not know the language of the people of that country and had not lived there, he would not become Iranian, on account of his father's blood.  He would remain an English boy with an Iranian father just as he is now.  Group identity does not arise from wishful thinking of oneself or others.  It is linked to sharing collective attributes, mores and beliefs, even if one is in a minority within that collective. 



Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

His father's absence or presence is not the issue.

And while he may be raised solely by his Welsh or English mother in Swansea, the boy has Iranian blood in his veins. He is entitled to call himself anything he likes, just as Andre Agassi prefers to deny that he is Iranian. On that we agree.

But none of us have the right to say Shaheen is not Iranian.


Although he has Persian

by Anonymous-keepgoingbaby (not verified) on

Although he has Persian blood.....
but it does not matter, we love him regardless...God bless his mother, she should be a wonderful woman..good for her..

Shaheen jaan, we love you..regardless of your race..

Setareh Cheshmakzan

Excellent and adorable, but not Iranian!!! Sorry!

by Setareh Cheshmakzan on

He has a wonderful voice and is such a good performer, but I am sorry folks, he is NOT Iranian!!  He has had an absent Iranian father and has been brought up by his English single mother.  Good luck to her and well done for bringing up such a fine young man.  Shahin has never called himself Iranian.  He is a very talented handsome young man from Swansea, England.  If, however, one day he becomes interested in coming to Iran to find his other roots, that'll be great.  As it stands, all the best to him for what he is and HE wants to be.



by Pahlavan (not verified) on

Long live all Iranians around the world


Shaheen ...

by Anonymous-keepgoingbaby (not verified) on

Shaheen jaan.. you got it all.. unique voice, cute face, warm-hearted, and Persian too :)

I hope one day you sing in Iran..for Iran's freedom..

Elahi dardo balaat bokhore to sare akhonda..


Ali P. jan

by Anonymous9999 (not verified) on

LOL, the answer is "Modern Persian". Shaheen has a wonderful voice.

Ali P.

Naravad meekheh aahaneen dar sang....

by Ali P. on

Beh gholeh yekee az mo'alem haamoon! (well, actually, not one, as all of them used to me!)

Raast meegeh...iin Anonymous9999, beechaareh, 100 dafeh taa haalaa gofteh haa...valee koo goosheh shenavaa?.

Chashm .

(I wish he'd sing in Persian too)

Ali P.

P.S. Let's say they catch you in Afghanistan, and accuse you of adultry, and they are putting you on trial. Would you ask for a translator? How would you distinguish our language from theirs? 

(Haalaa, this is Shaheen Jafargholi's blog. It would be rude to go on and on here. Answer this question later )

DK: Shah of Pop...LOL :-)

Rad Lanjani

Just a Short Note

by Rad Lanjani on

Long live with Shaheen! And read more about Shaheen: //



Ali p

by Anonymous9999 (not verified) on

It is in PERSIAN not in Farsi, remember you write in English. Roo zabonam moo dar aavoord az bas en raa tozeeh dadam.

Darius Kadivar

Cool ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Who else but an Iranian Could Pay the Best Tribute to the Shah Of Pop ? ...

All the Best to the Talented compatriot constestant from the UK Pop Idol !