Jaatoon khaali

Photo essay: More from the iranian.com benefit dinner/concert

by talieshah

iranian.com benefit dinner/concert at Nayeb (Luxor) Restaurant, South San Francisco, (Saturday, April 19). Photos by Taiieh Shahrokhi. Also see photos by Faranak Ravon. ! [Jahanshah Javid's speech text /video]

(Please provide missing names in photo captions or corrections by leaving a comment)

Host Committee
Shahrnush Parsipur, San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco Commissioner Dr. Elahe Enssani, Maryam Majidy, Amir Salamat, Lale' Shahparaki Welsh of BeyondPersia.com , Behzad Golshan, Maryam Jahangani, with Master of Ceremony Bruce Bahmani.
Musical Artists
* Arash Sobhani, Babak Khiavchi, Anoush Khazeni, Ardalan Payvar of Kiosk [kiosk-music.com].
* Hamed Nikpay [hamednikpay.com] and Farin Foroudi.
* Raeeka Shehabi-Yaghmai [raeeka.com]
Visual Artists

Ali Dadgar, Babak Daleki [dalekiceramicstudio.com], Jaleh Etemad [jalehetemad.com], Taraneh Hemami [taranehhemami.info], Shahab Laal, Simin Meykadeh [simin-m.com], Amir Salamat [amirsalamat.com], Shiva Pakdel [shivapakdel.com], Farrokh Shehabi, Hadi Tabatabai [topause.com], Avideh Zahedi. Donated art: Art from theheart
Organizing Committee
Lale' Shahparaki Welsh of BeyondPersia.com, Maryam Majidy, Nazy Kaviani, Wayne Willis, Bruce Bahmani and Jahanshah Javid
Mehran Ebrahimi, Payam Moghaddam, Maryam Boutalebi, Ehsan Akhbari, and Pouria Emami.



Well Said Talieshah

by urstruly (not verified) on

Good idea about the getaway too... How 'bout to a beach resort (or not a resort, a remote non-touristi quiet beach) in Mexico, i know someone that can make some recommendations... :)))


Memorable Moments from the Gathering!

by talieshah on

Memorable moments from the Gathering:

1. Jahanshah’s speech being on fire without anyone noticing for the first few seconds was so funny and then him and Lale trying to put it out before setting off the sprinklers; unforgettable for sure.

2. Recognizing people from their names after meeting them and realizing that I had seen their contributions on Iranian.com. Also, feeling that I knew them so much deeper than a first encounter due to their writings/submissions/etc.

3. It felt like a wedding with Jahanshah going from table to table to greet everyone and talk to everyone (he felt he didn’t get to do enough of that).

4. The collaboration between all the musicians was so beautiful. Even though their styles were different; they could play together and create something new and exciting.

5. Jahanshah’s speech was so warm and touching not to mention real!

6. The food was great including the “Shole-Zard” which everyone wanted more servings of (only my mom’s would be better!)

7. Meeting the dedicated behind the scenes individuals who contribute to Iranian.com in a non-publicized way.

8. Catching up with friends and making new ones.

I was so happy that I could attend this event and look forward to setting up another event where Iranian.com writers/contributors could get together and meet in person. Perhaps an Iranian.com getaway? Any ideas, please send them my way!



by urs (not verified) on

Really enjoyed all these pix and the night was pretttttttty perfect! :)


Devil's Advocate

by Mersedeh on

One of the reasons Iranian.com is such a success is that it has been "large" enough- thanks to Jahanshah's capacity for and appreciation of tolerance- to sustain the diversity within our community. What I have admired most about my friend is that he has always appreciated all facets of life and has sought hard to give equal space to both the shadow and the light that emerges from our contributions. I think maintaining this balance is a very difficult task. This is especially true when we live in a society where we are inundated with the need to be constantly "positive" and immediately strike anyone who dares to vere off that path; however, allowing room for the voice of dissent is a generally good excercise for Iran and Iranians. I think as long as a person can express their dissent in a respectful way, perhaps the rest of us can just listen and absorb and maybe try not to strike a counter-attack of "positivity" with sarcasm or tit-for-tat comments. Perhaps we can consider his comments and accept that if we DO disagree, we also have the option to NOT react...especially (as in this case)if dissenting comment is not such a foul act that everyone has to rain down on his head such that noone again dares to ever criticize anything ever again. Afterall, wouldn't that be boring?...[This was supposed to be my 2 cents...Sorry that it turned out to be more like 97 cents!]


What's with all the bitterness?

by averagejoy (not verified) on

Killjoy, et. al.:

1. Please stop being bitter everybody! That evening and that cause were so precious and so sweet, it is not fitting to spew venom like this about them.

2. Bruce and Lale much like the other billions of people in this world, had nothing to do with who their parents were and how their ethnicity/nationality has been determined. They cannot take credit for it, nor can they be criticized for it. Lale, Bruce, Jahanshah, and everybody who has put their heart and soul into Iranian.com and into supporting it in any way they can are sufficiently Iranian and I love them for it. Stop with the division.

3. I knew you weren't there, because you would have known that Bruce Bahmani opened his presentation in Farsi. His presentation was extremely warm and kind and inclusive of all who have helped build Iranian.com. Above all, his presentation was full of love and respect for JJ, the man we had all gathered to honor. Bruce fit the bill with flying colors.

4. I think you care for Iranian.com and that you are not really a killjoy, but I also think that for someone who wasn't there and didn't hear the speeches, you said too much! Many people were thanked, and JJ's letter to the guests and his speech were highly reflective of the people who have contributed to the site's success.

5. It is Iranian.com, not Farsi.com, reflective of the fact that the Iranian identity takes precedence over the language. I appreciate this is unfortunate, because Farsi Shekar Ast, and we must try and preserve it in whatever way we can. But I'm not sure Iranian.com is the best place for doing that, because this medium enables Iranians and Iran-lovers living anywhere, and speaking any language, to be a part of its community, and many of those Iranians and Iran-lovers, unfortunately, don't speak Farsi. Therefore, speaking English at the event was perfectly consistent with the site's mission.

6. Killjoy, I won't spoil you like JJ did, and I won't attack you like others. I do ask you to be fair and real. Don't destroy. Build. Plant and harvest joy instead!

Peace and joy.


KillJoy: Sabety was there in spirit and on screen

by bahmani on

Sorry to disappoint your expectation. Honestly it was my first MC of something I care about deeply (usually I get to do Friends' wedding toasts), the decision to roast or not, the details to include and exclude, the timing, the pressure to be funny, to move the evening along to the business that needed to be done, all factored into a result. Which you may not have enjoyed. Sorry again, I did the best I could.

Also, the event started off-time due to a key speaker arriving almost 1.5 hrs later than scheduled. That kind of threw everything off.

Sabety was included as a chosen writer, in the slideshow which I acknowledge was fast, I barely was able to get that played at all due to the speaker delay.

The proper celebration of the accomplishments of Iranian.com are a huge monumental task that I don't think anyone could properly do justice to. I can think of 20 writers you left off. Are you being insulting by leaving them off? Of course not.

Finally, as a born half breed bi-lingual Iranian, I have endured a lifetime of unacceptance by pure-breeds of your ilk. You are nothing new. Boring yappy cliches we've already heard. It hasn't stopped people like me so far, it won't stop us in the future. Like it or not, accept us or not, we are here to stay, blame it on our parents who chose to breed outside your Aryan race.

I'll try to tone down my bias, you try to be open to the existence of people like me. Keep in mind we're usually fair, but almost always taller too.


My night at Luxor

by killjoy. (not verified) on

I was really hoping that the matter by now would have been water under the bridge. But Ms Welsh’s kind and enlightening remarks were too challenging to remain unanswered. So here we go. Let me see: I am a boorish social bully, an emphatically venomous observer, a no do-gooder, a moaner, and in the words of Ms Welsh’s sister-in-arm, Ms Souri, I am just a jealous guy – (with due respect to John Lennon). Of course, I am defeated even before putting pen to paper in my own defence. After all, not being born to a mixed Anglo-Iranian parent, English is not my mother tongue and it should put me at a great disadvantage. The other handicap that I, allegedly I hasten to add, suffer from is that I possess a dark and depressive mind (courtesy of Jahanshah). All these because I dared criticize the format of the Big Bash!

But let me ask you a simple question: how do you define being Iranian? Is it because you are born on Iranian soil? If so, can we regard this year’s Noble Laureate in literature, Doris Lessing, as an Iranian – or perhaps it is a matter of being raised in a dominantly Iranian culture. In that case all those Iranian-American kids who were born and brought up in America would be denied their ancestral identity. Some may suggest, if one enjoys the Iranian music or cuisine is evidence enough for being Iranian. One thing that does not seem to matter at all is the ability to read, write, listen and speak in Persian. But is this not the modicum prerequisite that one would expect from and Iranian loving crowd? Is it not a requirement of being naturalized American to have a simple knowledge of English? Language was only one point in my critique of the Bash format. But come to think of it, I was expecting too much. When a show is run by two emcees who are both half Iranian and are more fluent in their “mother tongue” (English and German) than in the tongue of their fathers, it is unrealistic to expect any weakness to be put on show in the less “civilized” tongue of the fathers'. Mind you JJ himself is quarter American, so all is forgiven. But, it wouldn’t have disrespect any of the audience if a single quotation in Farsi would have been mentioned or am I asking for too much?

Iranian.com is a brilliant venture and its captain, Jahansha Javid, is a true Iranian. Sadly I can't say the same about his marketing team.

Finally, for your information, I was not in Luxor restaurant that evening - shows how easily one can read you thru.

Until later


Azarin Sadegh

Nice pictures!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thanks for posting these nice pictures!

Actually, it is funny that I found the picture of one of my husband's childhood friends with his new fiancee... nice! //iranian.com/main/image/26692

Congratulations Ahmad! As my husband say, now you look exactly like your dad (when he was your age)!

Cheers, Azarin

Lalé Shahparaki Welsh

Footage of the event

by Lalé Shahparaki Welsh on

Hi Monda, great question. We did take as much footage of the event between Beyond Persia's Saberh Kashi & Markazi TV as we could, and we are in the process of editing it and can share some of the funiier moments on Iranian as soon as it's all done. However, the musical parts of this event were not taped at the musician's own request (so folks, please don't blame us...no angry emails please). 

And Kill Joy, My guess is you were probably there that night. Your familiar observations and emphatic venom make me think you've been seething about the event since then.  I make no apologies for speaking in English. First of all, IT IS, in fact, my mother tongue (I was born to an English Mother in England). Second and most importantly, all events we put on are conducted in English for the simple fact that we live in the US, and our events including this one for IRANIAN.com, attract many non Persian speaking people. We are proud of this cross over.  If there's so much as one person in the crowd that doesn't speak English then speaking anything but that is rude and disresectful. 

Just wondering, why don't you make your posts in Persian if your mother tongue is so important to you?

I hope you aren't one of those boorish social bullies that give us all a bad name by ignoring the fact that not everyone speaks farsi. Ya as oon adamaie basheen ke heech kareh nik nemikoneh va faghad Irad migireh! Shoma Kootah biyain ye khoordeh.

Ba eradat.  


Video of this event, anybody?

by Monda on

These photos are great, khasteh nabashid Khanom!

I notice in these pictures that Raeeka collaborated with the other musicians.  Did anyone have it recorded by any chance?


Dearest Jahanshah

by killjoy. (not verified) on

I wished your fans (like Souri) were half as generous as you were. If one makes a valid criticism, one should be congratulated, not condemned.

Poignantly yours,



Date with JJ??

by Anonymouse on

No one mentioned this before.  Is this a real date?!  Is Fariba R single? (Pictures 76, 148, 151, 159, 234 and 392).

When is the date or has it already gone by?

Fariba if you are a registered user please write a blog so we can all "discuss" :-)

If you are not registered please register and buy yourself some insurance by writing a blog for a good night! 

This is not a blind date and since you paid big bucks for it you don't want to end up with a date who is going to talk about all 410 photos, one by one!

JJ has a lot of friends in us and we can collectively give good tips BEFORE your date!! For both of you ;-)


killjoy joon

by urstruly (not verified) on

wish you were there. really.

Jahanshah Javid

My dearest Killjoy

by Jahanshah Javid on

ah ah ah... cheh bad-akhlaagh o bad-been... you're such a sweetheart :o)

You touched on every weakness of the event, almost none of which I can argue away or challenge. Your dark and depressing mind is very persuasive.

The purpose of the event was to show people a good time (you wouldn't understand), not to go over the history of iranian.com in half an hour.

The quotes were from works by about 20 iranian.com feature writers I had recommended to Bruce, including Naghmeh Sohrabi, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Ahmad Sadri, dAyi Hamid, Setareh Sabety and... (Talieh Shahrokhi was not able to take pictures of all the quotes in the slide show)

I apologize for being in the spotlight; it happens that it's not my favorite place, but I do appreciate everything everyone has done for iranian.com.

And what's wrong with Lalé Welsh and other Iranians speaking English? Isn't it YOUR language of choice as well?

Why are you so bitter for goodness sake?

Yeh labkhand bezan bebinam... :o)



by Souri on

I think you are right, many things have been missing there.

So, I'd suggest for next year benefit dinner: You would buy your $150 ticket, pay the transport up to there and do all those things you named being missed this time.

Not only you kill joy, but also you kill yourself by jealousy


Dastet dard nakoneh...!

by sima on

Thanks Talieh for taking so much trouble. Much appreciated, and very nice photos. It's good to put some faces with the names we've seen so much. And JJ khan, vaaghe'an dastet dark nakoneh. Awsome accomplishment, man.


Those who were missed out!

by killjoy. (not verified) on

Was there any mention of those early contributors who are no longer with us? The likes of Daiee and a few more whose early writings attracted so much attention but they are not alive to see the fruit of their support.

How about all those political writers, like Setareh Sabety whose firey writings provoked such massive response each time she wrote? How about Sadri Brothers whose ideas may not have appealed to many of the organizers or participants in your party but they made and all the difference.

How about all those letter writers whose numerous response put JJ out of breath each time he had to do the Letters section? They were the engine of the Iranian.com.

How about all those faceless commentators whose comments, politically correct or incorrect, are the reson d' etre of the Iranian.com?

How about all those famous names, whose works were sometimes directly posted and other times copied and pasted: Freydoun Hoveyda, Nader Naderpour, Abdolkarim Soroush and many more.

All of the above received only a passing mention, if any at all - no quotations, no tributes, nothing. Oh, I am sure there are always good excuses: lack of time, or too many to be counted, etc. But this WAS the time. The only time.

The selection of tributes was done extremly unprofessionally, with haste and subjectively.

The last but not the least, why the entire show was conducted in English? This is a site called Iranian.com and NOT Iranian-American.com. There was not a single quotation in Farsi.

Thank you Bruce Bahmani for doing it in your own biased and non-objective style. As always!

Thank you Lale Welsh for reminding us our mother tongue language is English.

And thank you Jahanshah for allowing your pals, turn you Magnum Opus into a yet another cash strapped dotcom story.


Lovely Pictures

by bahram9821 on


Lovely Pictures, dasteh shoma dard nakoneh, thanks.


Name Tag

by bahram9821 on

JJ For next year's Benefit, big name tag for every body please. I love to know the name of these lovely people, Siamak is the only face that I recognized lool. How about for next year's Benefit all expense paid (ok half paid since it is a benefit) for me to travel from Shakheh Africa to CA and video tape the event? loool.



by Mersedeh on

Wonderful job....You did a great job of capturing the most memorable pieces of that night. Thanks for all your hard work!


Jeezus Christ! 400+ photos?

by Q on

Damn, was this the 2500 year celebrations? I don't think the Pahlavis took this many pictures.

They are good though. Thanks to Talie. I just have carpal tunnel now!


These pix are great

by Ana (not verified) on

These pix are great and of course with the captions to follw will be triple superb!!
But... I have a question for you:
Did you get to eat anything?!
You must have been starving by the end of the evening, taking all these lovely pix you had no time!

Abbas Atrvash

Yours were the best

by Abbas Atrvash on


I have been hearing "jay-e shoma khali" for the last few days, but honestly speaking your pictures were the most expressive and so vivid to make me feel that how much I missed that night. Thank you. We owed Jahanshah and deserved such a response from us for a long time.

Pirooz bashid,