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BREAKING THE WAVES: Iranian Women of the Diaspora Seduce French Media


Paris Report by Darius KADIVAR


New faces seem to appear on French TV lately and they happen to be of Persian Heritage. Is it because of the recent phenomenal success of the cult comic book and film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis that was awarded at this years Cannes film festival ?  or more naturally because of the rising to age of a first generation of Iranian descents often born in France or raised up outside their home country Iran ? Whatever the answer, it is indeed a happy and refreshing thing to see and hear Persian spoken on French talk shows as a nod to Persian speaking audiences. More importantly many of these new faces in French Media be it on Radio or on Television are often beautiful looking and particularly outspoken Iranian ladies who not only take pride in their roots but also bring in a different outlook on French people and French culture thus bridging the Gap between their fellow compatriots and French citizens through humor and intelligent debates on all social, cultural and political issues which add to their charisma and acceptance in their host country. This contrasts radically with the often negative image of Iranians delivered in the Western Press in the past 28 years since the Islamic Revolution took over our country. It is also interesting to see many of these outspoken ladies feel a commitment towards the plight of their fellow compatriots back home and use every opportunity to explain the difficult situation of Iranians in Iran confronted to Human Rights abuses and religious theocracy. Amongst these new faces some are journalists like Delphine Minoui, authors and researchers like Nahal Tajadod ( wife of French screenwriter Jean Claude Carriere), or playwright Yasmina Reza, philosophers and activists like Chahdortt Djavann, Artists like Marjane Satrapi or Nazanin Afshin-Jam or Nobel Peace Laureate Shirine Ebadi or even the former Empress of Iran Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi both of whom have published their memoirs in French.


When not dozing in the sun, Sarah Doraghi's charismatic and friendly
face lights up France's morning TV Show. ©TéléMatin FR2

This new trend is also a clear signal that the Persian Community and its struggles and Dreams for a Free and Democratic society for their compatriots back home is a reality that is being acknowledged by more and more people in the Western Free World and particularly France which for more than 2 centuries since the French Revolution has been a beacon of hope and Freedom for people world wide. Ironically the Children of the Revolution of late Ayatollah Khomeiny which often takes the French by surprise given that the Islamic Revolution was seen as a popular Revolution that took root in France before being virtually imported in Iran via Air France and tape recorders (sic). However it should also be noted that these Iranian Women are also setting examples of successful integration into the Melting Pot France has become. It also underlines that the democratic election of a conservative President does not mean the end of democratic values in a nation that continues to celebrate cultural diversity as an opportunity for enrichment rather than a shortcoming for social and economic growth.

Below are some of the TV programs in which our fellow Iranian Compatriots have participated in recent months.


Sarah Doraghi ( Journalist/ Presentator):

Sarah Doraghi Iranian anchor and presentator on the Morning Show Télé Matin and on Cable TV daily show QIF on Immigration issues


Nahal Tajadod (Writer) : 

Nahal Tajadod for her book Passport à l'Iranienne with French Interviewer of Prime Time news on FR2 and her book reviewed on Morning TV Show Télé Matin.

Marjane SATRAPI ( Director/ Author) :

VERY GOOD interview with Marjane Satrapi and Persepolis Cast Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Simon Akbarian and Vincent Parronnaud on Talk Show "Ce Soir ou Jamais" and on Talk Show Vivement Dimanche with Michel Drucker and Anne Sinclaire

Nazanin Afshin-Jam ( Singer/ Human Rights Activist) :

Miss World Canada 2003 Nazanin Afshin-Jam on French TV Show La Méthode Cauet

And on On a Tout Essayé with Laurent Ruquier


Chahdortt Djavann:  

Chahdortt Djavann with Thierry Ardisson

Delphine Minoui:

Delphine Minoui receive the prestigious Albert Londres Award in Journalism. Here is a Radio interview of her regarding her book Les Pintades à Téhéran :

Listen to interview.


Yasmina Reza ( Actor/ Director/ Playwright):  

French actor Pierre Arditi pays tribute to Yasmina Reza author of ART (back in 1995). Reza will soon be releasing an authorized Biography of France's new President Sarkozy.







Authors notes:

Official Website of Delphine Minoui
Official Nobel Prize Website of Shirine Ebadi
Official Website of Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Official Myspace for Marjane Satrapi

Recommended Readings: 

The Struggle continues: Nazanin Afshin Jam's Human Rights Campaign by Darius KADIVAR
Taking a Stand: Former Miss World Canada Struggles to Save Compatriot from Execution by Darius KADIVAR

On Iran and France :

An Independent Eye : Hengameh Panahi Producer Distributor in France by Darius KADIVAR
Enduring FriendShip: Alain Delon and Farah Pahlavi by Darius KADIVAR
French-Iranian director Robert Hossein to revive Epic Tale of Ben Hur in 2006 by Darius KADIVAR
MAZEH : A Taste of Persia in the Heart of Paris by Darius KADIVAR
Iranian Pioneers in French New Wave Cinema by Darius KADIVAR
Anicée (ALVINA) Shahmanesh: France's Sex Icon of the 1970's by Darius KADIVAR
New Faces in French Politics by Darius KADIVAR
Iranian Expats get Passionate over French Presidential Elections by Darius KADIVAR

Seducer or Seduced? Yasmina Reza's Authorized Portrait of French President Sarkozy by Darius KADIVAR
Chahdortt Djavann: A French Author is Born says PARISIAN Elle BY DARIUS KADIVAR
Persian Pygmalions: Twin Sisters Nassim And Neissa Parize Moving On From Failure To Wishful Success by Darius KADIVAR
Persian History Inspires French Comic Book Masters by Darius KADIVAR
Rumi A Great Film Critic's Choice by Darius KADIVAR
At 82 Is MKO Diva Bidding Farewell to Political Activism or to Music Career? Comments French Media by Darius KADIVAR 


About the Author:
Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant.

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