Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari

I Want to Cry Like Soraya

Or, Three Faces in Paris: Soraya, Sadegh, and Sa’edi

I really should be getting on, but I don’t want to go to the gathering; no, anything but that. The sun is again but a memory, this chichi avenue draped in damning black and blue; whoever said autumn was romantic can go to hell. Behind those hissing maws of steel, a pale-faced boy is licking coffee grounds from his thumb whilst half-heartedly listening to the eschatological banter of a bundled-up blonde. Could this vignette be any more miserable? I suppose things can always get worse; I mean, just imagine if Phil Collins were to pop on the radio. Maybe it’s just the weather and the grim reality of November, and I shouldn’t think too much about things. I’ve heard it’s been snowing quite a bit in Tehran. It’s difficult to imagine, because I’ve never seen Tehran at this time of year. Like the sun, it seems so far away; but then again, it would, even if I were to be tossed in the smoggy thick of the city. I always seem to have my head in the clouds and the stars in my eyes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, I am a year older, and yes, if I don’t make a move, the gods will take a proper piss on me, but – I wonder what the streets of Tehran look like now …

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Sama Alshaibi

The Sea is Mine

Curator and writer Rachel Dedman looks at issues of migration, displacement, and memory in her reflection on Palestine’s recent Qalandiya International biennial

Gaye Su Akyol

The Rakı Hologram Picture Show

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Who knows. What we do know for now is that we can’t get enough of Turkey’s Gaye Su Akyol and her latest album, Empire of Holograms.

Sarah Maple

The Marvellous World of Miss Maple

Who on earth would want to kill the utterly cool British-Iranian artist Sarah Maple? She doesn’t know, either. Joobin Bekhrad talks to her about her art, flying bricks, and her new book.

Islam Chipsy

High Voltage

Nicolas Gilles, a Frenchman living and working in Cairo, looks at the Egyptian musical phenomenon that is ‘electro-chaabi‘ and contrasts its trajectory with that of hip-hop in France

Hushidar Mortezaie

REORIENT Radio – Hushi

For the sixth episode of our podcast series, Joobin Bekhrad talks to US-based Iranian fashion designer Hushidar Mortezaie, better known to the likes of Madonna, Beyoncé, and Brad Pitt as ‘Hushi’

Hassan Hajjaj

The Importance of Being Hassan

Joobin Bekhrad catches up with Hassan Hajjaj to discuss being decorated by King Mohammed VI, growing up in Morocco and England, and a recent exhibition about black dandyism