A feature interview with karate champion and Head Coach of the Canadian national karate team, Nassim Varasteh. Nassim joins Jian in the Roqe Studio for a rare interview about her path to excellence, the obstacles of achieving success in a male-dominated sport, and the expectations that come with being the daughter of an Iranian karate legend. Plus, the Roqe team reconvenes for a catch-up and Letters of the Week.
An interview with guitar virtuoso, Babak Amini. Babak joins Jian in the Roqe Studio to discuss painful days trying to make music in revolutionary Iran, his journey to the West with Googoosh, and his prolific roster of performance, arrangement and production with iconic Persian artists. Babak brings his new song "Ey Iran" for a world premiere.
A feature interview with professor of constitutional law, best-selling author, and pioneering human rights attorney, Banafsheh Akhlaghi. Banafsheh and Jian discuss the question of how the Iranian diaspora community sees itself, and grappling with the reality of being a minority group and “people of colour.” Plus the Roqe Roundtable reconvenes with very special guest, actress and human rights activist, Niaz Salimi.
An interview with Armenian-Iranian-American musician, songwriter and producer, Erwin Khachikian. Erwin recounts growing up the son of a church pastor in 1970s Tehran, working with System of the Down’s Serj Tankian, producing Siavash Ghomayshi, and finding his own solo sound.
An interview with educator, writer, and human rights advocate, Mansour Farhang. In an engaging and wide-ranging chat, Professor Farhang, now 84, recounts the story of being arrested for the first time in Iran for advocating as a 16-year old for former PM Mosaddegh, lessons learned from his stint as Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations in 1979, escaping Iran after the revolution while many of his contemporaries were executed, and his work with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch over the last 40 years in the United States. Plus, the Roqe Roundtable convenes - with special guest Niloofar Ghorashi - to discuss the Farhang interview and ideas inspired by Shally Zomorodi in the last Roqe episode.
A feature interview with San Diego broadcaster Shally Zomorodi. The award-winning journalist, known for her ebullience, joins Jian to discuss identity, feeling like an outsider, balancing work and family, and being a proud Iranian despite growing up in the diaspora.
An interview with veteran journalist and producer Mohammad Manzarpour about the Iranian regime’s latest decision to execute three young protesters. Plus, related: the Roqe Roundtable convenes to discuss the efficacy and responsibilities of collective action in the diaspora with poet and activist Bahar Almasi in the guest chair. And a feature interview with Bahman Panahi from Paris, who joins Jian to discuss his beautiful blend of calligraphy and music he calls, “musicalligraphy”.
A rousing conversation with award-winning filmmaker Babak Payami about unity, division, diversity and outrage in the Iranian community. Babak explores his pointed opinions on the Iranian regime, art, politics, getting arrested, the perils of compromise, and his “rude awakening” that led him to speaking out.
An interview with iconoclastic Iranian-Canadian visual artist, Ebrin Bagheri. The rising star joins Jian to discuss self-portrait, ideas of masculinity, breaking taboos, and a surprising take on censorship. + the Roqe Roundtable convenes with Kyan, Reza, Shaya, and Niloofar Ghorashi. Conversations from, to, and about the Iranian diaspora. New episodes are released every Monday & Thursday at 8pm ET. Hosted by Jian Ghomeshi.
An interview with entrepreneur and tech leader Fay Arjomandi. She left Iran as a teenage refugee. Now she is a successful CEO. Fay joins Jian to discuss disruption, determination, development and a new invention for containing the Covid19 pandemic.
An interview with Chef Hoss Zare about his mission to bring the foundations and flare of Persian cuisine to the world. Chef Hoss is the renowned and charming Executive Chef at Google, and joins Jian to talk about flavour fascination as a kid in Iran, mastering the foodie world in San Francisco, and pursuing a philosophy that Iranian cuisine can and should morph and move beyond strict traditional expectations. + the Roqe team debates Persian food and vegetarianism, and Kyan brings the Letters of the Week.
An interview with German-Iranian journalist and foreign correspondent, Natalie Amiri. She joins Jian to discuss being the Chief of the Tehran Bureau of German broadcaster ARD in recent years, and her journey to becoming the only female international reporter permanently stationed in Iran since 2007. Plus, Ahmad Kiarostami, on continuing the legacy of his legendary filmmaker father, Abbas Kiarostami, on the occasion of what would have been his 80th birthday, four years after his passing.