A special edition of Roqe: The Case for Nasrin. Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years in prison in Iran for defending those charged with political offences. While she was just awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for human rights, her imprisonment continues, her situation is dire, and due to a hunger strike and heart issues, she is in a weakened state. We are joined by a diversity of voices from around the world to speak to the importance of Nasrin and the symbolic nature of her case, including: Elahe Sharifpour Hicks, Natalie Amiri, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Abdolkarim Lahiji, Mehrangiz Kar, Hossein Raeesi, Jeff Kaufman, and a message from Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, in Tehran.
A feature interview with the talented musical duo behind the alternative fusion group, Niyaz. Azam Ali and Loga Ramin Torkian join Jian for a wide-ranging chat to discuss their respective journeys from Iran to the West, their balance as work and life partners, the roots of their hybrid Middle Eastern global trance sound, and their views on representation, nationalism and identity.
An interview with Zartoshte Bakhtiari, the recently elected Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Marne, France. Zartoshte joins Jian to discuss his passion for politics, public action, and the story of becoming the first French mayor of Iranian descent - and one of the youngest ever in France. Then, Iranian biker Shima Mehri joins us from Denmark for a spirited and wide-ranging interview. Shima is the first woman to ever become the Head Road Captain for Harley-Davidson. Plus the Roqe Team convenes with letters and commentary about recent episodes.
A feature interview with composer, producer, pianist, Reza Rohani. Reza joins Jian to discuss his journey from classical to jazz fusion music, celebrity status after a regular stint on a big TV show, success in social media, and following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Maestro Anoushiravan Rohani.
A feature interview with Jane Lewisohn, Director of the Golha Project about her multi-year mission to preserve Persian culture, music, poetry and art from the 20th Century, particularly by digitizing and archiving the legendary Golha radio programs from pre-revolutionary Iran. And, Iranian-New Zealander psychologist Tina Parsamand on her decision to return to Tehran to help those in need of mental health counselling, her upbringing as an Iranian girl in a homogenous New Zealand, and her popular Instagram channel, “Insight with Tina Parsa.” Plus the Roqe Team with letters, and Jian tells the story of ordering “Canada Dry” as a 5-year old in 1970s Iran.
A feature interview with Iranian-French tennis player, Aravane Rezai. Aravane joins Jian to reflect on her journey to #15 in the world, sacrifices along the way, stepping away from the game, and how she has found her inspiration again as a proud Iranian and French national. Plus the Roqe Team discusses the late Eddie Van Halen, group photos, and dips into the bulging mailbag with comments and letters about the Tribute to Shajarian special on Episode #51.
A special edition of Roqe: A Tribute to Shajarian. On the day of the passing of the iconic Maestro Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, we are joined by important voices from the Iranian global community, including: Abbas Milani, Babak Amini, Arsalan Kamkar, Golrokh Aminian, Iraj Janati Ataie, Erfan, Hooman Khalatbari, Hamed Nikpay, Fariba Davoodi, Amir Koushkani, Farid Zoland, Safoura Safavi, Yahya Alkhansa , Hamid Motebassem and Ali Azimi.
A feature interview with superstar Iranian-American comedian and actor, Maz Jobrani. Maz joins Jian for a more serious long-form conversation about his political leanings, identity, activism, and social media presence during a chaotic election year in America.
A feature interview with Afghan-American actress, Azita Ghanizada. In addition to a prolific and successful career in TV and film, Azita is the founder the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition. She joins Jian to discuss conscious casting, changing the white norms of Hollywood, and her personal strength in transforming life as a political refugee born into a conservative Muslim family of modest means, into a pursuit of her career passions at the highest level in the West and advocating for others. Plus the Roqe Thursday Team convenes for stories about going to the gym during covid, prepping for a photo shoot, and the Letters of the Week.
An interview with musician, producer and Persian TRAP Music pioneer, Danny Asadi. Danny joins Jian on a wide-ranging musical chat to discuss how he invented his sound, inspiring trips to Iran as a teenager, his personal fusion of East and West, becoming an online sensation, and his billionaire ambitions.
A feature interview with actor, dancer, inventive artist and creative sprite, Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam. Shahrokh joins Jian to talk about everything from career highs, to the energetic art of performance, to acting in different languages and the history of Persian dance. He also tells us why he would rather be a crow (the bird) than human. Plus, the Thursday Roqe Team reconvenes to discuss dogs, skunks, adventures and Persian words. And of course, the Letters of the Week.
A feature interview with Iranian-American comedian and actor, Max Amini. In a wide-ranging conversation Max opens up to Jian about navigating comedy in difficult times, a knack for improvisation, the challenges of being an oddball American kid in revolutionary Iran, and his ongoing commitment to working hard and spreading positivity.