WASHINGTON, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Drawing on everything from Ralph Waldo Emerson's odes to his beloved Persian poets to Pierre Omidyar's founding of eBay, The Persian Square, is a digital book that culls together over 30 media files including audio, video, stunning images and sharp storytelling, weaving a modern, multimedia tapestry of Iranian American history over the centuries.
Until fairly recently, Iranian Americans have been one of the country's quietest minorities. Their presence has animated great cities like Los Angeles and their traditions – from the transcendent poetry of Rumi, to aromatic kabobs to the Persian New Year celebration of the vernal equinox – have seeped into mainstream American experience.
But even a decade ago, Iranian Americans' civic voice was a whisper, and their coming of age story as immigrants to America a tale told in living rooms rather than documentaries and coffee table books. All that is gradually changing today, with multiple generations of Iranian Americans becoming highly visible players at the forefront of virtually every field in America. The Persian Square offers a vivid portrait of Iranian Americans at this moment, exploring the early intersections between the two countries' citizens, and the unexpected places where American and Iranian tradition have embraced one another.
NPR Senior Producer, Iran Davar Ardalan's storytelling draws on her family origins, interweaving her grandparents' first meeting in New York and her parents' migrations in an intimate but historically grounded telling of how America and Iran came together both in her life, and in the world. The result is a deeply personal portrait of her community, whose confidence and accomplishments grows by the day.
Ardalan says, "More than anything, this book has been an exercise in creativity. The architecture of media is shifting dramatically and the mobile public is hungry for new ways to dance with their digital pages and no matter what happens I am proud that I have done my little part in this new and exciting emerging space."
The Editor-at-Large of The Persian Square is Journalist Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran. This book includes historic documents, handwritten letters, archival photos from Iran and over 30 media files including, music, videos and several audio recordings from 1912, 1915, and 1924 used with permission from Sony Music. The book contained links to NPR stories from 1995-2012 with permission from NPR.
THE PERSIAN SQUARE LINKS
www.thepersiansquare.org- Official Site
PRAISE FOR THE PERSIAN SQUARE:
"Davar Ardalan produced our NPR series, "Iran At The Crossroads," in 1995 -- eight stories of Iranians and culture, ranging from young people to women to poets and artists and teachers, including Azar Nafisi who was then teaching literature in Iran. I knew then that I had made a rare journey. Here, Iran Davar gives you some of the same sense of exploration and history and cultural exchange -- the "goftegu" or dialogue between civilizations that I experienced. "The Persian Square" is a valuable series for the scholar and the casual wanderer, embracing what Iran has meant to the West, and what our traditions have meant to some of its most notable people. Simply put, this book is a treat. Many people will never go to Iran. Explore here."
– Jacki Lyden, Host and Correspondent, NPR
"Iranian Americans, so long stuck in the shadows of America's immigrant story, emerge in The Persian Square in vibrant color. Ardalan weaves together a sharp and modern multitouch tapestry of Iranian American achievement and contribution to American life."
– Dr. Firouz Naderi, Director of Solar System Exploration at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
"Persian Square is a wonderful collection of facts -- and I'm an expert on facts. But this book isn't only for Persian-Americans; we live in a world that requires understanding and tolerance, and Iran Davar Ardalan has given us a beautiful way to learn about a culture that is a mystery to many Americans. These stories of art, science, history, and journalism can introduce us to Iranian life, and the many links to multimedia resources make it easy to expand our knowledge."
– Kee Malesky, NPR Librarian and author of All Facts Considered and Learn Something New Every Day
"Part family narrative, part encyclopedia, part travelogue, always fascinating, The Persian Square is a wonderful guide to anyone wanting to get beneath the surface of the relationship between the US and Iran."
- Mike Shuster, roving foreign correspondent who traveled numerous times to Iran for NPR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Davar Ardalan is a Senior Producer at NPR News, responsible for the daily live broadcast of NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin. From the opinions of global newsmakers to listeners, the wisdom of renowned thinkers to activists and spiritual leaders, Tell Me More brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio. In October 2012, Ardalan was part of the NPR team that produced a live Twitter Education Forum, engaging a diverse community via social media tools on the topic of education reform.
Prior to TMM at NPR, Ardalan was in charge of Weekend Edition were she helped integrate social media tools and expanded audience interactivity. In 2009, she collaborated with the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) on cutting edge interactive media projects that captured stories and images from around the country and encouraged audience participation across platforms.
Ardalan has also worked as a Supervising Producer for NPR's Morning Edition where she helped shape the daily newsmagazine, and was responsible for decisions that required elaborate coordination such as broadcasts from Baghdad, Kabul, and New Orleans.
She is the author of My Name Is Iran also on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-name-is-iran/id421123551?mt=11