The Ajam Media Collective is an online space devoted to documenting and analyzing cultural, social, and political trends in the diverse Iranian, Central Asian, and Diaspora communities. We unite authors from various backgrounds and disciplines to promote diverse critical views of the region and seek to emphasize the region’s importance as a thriving cultural center whose multiple realities are too often obscured by the popular Western and global media.

Ajam MC offers a unique perspective on contemporary and historical issues in the region through informed analysis of culture and society. It also serves as a semi-scholarly resource by engaging with academics, activists, and students, and by providing access to contemporary debates and research in fields ranging from Literature to Gender Studies and from Cinema to Urban Geography and beyond.

For more information regarding the blog, please contact us at



Alex Shams 

Alex Shams is bacheye Los Angeles, a fact he has spent years trying to deny but eventually learned to embrace. Raised in the diaspora but with as many summers as possible spent in Tehran, he first became interested in regional politics after being chased out of a history class debate at his evangelical middle school during the Iraq War. After a few years dividing his time between Beirut, Istanbul and, most recently, Boston, he is now working in journalism and is based out of Palestine. His interests include feminism, urbanism and Islamism in Iran and the Arab World.

Beeta Baghoolizadeh 

Beeta Baghoolizadeh is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania Currently, she is writing her dissertation on race and abolition in Iran during the 19th and 20th centuries, after having conducted research in Iran, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Contrary to her last name, she’s not interested in baghali, and is more of an albalu polo person.

Rustin Zarkar

Rustin is a PhD candidate in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. His doctoral research focuses on material, literary, and visual culture– specifically cultural production and circulation in and around the Caspian Sea. His work has taken him across Iran, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, and his other interests include customs regimes, urban space, and the history of print.

Kamyar Jarahzadeh

Kamyar Jarahzadeh is a graduate student at Oxford in the MSc in Migration Studies. Born to Dezfuli and Ahvazi parents, Kamyar has supplanted the everyday cosmopolitanism of his southern Iranian roots and has instead chosen to descend into full-blown cultural chaos. His penchant for languages incidentally helped him completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, where he focused on migration and forced migration of Afghan refugees in Turkey. In his free time, he works with the Coordination Group of Afghan Refugees ( and draws on his Californian and Iranian heritage to present his spin on Iranian roots music (

If you are interested in contributing a piece, we are always interested in submissions. Please send an email to with the submission and a cover letter in order to be considered. We look forward to hearing from you.

1 comment

  1. Salam! I am from Brazil, and I am studying Iran in my master degree. This website is very useful to me. I am happy because I found you. Thanks!

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