Ajam’s latest podcast, this time featuring shared songs across from Southwest Asia. With samplings from Persian, Greek, Turkish, Arab and other language groups, this mixtape emphasizes the kinds of oft-forgotten transnational connections that exist in music.
Never having visited the Republic of Bangladesh, my reflections are probably missing a certain something. Nevertheless I began to ask about the suburb’s unofficial name. “Why is it called Bangladesh?” mimicked a colleague, incredulous. “Because it’s hot, poor, far away, and nobody knows much about it.”
In an e-mail conversation with Ajam Media Collective, Mozaffari said that Tarab “essentially represents the musically induced state of ecstasy transmitted by a performer to the audience through the syntax of music.”
The Ajam Family would like to wish you all a very happy Nowruz and spring season. Enjoy this podcast, which collects the sounds of festivities from the different parts of the world that celebrate this joyous day.
There are mountains and there are roads. From an airplane, Eastern Anatolia looks like Frankenstein’s monster as the craggy mountains of the Zargos, Tarsus, and Caucasus ranges collide with geologic logic, sutured together by some of the finest roadways in the world. The modern republics facing this jagged jumble are as powerful as that monster, but perhaps also as hollow.
In a world where politicians like to create and emphasize differences between the so-called “West” and Iran, and even regional differences in the country itself, Ajam Band and its musical forefathers allow us musical glimpses of Iran that embrace paradox and encourage Iranians and non-Iranians alike to turn to their identities, as mixed and incoherent as they may be, as a source of pride.
It is precisely the position between an Iran back home and an Iran abroad, or Iran’s present circumstances and possible future, which informs the sense of displacement so widely shared among Iranian expatriates here. For many Iranians, Dubai’s emergence as a global metropolis is imagined to have resulted, more specifically, from the displacement of Iranian modernity.
As the standoff between Iran and the United States enters into a new, more aggressive phase of crippling sanctions punctuated by threats of war, the Arab oil sheikhdoms to Iran’s…
The first glimpses of Qom are always a let-down. The approach begins about an hour into the journey south on the Tehran-Qom road, when, after a long stretch of craggy…
Transnational Iranian youth identity today has rather tenuous bonds, a fact lamented by elders who point to language, religion, or various other arbitrary markers of communitarian affiliation to re-affirm their…