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Tag: Gina Nahai

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  • Marriage: What’s in a promise?

    By Gina Nahai

    July 1, 2015 | 11:59 am

    The week after my parents’ wedding, at the swanky Officers’ Club in downtown Tehran, another Jewish couple were married in the same ballroom, by the same rabbi, and before many of the same invitees. Like my parents, both members of the other couple were children of a new but...

  • The Jew, the Copt and the Yazidi

    By Gina Nahai

    March 4, 2015 | 11:30 am

    I’ll get to those three in a minute but first, let me tell you what a Muslim friend said to me a couple of months ago. He’s an Iranian-born reporter who lives and works in the United Kingdom — one of the many used-to-be-Muslims who gave up religion once the mullahs took over in...

  • Bridging two cultures within one community

    By Ryan Torok

    February 25, 2015 | 2:53 pm

    A recent discussion at Sinai Temple called “Inside the Persian Jewish Community” examined the community’s internal as well as external forces, as talk turned to the stereotypes and tensions that sometimes develop with local Ashkenazi Jews. 

    “Persians feel so judged by the...

  • Every nation is many nations

    By Gina Nahai

    February 4, 2015 | 11:38 am

    I’m sitting with three other people in a narrow booth in a bustling cafe in Manhattan. It’s the week of snowstorms and icy weather that most Angelenos dread but that I like so much, even if it does hurt to breathe outdoors, the cold air stabbing the brainstem like the sharp tip of...

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  • From Tehran to Tel Aviv

    By Gina Nahai

    November 12, 2014 | 9:47 am

    So there we were, two Israelis, an Iranian Jew and an Iranian Muslim, all writers, sitting on a stage at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman building. The occasion for the gathering was the publication of two anthologies of short stories, “Tehran Noir” and “Tel Aviv...

  • Calendar: October 18-24

    By Laura Donney

    October 14, 2014 | 10:09 am

    SAT | OCT 18/SUN | OCT 19

    STEVE ISSERLIS

    Hello, cello! He’s not The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, but this is a British import we’re just as happy to welcome. Recognized worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and author, Isserlis has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, the...

  • Home is where ‘The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.’ is

    October 8, 2014 | 9:49 am

    Gina B. Nahai’s new novel, “The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.” (Akashic Books) is a wildly inventive story of the Soleyman family that travels back and forth in time between 1950s Tehran and present-day Los Angeles. This Iranian Jewish clan was thriving in Iran before Ayatollah...

  • Excerpt from: “The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.”

    By Gina Nahai

    October 8, 2014 | 9:38 am

    That word, aabehroo, is one of those for which no equivalent exists in the English language. It alludes to the impression that others hold of an individual’s virtue and respectability. To have aabehroo means that the world regards a person in high esteem. To lose it — or, more...

  • Coming to terms with ‘need’ this Yom Kippur

    By Gina Nahai

    October 1, 2014 | 9:59 am

    It’s not that I’m greedy and want too much, there’s just a whole lot out there that I need, for myself and my family and even for the dog, Gus, that my kids brought home last year because they needed a dog, so they rescued him from the animal shelter in Van Nuys, for $650, and when...

  • Mommy dearest

    By Gina Nahai

    September 10, 2014 | 11:15 am

    Granted, some of it is plain envy — my bewilderment at parents who don’t have a scrap of doubt about what’s good for their children. The certainty starts at conception and carries on through the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s infancy, through preschool and elementary and high...

  • Dirty Harry is Iranian

    By Gina Nahai

    July 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

    Yeah, I didn’t know it either. I only found out 10 years ago when a friend who lived in Iran came to L.A. for a visit. Just like I didn’t know, till I was in my mid-20s, that I’m not Iranian. 

    I found that out from a random caller to a Persian-language television program produced...

  • Letters to the editor: BDS, UCLA and the VA

    June 4, 2014 | 9:58 am

    The Why, Not the What

    Jared Sichel’s article on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at UCLA is a thoughtful exposure of the current tactics used by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) groups to push their agenda on that and other campuses (“Battleground...

  • Operating instructions

    By Gina Nahai

    April 30, 2014 | 10:05 am

    Every once in a while, someone I know will come up to me and announce that I’ve done it again, written something awful and insulting about the Iranian community in Los Angeles, and, in so doing, embarrassed us all in front of the non-Iranian community in L.A. 

    “You’re lucky...

  • Gina Nahai sues USC for discrimination

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 8, 2013 | 3:07 pm

    Gina Nahai, the distinguished Iranian-American author, has filed a workplace discrimination and harassment lawsuit against the University of Southern California and one of its employees, Brighde Mullins, an award-winning playwright and poet who serves as director of the USC...

  • You can go home again

    By Gina Nahai

    September 5, 2012 | 12:20 pm

    On Fridays, the children would line up, all glittery pink shoes and Ninja Turtle T-shirts, and hike up a steep driveway from the preschool yard to the temple sanctuary. They walked single file or in pairs, one teacher in the lead and another bringing up the rear, each holding one...

  • The real shame in ‘The Shahs of Sunset’

    By Danielle Berrin

    March 12, 2012 | 5:07 pm

    I made it 31 minutes into the over-hyped “Shahs of Sunset” before switching it off, less out of offense than of boredom.

    The new reality show from Ryan Seacrest productions is a stunningly unoriginal look at L.A.’s Iranian-American community, but because it is the first such...

  • Shahs of Sunset—the Love & Hate Begins

    By Ilana Angel

    March 4, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    Next week will mark the debut of Ryan Seacrest’s newest reality show, “Shahs of Sunset”.  I am a lover of reality television and I am excited about this one.  I live in LA, have some Persian friends, and this will be a fun romp. They seem cool, with just the right amount of...

  • The bad, the worse and the ugly

    By Gina Nahai

    February 29, 2012 | 2:43 pm

    A painfully unappealing, unemployed woman in her late 30s with sumo wrestler thighs who wears 10-inch heels and a micro skirt to push around a pink stroller in which she carries her pair of Chihuahuas; a less unattractive, also unemployed woman in her late 30s who wears 10-inch heels...

  • Elizabeth Taylor was my aunt

    By Gina Nahai

    February 1, 2012 | 12:30 pm

    It’s true. Really. The Elizabeth Taylor. She of the many husbands and the showpiece jewels, the on-screen splendor and off-screen grit was, indeed, related to me by marriage.

    This isn’t a recent discovery; I’m not like my mother, who tends to unearth a long-lost or previously...

  • Opinion: Tunisian pizza

    By Gina Nahai

    January 4, 2012 | 3:13 pm

    There’s a concept in the Persian language – ghessmat – for which no exact equivalent exists in English. It refers to a person’s unrelenting, inescapable, for better or worse but either way, it was designed and executed specifically for you, destiny.

    Like when you miss your...

  • Opinion: Persian Tay-Sachs

    December 1, 2011 | 12:48 pm

    In the story, a young prince in an old and distant kingdom is mesmerized with salt.

    The prince loves the taste of salt on his tongue, the dryness of it on his skin. He loves the way the grains catch the light as they slip through his fingers like so many tiny pieces of glass on a...

  • Opinion: Oh, to be young and stupid again

    By Gina Nahai

    November 2, 2011 | 3:45 pm

    I was 21 years old, a first-year law student at USC, when I walked by a trailer parked on an empty lot off McCarthy Way on the downtown campus. It was late afternoon, and I was on my way home; I only noticed the trailer because it was such an anomaly among the red brick buildings...

  • Opinion: In praise of falsehood

    By Gina Nahai

    August 31, 2011 | 10:51 am

    What is it with people telling the truth all the time? I don’t mean under oath, or even in response to a question that has been posed to them; I mean when they just come out of the blue and dish out a nice, hefty portion of truth because they love you too much to lie to you.

    For...

  • Opinion: Culture clash

    By Gina Nahai

    August 2, 2011 | 6:11 pm

    In case you were too busy watching Congress make a fool of itself last month to have noticed, a parallel, no-less-wrenching debate was raging in the halls of Beverly Hills

    City Hall at the same time. Instead of the debt limit, the issue in Beverly Hills was the city’s noise...

  • Gina Nahai: What Remains

    By Gina Nahai

    July 5, 2011 | 6:37 pm

    We were exchanging “memorable aunt” stories, and my friend, who’s a trial attorney, had a clear lead over all the rest of us. In part, that’s because she’s a comedic actor who missed her calling and became a trial attorney instead, so she wasn’t just narrating, but also...

  • Staying true to our own heritage

    By Gina Nahai

    June 1, 2011 | 10:22 am

    I once wrote a novel about an Iranian Jewish woman who grows wings and flies away from her husband’s home. She escapes because she’s in love with another man, and she believes it’s better to abandon her family than to stay and shame them by having an illicit affair. A few...

  • Purple Eyes

    By Gina Nahai

    March 30, 2011 | 11:01 am

    It’s four o’clock in the afternoon, and I’m walking down a busy sidewalk in an upscale neighborhood in Tehran. My mother and her friend have picked me up from school and driven me here without saying what we’re going to do or why we can’t stop at home first so I can change...

  • The solitude of the Arab soul

    By Gina Nahai

    March 1, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    “This,” I thought, “is what the surface of Mars must look like.”

    It was late February, and we were driving on a two-lane highway that spiraled up like a dark ribbon across a barren desert, through red, desiccated plains, along mountainsides with red rock surface and no...

  • Conspicuous consumption — What don’t we get?

    By Gina Nahai

    January 5, 2011 | 1:51 pm

    Not long ago, I happened to be standing next to a guy at the Apple store in Century City. I was waiting by the register to pay for a new charger for my laptop; he was in line to buy the new iPhone. He looked like he was in his 60s and had had a few facelifts. When I asked, he said...

  • Jewish World Watch discusses state of humanity; Panel explores Iranian Jewish community

    By Danielle Berrin

    December 11, 2008 | 7:21 pm

    Jewish World Watch Discusses State of Humanity, Screens Documentaries

    For every 100,000 babies born, 6,500 mothers die in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan due to unavailable or inadequate medical care. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violent conflicts over control of its...
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