Editor’s Note

Paris: The Iranian Muse

In this issue we turn to Paris, which has been a secular haven for generations of Iranians. Join us as we explore a few of Iranian culture’s many connections with the City of Light.

From Diary of H.M. the Shah of Persia (Nasseredin Shah Qajar)

How Paris Bedazzled a Persian King

“We rose early in the morning, went down into a boat, and pushed off for the shore,” wrote Naser al-Din Shah, recalling his arrival in Paris on July 6, 1873.

Diaries of Haj Sayyah

Paris: A City That “Looked Like Jewelry”

From the Diaries of Haj Sayyah: “There was music and singing in coffee shops and theatres…. The trees were festooned with green lights…. Young people and children danced…. They enjoyed complete freedom.”

Iranians in Paris


Following in the tradition of capturing the American literary experience in Paris, from Stein to Hemingway to Baldwin, here’s a primer on some of the Iranian experience in France’s capital.