BETWEEN IRAN, GERMANY, AND DENMARK
Father and friend, German and Iranian, believer and doubter, and also some other things, but all in all a human being caring most of all about social justice and cultural diversity. My life story is divided by migration: The first two decades unspectacularly took place in my hometown Shiraz, where I was born, grew up, and finished high school. Then I left Shiraz for studying in Germany at the age of 19. In Germany, I found my new home, where I lived for 20 years. Here I got my academic education including doctoral studies in multiple German cities and started working as a researcher, teacher, translator, and interpreter. Being based in Copenhagen since 2023 as a freelancer, I am primarily working on a postdoctoral project on German-Iranian language policies. In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family, cook for them, play guitar and do photography in everyday situations and nature, ideally in the forest.
BETWEEN LINGUISTICS AND CULTURAL RELATIONS
I first found my interest in foreign languages and cultures through old American musicals: Since I can remember, my father has always been in a special love with films and everything about them. One of the first musical movies that I still have on my mind is “Singing in the rain” with the multi-gifted singer-dancer-actor, Gene Kelly or even the colorful musical fantasy “The Wizard of Oz” with Judy Garland singing about “somewhere over the rainbow”. Not understanding much of these musicals but still enjoying the sounds and colors, I had a good reason to learn the language of “Dream factory”. So I went to a private language school twice a week from the time I was visiting the middle school till I finished the whole studying program of English as foreign language, including IELTS courses for advanced learners. During high school I became interested in the German language too, because I had both heard and read that it is supposed to be one of the most difficult languages one could learn, something that even Mark Twain had the urge to write about in “The awful German language” from 1880, so I took the challenge and started learning it, like English again in an intensive and long-term way at a private language school while I was still visiting and finishing high school.
At one point I realized the Iranian German teachers I had, didn’t have much more to offer, so that is why I eventually decided to immigrate to Germany as a young student of not even 20. In my studies of German language and literature combined with Iranian studies with focus on philology at the universities of Halle/Saale, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Potsdam and Berlin, I eventually specialized in the interdisciplinary field between German and Persian linguistics. Dealing with modern varieties of German and Persian as pluricentric languages in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan in my doctoral studies, I wrote my PhD dissertation based on the theory of pluricentricity of language areas about the Tajiki language which is a distinct variety of Persian language in Central Asia at the Humboldt University. While analyzing Iran-Tajikistan cultural relations and language attitudes of Iranian scholars and cultural elite on the modern history of Tajiki, due to my postgraduate studies I inevitably entered the field of Germany-Iran cultural relations and made it into another major field of research of mine next to German and Persian linguistics.
BETWEEN THINGS AND PEOPLE
My professional field of activities consists of doing research, providing consultation, writing, translating, interpreting, teaching, and training. As an academic you are forced to spend most of your time alone reading, thinking, and writing dealing with things like books and computer rather than people and face-to-face interaction. And honestly, I don’t know how to do it differently. The research and consultation areas I have been working on since 2011 are German and Persian applied linguistics with focus on language in education, society, politics, and the media, but also German-Iranian cultural relations with focus on cultural policy and cross-cultural communication. Besides, I write and translate literary texts such as poems and short stories while being a state-certified translator too. Luckily consulting, interpreting, teaching, or training are those activities that make me leave my desk and get back to people. As a trained upper school teacher, I teach German and Persian as foreign languages to children and also adults and offer university courses in the two above-mentioned research areas as well as training courses in cross-cultural communication. For the latter, I rely also on my own work experience as interpreter.