Monday, 4 March 2013

The Persian Square by Iran Davar Ardalan


The moment I saw this book I was intrigued. As regular readers of my blog will note, I have a distant ancestor who died in the Gulf of Persia in 1812 and therefore whilst not a direct link with that time, I was curious and wanted to read  more on the region.

This book did not disappoint. Firstly, it is not a e-book in a regular sense. This is a interactive book which embraces, as all books do, a conversation between the reader and author, this takes that conversation to another level and allows those of us with an iPad to truly experience that reading and conversation on another level entirely.

Furthermore, the book is incomplete. I do not mean that the author simply had enough half way through, but instead Iran has developed the book to enable others to be inspired to share their Iranian heritage. With submissions made via the website and the book revised and updated.

About the Author (details from the press release)

Davar Ardalan is a Senior Producer at NPR News, responsible for the daily live broadcast of NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. From the opinions of global newsmakers to listeners, the wisdom of renowned thinkers to activists and spiritual leaders, Tell Me More brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio. In October 2012, Ardalan was part of the NPR team that produced a live Twitter Education Forum, engaging a diverse community via social media tools on the topic of education reform.

Prior to TMM at NPR, Ardalan was in charge of Weekend Edition were she helped integrate social media tools and expanded audience interactivity. In 2009, she collaborated with the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) on cutting edge interactive media projects that captured stories and images from around the country and encouraged audience participation across platforms.

Ardalan has also worked as a Supervising Producer for NPR’s Morning Edition where she helped shape the daily newsmagazine, and was responsible for decisions that required elaborate coordination such as broadcasts from Baghdad, Kabul, and New Orleans. She is the author of My Name Is Iran. 


Official Website -

Twitter -

Information Video -


The book is available to download from the iTunes store. The download took a little while to download and once it had and I started reading I could see why. The book contains:

  • 30 media files. 
  • Hyperlinks to guide you through the book
  • Images, sound recordings and interviews
  • Notes enabling the reader to learn more about a fact
  • A full bibliography at the website
  • Favourites
  • Twitter enabled - Tap on any of the text and add the twitter #PersianSquare
  • Video
Within the interactive functionality of your iPad you can explore the history and depth of Iran with the individual who is believed to be the first Iranian to visit America and become Naturalised in 1875. You can read about a publication written in 1898 with the aim of educating Americans on Persian women, Educational influences, sporting events. You can listen to music clips from the early 1910's. Touch the screen to explore the hidden photographs of Philadelphia's Persian Pavilion.

The author has shared a great deal of her own family history as an illustrative point, with her Grandmother falling in love with Persia following marrying an Iranian Doctor. Together they lived in Iran and established a hospital there.

In 1935 the Persian Monarch changed the name of Persia to Iran. This was a turning point of the Countries heritage. Americans in the region were encouraged to return back the America in the years leading up to the Second World War. In the late 1970's the political instability in the region meant that there was mass migration from Iran to American. Incidently many also fled to England, as very good friend of mine did with her family.

There is a rather interesting chapter on Iranian author's and in particular female authors and various book suggestions. This is further followed by chapters and information about those of Iranian descent as they made their mark in the Western world in an assortment of fields, journalism, medical and business.

Overall, I enjoyed loved this book. It was so much more than turning the pages, literal or otherwise. It was a completely interactive experience and one that clearly shows the love the author has for both her heritage land and her profession. This was a rather unique way of bringing the two together and to share the stories contained within the book.

In much the same way as the book, my reading of it is also incomplete as I shall periodically continue to read about the region.

The Persian Square is published on 4th March 2013 and is available from the iBooks Store.

Disclaimer -  I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:58 pm

    That looks like a fascinating book Julie and thanks for including the vid which gives a brilliantly, tantalising look at the contents. Terrific!


Hello! Thanks for stopping by and choosing to leave a message. I read every message and I usually reply via the comment thread. Posts are currently moderated due to the sudden influx of spam postings!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...