Family Secrets Uncovered in ‘The Nightingale of Iran’

Nightingale Of Iran

Younes Dardashti became a national celebrity in Iran in the 1950s when his powerful singing performances on prime time radio earned him the nickname ‘The Nightingale of Iran’.

In the 1960s, his son Farid became a teen idol on television, with both father and son winning over a legion of Muslim fans despite their Jewish background.

So, why, at the height of their fame, did the Dardashti family suddenly leave the country?

This is the question Younes Dardashti’s granddaughters (and Farid’s daughters), Danielle Dardashti and Galeet Dardashti, try to answer in their aptly-named podcast The Nightingale of Iran.

The Nightingale of Iran
Danielle Dardashti (left) and Dr. Galeet Dardashti

Over six episodes released weekly from February 6 through to March 12, the sisters search for answers about their family. And in the process of learning why their family abandoned their Iranian identity, they uncover painful secrets unspoken for generations.

“The story of a Jewish music legend in a Muslim society will be surprising to both Jews and non-Jews,” Danielle Dardashti said.

“This podcast challenges stereotypes and demonstrates Jewish diversity in a moment when Jewishness is often seen as synonymous with ‘whiteness.'”

Danielle says the story also underscores a shared culture between Muslims and Jews at a time when Jews and Muslims are often assumed to be hopelessly divided.

“The universal themes and emotions emerging from this series will impact listeners across ethnic groups, geography, and generations,” she said.

The Dardashti Family

Danielle and Galeet both bring unique talents to the production. Danielle is an Emmy award-winning documentary writer and producer and a former on-air TV news reporter, while Galeet is a renowned musician and expert in Middle Eastern Jewish culture.

Featuring a treasure trove of archival sound and music, compelling interviews and vibrant narration, this is podcasting at its best.

The Nightingale of Iran is presented by The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and distributed by PRX. The first episode is available on all podcast platforms from February 6.

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