More insights and recollections from the Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian immigrants profiled in this month’s Hidden Cultures features.
Live from Phoenix: Persian TV
After seeing the success of his Arizona Persian Yellow Pages over the past seven years, Reza Talai and his wife decided to start a Phoenix-based television station for the Valley’s Persian community. Launched a little more than a year ago, the station (dubbed AZPTV) shows programming entirely in Persian, including popular television shows from Iran and music videos. Talai also provides original programming, in the form of videos from Persian socials and holidays, featuring members of the local Persian community conducting interviews and providing commentary. “Our goal was entertainment for the people, to grab the audience, which loves to see a regular program. They don’t want to get involved with the political or religion,” Talai says. “We have a large audience. We found out there’s like 500,000 people watching this. But it’s not just in Arizona; it’s all over the world and nation.”
An oft-misunderstood religious group seeks acceptance – and the long-delayed opening of their new temple – in a historic Phoenix neighborhood.
Surinder Singh was a member of Sikh temples in India, Africa, New Zealand and Kuwait before he joined the Guru Nanak Dwara Ashram in Phoenix. Located in the heart of the city’s Coronado Historic District, the ashram – two nondescript buildings connected by covered patios and a well-maintained lawn – is an ideal fit for the globetrotting Singh; ideal, save for the grander, more spacious temple unfinished next door.
On the surface, the West Valley Resort controversy appears to be a tête-à-tête between two West Valley cities: anti-casino Glendale vs. pro-casino Peoria. Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs has tirelessly fought the casino using every legal implement at her disposal, while Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett has given hearty endorsements of the plan. But are the two warring cities merely surrogates for two opposing tribes, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Gila River Indian Community?
As Glendale’s casino controversy draws to a close, West Valley residents put their cards on the table.
At 74, Jerry Williams is a human spark plug with a sailor’s bark and a gambler’s heart. The former newspaperman retired to Peoria from Southern California six years ago – plenty of time to develop strong opinions about the HBO-style political showdown unfolding between nearby Glendale and the Tohono O’odham Nation.
After the Canadian ski team sung its praises two years ago, neurofeedback is expected to generate even more buzz at this year’s London Olympics.
The method involves mapping activity patterns in the brain to identify under- or over-stimulation. If there’s unhealthy variability, non-invasive processes – such as listening and reacting to a series of beeps – can be used to adopt more stable patterns and send them back to the brain.
Neurofeedback has a thriving home in Scottsdale at Dr. Sanford Silverman’s Center for Peak Performance and Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders. There, he helps pro athletes – including Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis – and amateurs control their minds. “You’re conditioning people to manipulate how their brain is firing,” Silverman says. “They can turn on their focus and quiet their mind.”
he Valley has become a hotbed for Olympic Games training – not only for star athletes, but also for the coaches, doctors and therapists who treat them.
The hair on the right side of Joe Micela’s head is turning gray. He blames it on Sarah Robles. “Actually, blame might be the wrong word,” the athletic trainer says, laughing. “Let’s just say I’ve dedicated it to her.”
Worldwide production of frankincense – the favored aromatic resin of wise men and infant messiahs – is dying off. One Valley man is trying to save it.
Jason Eslamieh wants you to help stop extinction – of Boswellia trees, that is, and the rewards are rich: a personal supply of fragrant, spiritually-renowned, holistically-healing frankincense. Anyone longing for some botanical beguilement should consider adopting one of its 19 species. “This is not your typical cactus or petunia,” Eslamieh says, smiling and shaking his head as if talking about a rebellious teenager.
Death in the Brotherhood
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Hells Angels Shootout
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As badly as the recent Veterans affairs scandal has tarnished the agency’s reputation... ...