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Iranian Satire Stars Ring In Persian New Year On Radio Farda

"Pas Farda" host Farshid Manafi
"Pas Farda" host Farshid Manafi
(Sunday, March 20, 2011) As Nowruz celebrations begin in Iran tonight, RFE’s Radio Farda will ring in the Persian New Year with the 200th episode of its popular satire show “Pas Farda” and live-streamed concerts by famous Iranian artists banned from performing inside the country.

As a special treat, "Pas Farda" host Farshid Manafi will be joined on the air tonight by Kambiz Hosseini and Saman Arbabi, the hosts of VOA's hit television show “Parazit." "Parazit" and "Pas Farda" have become hugely popular in Iran, as both programs have pushed the limits on critical satire in Persian-language media.

"This year, we have assembled some of Iran’s most popular journalists, presenters, and musicians for our Nowruz broadcasts,” said Radio Farda Director Armand Mostofi. “Our listeners will get a truly unique spectacle, one that they cannot get inside Iran.”
Our listeners will get a truly unique spectacle, one that they cannot get inside Iran.

In addition to appearances by Hosseini and Arbabi, "Pas Farda's" 200th broadcast will feature Farshid Manafi's signature sketches, discussions about the past decade of culture, politics, and sports in Iran, and an interview with the acclaimed Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani.

In the coming days, Radio Farda will also be live streaming several Nowruz concerts from Dubai. Many Iranians travel to the Emirate to celebrate the New Year and to attend concerts by artists that have been banned from performing in their home country. Broadcasts will include shows by popular singers Homeira, Sattar, Ebi and the multi-talented Shadmehr.

Radio Farda's radio and satellite broadcasts are routinely jammed by Iranian authorities, and its website is filtered. Most recently, Radio Farda’s voicemail system was flooded with thousands of robo-calls that played snippets of a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Despite these extensive censorship efforts, an increasing number of Iranians are turning to Radio Farda, and the station continues to be a leading source of news and cultural reporting. In February, Farda's website logged more than 20 million pages views, 8 million of which came via proxy servers.

For more on Iran, check out and Golnaz Esfandiari’s “Persian Letters” blog.


About Radio Farda
Radio Farda broadcasts on short wave, medium wave, the Internet, and satellite radio to Iran 24 hours-a-day and is one of the only remaining sources of independent information available in the country. Despite severe censorship, Radio Farda attracts more than 20 million monthly web page views and has over 85,000 Facebook fans.

Radio Farda's satire show "Pas Farda" airs 5 days a week and has attracted a large and growing radio and Internet audience in its first year. The show's host, Farshid Manafi, is a well-known Iranian personality, whose lively programs on state television and radio were shut down by censors five years ago.