Tehrangeles is a
portmanteauderiving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles. It is used when referring to the large number (est. 900,000) of former Iranian nationals and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In common usage, it usually refers to the proportionally larger Persian-American subset of Iranian immigrants, many of whom are second generation citizens.
The Persian community in the L.A. area originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of west Los Angeles, particularly Westwood Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and the
UCLAcampus, often referred to as Little Persia. Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants; and the Persian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations.
As the population grew, many Persians have moved all over Los Angeles, with other large neighborhoods forming in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Woodland Hills and Encino in the
San Fernando Valleyand Beverly Hills, California; the city of Irvine as well throughout Orange County and Persians also made their homes in San Diegoand the Palm Springsarea ( Coachella Valley).
NPRreport recently put the Persian population of nearby Beverly Hillsas high as 30% of the total population. [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5459468]
Tehrangeles in pop culture
The large Persian population in Los Angeles, particularly in and around Beverly Hills, has found its way into several mediums:
1995comedy film "Clueless" a Persian student at the fictionalized Bronson Alcott High School curses out a teacher in Persian and a later scene where the protagonist explicitly describes the "Persian Mafia": :"And that's the Persian mafia. You can't hang with them unless you own a BMWor Mercedes Benz, and a cellular phone."
1994action-comedy film " Beverly Hills Cop III", an automated gate at the Beverly Hills Police Departmentoffers a selection of languages that include Persian.
2005Oscar Best Picture winner, "Crash," dealt with racism, stereotyping, hypocrisy, and crime in the L.A. area and among the central characters, all of whom are of different races, one is a Persian, stereotyped as one who doesn't trust others. The film contains some dialog in Persian.
*In the pilot for the remake of Beverly Hills, 90210, there is a main character named Navid Shirazi, who is Persian.
American Iranian Councilpromoting the American-Persian community
*Neil MacFarquhar, [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/09/us/09exiles.html Exiles in 'Tehrangeles' Are Split on Iran] , "
The New York Times", May 9, 2006, "Accessed May 9, 2006"
*Renée Montagne, [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5459468 Living in Tehrangeles: L.A.'s Persian Community] , "Morning Edition" (NPR), June 8, 2006
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