Googoosh and the World

Dateline: August 18, 2000

Visit Googoosh's official Web site and learn more about her, and also hear some excellent music samples in RealAudio. Here are some general resources about Iranian music.

The election of President Mohammed Khatami in 1997 has brought about a more moderate feel to Iranian society. Two decades ago, the government took Googoosh's passport when she returned to the country after a time in the States. A living symbol of Western decadence with her short skirts and closely cropped hair, Googoosh demonstrated a lot of courage by returning to her country amidst rumors of death threats.

Now that Iran has granted Googoosh permission to travel abroad once again, she felt the time was right to tour once again. There is even talk that Googoosh might settle permanently in North America. She has a brother in Toronto, and a grown son and grandchild in Los Angeles.

Googoosh, whose legal name is Faegheh Atashin, doesn't compose, but works with arrangers and poets, interpreting their work into her own style. BlendingEast and West, fueled by electric guitars and even some upbeat rumba added to traditional Persian melodies.

Her latest CD is entitled Zartosht, which contains the song "Captive Land," a song she chose to perform live in Toronto and deals with themes of imprisonment and heartbreak which some have attributed to the treatment of her fellow countrymen.

Not surprisingly, the fundamentalist element that still remains in Iran has expressed outrage towards Googoosh's tour. But now many North Americans are being introduced to her music, while Iranians living on this side of the Atlantic are finally able to see their icon perform live once again.

Sources include The New York Times, Associated Press, and Reuters.

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