Sophomore Noah Gruenert is a NELC major studying Persian who recently had the chance to grow his language abilities and gain publishing experience with Radio Iranshahr.
Radio Iranshahr is a national-level Iranian American radio station based in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Formerly known as Radio College Park, Radio Iranshahr was created at the University of Maryland and has since moved toward a nationwide focus for its internet broadcasts.
By getting in touch with them in November, Noah was able to create a short segment where he discusses, in Persian, his experiences as an American student learning the language. You can listen to the full episode, or Noah’s individual segment, on Radio Iranshahr’s website.
Noah began learning Persian at the University of Washington in 2018. He was inspired to master Persian after his exposure to Persian speakers at the UW’s Ancient Iran Day in December of that year. Soon after, he was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship from the US Department of State which is a summer immersion program that had him staying from June to August of 2019 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan where a unique dialect of Persian is spoken. While taking intensive language courses and living with a Tajik host family, Noah greatly improved his understanding of the language. Through various cultural excursions he was able to experience diverse aspects of life in Central Asia.
One example, which he mentions in his Iranshahr segment, was a cooking class in Tajikistan where Noah learned to cook one of the national dishes called Osh Plov; a Biryani style rice mix involving onions, carrots, and meat.
Most of all, Noah enjoyed taking in the Tajik countryside of which 93% is mountainous and nearly half is over 3,000 meters above sea level.
He is looking to spend more time abroad improving his Persian Language abilities. Beyond the University of Washington Noah hopes to use them in a diplomatic capacity to repair and improve relations between America and the Persian speaking world.