Jewish Star Remakes Persian Oldies in Tel Aviv; Fans in Tehran Can't Get Enough
-Farnaz Fassihi & Joshua Mitnick
Music-loving Iranians craving nostalgic Persian songs of a bygone era have a new darling: Rita, the Israeli singing sensation. Iranian-born Rita Jahanforuz, who is fluent in Persian, is Israel's most famous female singer. A year ago, she decided to revisit what she tells audiences is the "soundtrack of my childhood" by adapting Persian classics that most Iranians know by heart. The result is an album, "All My Joys," that gives old-time Persian hits an upbeat Mediterranean flavor that caters to the Israeli ear. The album went gold in Israel in just three weeks, despite being sung entirely in Persian.
It also propelled Rita onto the music scene in Iran.
Iran's government has taken notice. Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps, wrote that Rita is Israel's "latest plot in a soft war" to gain access to the hearts and minds of Iranians.
(Wall Street Journal)