Iran: Daniel Pearl: Status of music in Iran 2000

4 September 2007
In this article Daniel Pearl describes the status of music in Iran. He interviews the Iranian pop singer Alireza Assar and composer Fouad Hejazi.

The article was written for Wall Street Journal and was published in June 2000.

“On the surface, this nation’s hardliners are doing all they can to prevent cultural change, but the reality is more complex,” wrote Daniel Pearl:

“Pop music, prohibited for most of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s two decades of existence, has made a comeback in the past two years. And its revival owes more to the nation’s conservatives than to its reformists. Iranian TV, a hard-liner stronghold, gave most of the new popular-music stars their start. A related record label is the nation’s biggest producer of pop. Iran’s most original recording, critics say, is [the Iranian pop singer Alireza] Assar’s 1999 debut album, which was conceived by an arts center aligned with the hard-liners.”


The Wall Street Journal – 2 June 2000:
‘Rock Rolls Once More in Iran As Hard-Liners Back Pop Revival’

About the author

Daniel Pearl

The world came to know Daniel Pearl as The Wall Street Journal reporter whowas kidnapped and murdered by extremists in Karachi, Pakistan shortly after 9/11.

Danny Pearl was a talented musician who joined musical groups in everycommunity he visited, leaving behind a long trail of musician-friends that spanthe entire globe.

His legacy is commemorated every year. In 2007 ‘the sixth annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days’ are held on 1-15 October 2007. It is an international network of concerts using ‘the power of music to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance and humanity’.

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