Born in Tehran-Iran, Mr. Gharib-Afshar’s father was from Garakaan, Arrak, while his mother hailed from Tabriz, East Azerbaijan. After completing high school in Iran, Mr. Gharib-Afshar travelled to the United States to continue his education. He attended both San Francisco City College and later transferred to San Francisco State University. Following his Bachelor’s, he eventually earned his Masters from UCLA in Broadcasting. While attending college, Mr. Gharib-Afshar created and participated in various student stage productions- including Iranian student’s stage and then TV productions for Nowruz. He then created “The International Variety Show” at a local TV station that was known for featuring art and culture from different countries.
Where it all started
These experiences created an opportunity for him to work in the CBS-TV program “As Others See Us”- directed and produced by Mustapha Akkad, and distributed by United Artists and syndicated throughout both the US and overseas. He is one of the ten students elected to be featured in “Who’s Who in American Colleges & Universities Yearbook” from San Francisco State University. His last job before returning to Iran in 1970 was in the Public Relation Promotional Department at National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Following his return to Iran, Mr. Gahrib-Afshar beat out a fierce competition amongst other graduates for a positions with the National Iranian Radio and Television. Because of his impressive resume, he was officially hired by NIRT to be in charge of several production groups such as Children, Youth, Family, Health and Labor.
Humanitarian efforts & Helping the Community
Mr. Gharib-Afshar has also been involved in facilitating and advocating for a number of humanitarian efforts. During his time with NIRT in Iran, he started the talk about the importance of keeping the environment safe. He encouraged people to realize that this earth is our legacy to our children and that we should not always rely on the government to take care of issues which affect us directly. Additionally, Mr. Gharib-Afshar used his influence with the media and produced the the first live TV program for UNICEF’s 25th anniversary. In order to have child-guests from different countries in his program, he went to the members of seven foreign embassies and invited their children and interviewed the live on TV. He continued with his live programs by producing live concerts for international celebrities such as Frank Sinatra performing in the 12 thousand seat stadium. In a first ever Telethon in Iran, he produced and personally executed a seven hour “Special” to help Iranian refugees from Iraq. The event, was the first joint venture between Iranian Radio and Television. He is the creator of over 300 recreational and entertaining programs including specials about Iranian festivals and traditions such as “Nowruz”, “Chaharsanbe Suri”, and “Yalda”. An innovator and novel broadcaster to Iranian television, Mr. Gharib-Afshar created the ambiance of the old times by featuring new talented, unknown entertainers along with eminent personalities and famous celebrities of both American and Iranian backgrounds. Iran at the time had two Persian speaking channels and American Armed Forces stationed in Tehran was broadcasting a program in English. When the later was shut down, he became in-charge of creation the “International TV” to introduce other countries and their cultures to Iranians. His endevours have also included teaching script-writing and creating programs in “School for Cinema and Television” as well as producing and directing in the “College of Journalism and Communication”.
Influence in the US
In 1979, political unrest motivated Mr. Gharib-Afshar to return to the US where he eventually stationed himself in Los Angeles, CA. With the help and sponsorship of some interested Iranians and by accepting advertisements from Iranian businesses, Mr. Gharib-Afshar started the first Persian program in United States. By 1981 he made the first Nowruz program in US- the extremely successful broadcast entitled the “Zoroastrian Spring Festival”. Following these accomplishments, in 1982 he started to collaborate with a local TV station, Channel 18: KSCI –today, known as the International Channel- a part-time program TV station, broadcasting only from morning to midnight. At the time, across the United States, Iranians had only three hours of programming a week. Out of these three hours, one hour was produced by Parviz Gharib-Afshar, broadcasting his show “Simaye Ashena” every Sunday at noon and later on he expanded it to a daily morning live-show in the same channel from 7:30 to 8:30 PST. Without governmental or organizational financial assistance or grants, all the programs were financed by independent producers such as himself. Nevertheless he did not allow these limitations stop him. His creativity and innovation again prompted him to talk to Iranian entertainers and artists and together they promoted a very high impact concert. He then proposed to channel 18 and gained the use of the TV facilities for the production and broadcasting of an Iranian live program from 11:00 PM to12:30 AM every night via satellite cable television through United States. To celebrate his three thousandth program, he made a special pay-per-view program through satellite cable. This was the first time that Iranians used per-pay-view and the success of it opened the doors to do other such programs to broadcast popular Persian interests such as Iranian soccer games and other Nowruz program all across North America and enabled Parviz Gharib-Afshar to go into a partnership with channel 18 and every year make Specials for Nowruz and other programs such as interviewing well-known and influential Persians from literary, political, artistic and athletic fields. This collaboration with channel 18 was doing so well that it later on moved to the cable and was broadcast all across United States, as far as Hawaii and was seen by nearby countries such as Costa Rica and Canada.
Synergizing Media & Culture
His next step was to look into what was going on in Iran. In those years, Iranians within Iran did not have any news of the other parts of the country so he started a short wave radio that could be heard by Iranians within Iran. There were other radio stations that would send short wave programs to Iran, expressing their own political views. However, he always felt his first duty as a son of Iran, was to provide information to his fellow-countrymen and not to broadcast his personal beliefs and political views. So he created an open line that everyone could call and inform other Iranians what was happening on their part of the world. This phenomenon still exists today and is used by others with different views and purposes. Simultaneously, he promoted various concerts and distributed a number of CDs and DVDs to advance Persian art and culture. In order to help the people of Roodbar and Bam after the earthquake stroke those areas, he helped the fundraising through Iranian media. His commitment to the efforts was so zealous that he insisted on being audited in order to ensure that all the profits reached the people of Roodbar and Bam. Presently, he has a popular weekly Sunday program.