Kids today seem to have it all, especially when it comes to new and innovative educational toys. Language learning games seem to be popping up every day, yet especially in this country, their scope is limiting in that they really only cater to the more widely-spoken languages in the United States. Remember playing with woodblocks to learn the alphabet? This wasn’t a reality for Iranian-American children whose parents wanted to raise them to speak fluently in Farsi. That is, until now.
Enter Dr. Golbarg Bashi, an internationally-recognized photographer and Columbia-educated expert on feminist critiques of human rights discourses in Iran. Until recently, she taught Middle Eastern studies at Rutgers University, but left her position to start Dr. Bashi Toys and Fashion, a “small Mom-owned multilingual, gender-conscious, eco-friendly and socially-responsible toy and fashion company based in New York City.” In collaboration with prolific designer and calligrapher Kourosh Beigpour, Dr. Bashi has been making a splash with her debut of the world’s first Persian-language wood blocks made of sustainable materials and produced entirely in the USA.