Tehrangeles is a portmanteau deriving from the combination of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and Los Angeles. It is used when referring to the large number (estimates range from 700,000 to 800,000) of former Iranian nationals and their descendants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area after the 1979 Islamic Revolution left many families displaced; it is the largest such population outside of Iran. In common usage, it usually refers to the proportionally larger Persian-American subset of Iranian immigrants, many of whom are second generation citizens. The intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Wilkins Avenue is now officially recognized by the City of Los Angeles as "Persian Square."
Persian businesses in the L.A. area originally centered in the Westwood neighborhood of the Westside. Iranian-owned businesses are particularly prevalent on Westwood Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard (in Westwood) to Pico Boulevard (in West L.A.).
Often referred to as Little Persia or Persian Hills/Persian Square, it is between Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. Immigration to the area increased several-fold due to the events surrounding the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Westwood Boulevard became known for its many Persian shops and restaurants; and the Persian expatriate community of Los Angeles entered all forms of media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations.
As the population grew, many Iranians have moved all over Los Angeles, with other large neighborhoods forming in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Encino in the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills, California ; the city of Irvine as well throughout Orange County and Persians also made their homes in San Diego and the Palm Springs area (Coachella Valley). The Persian population of Beverly Hills may be as high as 20% of the total population. The former mayor of Beverly Hills, Jimmy Delshad, is Iranian-born.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tehrangeles.|
- Neil MacFarquhar, Exiles in 'Tehrangeles' Are Split on Iran, The New York Times, May 9, 2006, Accessed June 15, 2009.
- Renée Montagne, Living in Tehrangeles: L.A.'s Persian Community, Morning Edition (NPR), June 8, 2006, Accessed June 15, 2009.
- Kurt Anderson, Mamak Khadem gives a tour of Tehrangeles, Studio 360, March 13, 2009, Accessed June 15, 2009.
- Sara Dickerman, Persian Cooking Finds a Home in Los Angeles, The New York Times, June 7, 2009, Accessed June 15, 2009.