One takeaway from the new W’s look at the mind-bogglingly affluent Persian Jews of Beverly Hills, most of whom settled in California after fleeing Iran in 1979? Dispossession’s a bitch, made much easier when you’re rich. We learn that members of the community are a little bit insular, a little bit rock and roll (well, one—Sam Nazarian—owns nightclubs, anyway), and a little bit grateful for getting out when they did. “It was hard for a lot of people who lost everything,” says a 36-year old Columbia-educated interior designer. “But their kids—we learned that the sky is the limit.” It’s a classic only-in-America story, of course. But, even so, and granted no one could have predicted this spectacularly bad coincidence of timing, reading the article now, along with its accompanying photos of a Philippe Starck lamp and a $1.6 million Bugatti, while the violent shadow of Iran’s recent days lurks in the zeitgeist makes this particular charmed group of refugees seem a little bit crass.
The Persian Conquest [W magazine]