Shahs of Sunset Recap: Return To The Homeland Part 1

shahs-2-600I am so excited for tonight’s episode of Shahs of Sunset for so many reasons. For one, I love Turkey and am dying to see where they go. And for another, while they are in Turkey this group will not be wasted the entire time and hopefully we will see them more civilized with less liquid courage coursing through their veins. And finally we likely will not be distracted by the women’s breasts hanging out for all to see. It should be a fun, more conservative show.

Already Reza is pretending like he cares about his heritage. He doesn’t but my home for him is that he will when he returns from this trip. GG wins the best luggage award with some Gucci looking roll-on with a leather flip top. Crap I forgot about them getting wasted on the flight over. MJ is standing up during take-off. What is wrong with these people? Have they never been in a plane before?  It looks like they are in Lufthansa’s business class and are sort of spread out so that may be a good thing. Wow! It’s only 12 hours to Istanbul from the west coast.

Did they actual bring champagne with them? The first thing they do when they get to there van is drink. They toast to being in the middle-east. Well close enough to the middle east I suppose. Istanbul is primarily in Europe.

MJ and GG begin arguing on the first night out in Istanbul. This is not what we want to see Bravo. Why do we need to fly them half way around the world to hear them rehash their stupid arguments in front of a foreign audience? /sigh Yet somehow they end up apologizing and making up.


OMG I love the street shots. I want to go to Istanbul so bad! I haven’t been anywhere in months and I have the travel bug soooo bad.  Everyone is at breakfast except for Golnesa. No one seems to be asking Reza what the deal is with his hair.

Finally, everyone is off for some sight-seeing. First stop is Haggia Sophia. It’s a museum that began as a Christian church when it was built in the 6th century. It’s a stunning remnant of Byzantine architecture. The huge cathedral was converted to a mosque at some point before it became a historical monument/museum.  Ah, Reza asked and it became a mosque in 1453.

Next they go to the famous Blue Mosque. It’s comparatively much younger than the Haggia Sophia as it was built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire ( 16th and 17th century).  They are at the mosque on the day of Eid, a day of religious significance that marks the end of Ramadan, a season of fasting in the Muslim religion. It sort of like if Fat Tuesday came AFTER all the deprivations of the Christian season of Lent. My point is the place is mobbed. They all sit outside and listen to the Muezzin melodically call the faithful to prayer. I love that sound, it reminds me of my childhood. It’s very soothing, even if you are not Muslim.

The women are deeply moved. GG is flooded with tears. Reza is nervous about being gay during the call to prayer. Mike seems very uneasy. He’s having a strong reaction. The hate between the Muslims and the Jews is a very deep-seated emotion for some. Mike refuses to enter the mosque.  Asa is upset that the men and the women are not allowed to pray together and that women are not allowed in the main part of the mosque. It never ceases to amaze me when religious people are so unfamiliar with The Bible, or in this case The Koran. It’s very clear that these religious documents have completely separate rules for men and women in all sorts of situations. Now, Asa might not believe that her God would treat men and women differently, but I can assure you the God of The Koran and the God of The Bible are infinitely clear on that point.

Asa and her mother go shopping for food to cook for the evening meal. Asa’s mom really longs to return to Iran and see her family and friends. It’s heartbreaking. I am blogging so slowly tonight because I am drinking in every second of this episode. Reza is obsessed with all the street cats in Turkey.

Asa and her mother are so very excited to reunite with family members from Iran. This whole episode is so emotional. Everyone is crying. And I am everyone.  I love that Asa got Iranian dirt. So cool. I can’t wait for next week!


Filed under Asa Soltan Rahmati, Bravo, Golnesa Gharachedaghi, Mercedeh Javid, Mike Shouhed, Recap, Reza Farahan, Shahs of Sunset

28 responses to “Shahs of Sunset Recap: Return To The Homeland Part 1

  1. Ananas103

    I can’t wait to see them in Istanbul. I’ve been there and loved it too!

  2. sunshinemls

    tamara, when i get the chance to go i am going to bring you back some persian earth! :) i thought overall it was a nice change of pace episode with some wonderful emotions flowing. i know many people that cannot go back and it is very tough for them. i am looking forward to next week also. they should have made it a three week event! have they filmed the reunion yet?

  3. kingafroninjaa

    It was truly a beautiful episode. Seeing GG tear up really struck a cord with me. She’s very beautiful when reveals her vulnerable, she seemed very level headed and calm throughout the dinner as well. It was nice to see MJ feel comfortable with her religion and not feel ashamed of it because of the stigma America has with Muslims.

    I was honestly getting annoyed with Reza because he just kept bringing up his worries about being gay. I felt that he was more focused on himself instead of looking at the bigger picture. Just take in the whole environment and just revel in its beauty. He said something like lets get out this bitch when they were done praying and I felt offended. This is a sacred place why would you curse? Maybe its just me.. even though I’m not religious I am still respectful of others sacred areas of prayer.

    What Mike felt is his truth. He wasn’t comfortable and I’m glad that they didn’t make it into a big deal. I feel Reza was trying to stir drama in the way he was wording how Mike felt.

    I hate cats. I feel like they judge me.

    Asa and her family made me tear up a little. It was touching and yet sad. Its bittersweet. I’m happy for her and her mom.

    • Seriously....

      Cats are condescending judgmental entitled bastards which says a lot about me that having had both, I prefer them over dogs.
      I only caught like 5 mns of this and next week’s previews and I don’t believe Reza.

    • lori

      I didn’t end up watching this whole episode and then accidentally erased it. In what I did see I got to hear Reza bring up his worries about being there and being gay. Come to think of it, I think that’s actually what made me lose interest and start watching something else instead. Leave it to Reza to always make EVERYTHING about Reza. Such a turn off. So sad that some people miss out on practically every experience in life because they are constantly consumed with themselves. What a waste of an airline ticket. I mean when one lives in a bubble, why even bother going anywhere.

    • Kishmish

      Darlin’, cats judge us ALL. We just gotta live with it. They rule. I’m loving Reza’s love for the cats though and really, unless he starts making eyes at dudes and checking out their butts no one is even paying all that much attention to him, gay or not. Thank god he’s not wearing one of his buffoon suits—there I said it—and you know it’s true!
      I wish they’d discuss the food in Turkey in more depth but that’s just me and I was very impressed at GG’s reaction to the call to prayer. Good on her.

    • Epiphanie

      I sorry for the late reply, I’m just watching this on Australia and your comment made me reflect. Why is it ok for like to feel ‘his truth’ and not Reza? It seems clear that the trip to turkey brought up deep questions about their personal identity. Reza is often a douche, but I remember when my dearest friend came out as gay at 19 years of age. He had been popular in school (I never was) bit lost so many friends who couldn’t accept his sexuality. And in Australia, he didn’t face as many cultural considerations as Reza would have faced.

      I think it is very legitimate for Reza to consider his personal identity within the broader context of what it means to be Persian, and it seems that the trip to Turkey would have been a good time to examine that? We know from earlier episodes that it was an issue he was struggling with.

      With respect :)

      • Epiphanie

        Ugh, sorry, I’m on my phone. SO many typing errors:
        *in Australia
        *Mike to ‘feel his truth’
        *but lost so many friends

  4. Popcorn and Vodka (@popcornandvodka)

    Yes, kingafroninjaa, I thought Reza was being extremely disrespectful during the first half of the episode, especially with that particular comment. But it appears that he is learning some things while he is there.

    I was also very glad that everyone respected Mike’s feelings. His family has a very different experience with that country, and he had a right to feel uncomfortable. It was nice to see them all so respectful of each other.

    Does anyone know why Asa’s family had to leave Iran, but her mother’s sisters did not? I wonder if it had to do with who they were married to.

    Oh yeah, I was super annoyed that Asa was so shocked she had to pray in a different area. That seems like some basic religious knowledge and I expected more from her. However, the dirt was awesome and I was happy for her. She is one person who can really appreciate something like that.

    • Magnolias

      Woman pray behind men’s view because as you prostrate in prayer a man could be provoked to think sexual thoughts otherwise which would tant their thoughts. Its to keep the prayer environment pure and focus soley on God. Its to protect women from disrespectful situation and help the men foucus and not be taunted by their natural instints

    • OMarie

      I think Asa had a hard time with understanding the separate areas for men and women at the Blue Mosque ( which was sooo beautiful) is that she has become Americanized IMHO. Our concepts of equality and the seperation of church and state is so much a part of our culture, we forget that other countries/cultures do not share those views and are reminded of this when we travel.

  5. diamondgigi

    Oh My! this was a good episode. Aside from MJ”s crooked apology and Reza bringing everything back to his being gay. I really liked seeing the human side of them all. Asa was really feelin’ being in her culture seeing GG all in her feelings was emotional. This is when I really like Reality TV without all the drama. I feel for Mike but what he was expressing were his true feelings and one has to give him that. It was good to see them dressed to be tourist flat shoes and comfortable clothing, maybe not so much MJ I think she had on some sort of heels/wedges. Asa always embraces everything she does totally.
    Ms. TT I love when you recap almost immediately, because I’m still all in my feelings right after seeing the episode. GREAT recapping you do. I don’t always comment but do on some occasions.

  6. Omg this is the was the best episode of shahs thus far I cried almost the whole episode I’m glad Asa let us in on her family reunion I can’t wait until next week

  7. victoria

    So is Lily no longer on this show? I havent watched in ages.

  8. Snookums Lynn

    I was so moved by Asa’s family reunion. It was beautiful. I’m not going to watch the rest of the episode, I feel like falling to sleep to that positivity. Lol

  9. DJ

    I LOVED this episode. Asa’s mother just broke my heart!! So happy she got to see her sister and family.

    Tamara, I agree with you about Asa being shocked (or incensed for a better word) with the separation of men and woman. I thought she was a practicing Muslim.

    Reza made it all about him. No one cared about him being gay! He should have got caught up in the moment like the ladies did.

    I am totally nit-picking! It was a great episode. I have been to Istanbul, and it is just gorgeous!!

    • He always does. What surprised me was at resurant when ordering, he spoke to waiter in his “man voice”. He usally talks like a five year old which annoys hell out of me. Other than that,I LOVEDthis episode.Asa shopping on the streets with her mom and the excitement of them finding cavier, the love of their family and that incredibly beautiful mosque! The mosque did bring me to tears. It’s like you could feel the majesty of what it was built for so many centuries ago. And then, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad because I don’t believe the purpose in prayer s there today are as they were back then. To call a place holy yet all or nearly all the terrorists pray in and towards these grand mosques everyday. All these centuries of fighting in the name of Allah…REALLY? And what has been gained from all the bloodshed and death of innocents? There will never be peace, but my God, with the architectural imagination in the mideast, everywhere should be paradise on earth instead of cities in rubble.

      • I was saddened by your comment. Just because a minority of terrorists happen to pray in or towards a mosque does not mean that the purpose of prayer or mosques has changed. Over a BILLION people on this planet are Muslim, and over a BILLION are not terrorists. Timothy McVeigh was/is Catholic, do you also feel ashamed of churches??

        And, more blood has been shed over the same God than for any other reason. And also know that the translation of “Allah” is The God, in other words, “Allah” is not a different “God” than the God of the Bible. The Bible is a part of the Koran – Muslims believe the Koran is a “completion” of the bible. Followers of Judaism and Christianity are called “People of the Book” by Muslims because all three religions believe in the God of Abraham. All the stories in the Old Testament are a part of all three religions, the “God” is the same.

        Please don’t mistakenly believe that there have been centuries of fighting over “Allah” unless you understand that there have been centuries of fighting over an interpretation of “God”.

        And since we’re talking about “what has been gained” – what has been gained by our own most recent wars that have nearly crippled our economy and have killed tens of thousands of people in their own sovereign country?

      • Thanks emma. You said that very well.

      • It saddens me that so many people share your attitude toward a religion based on the actions of radicals.

      • jarlath

        I thought you were talking about Western Europe when you described centuries of warfare and terrorists until you said Allah. Are these terrorists any different than the European “explorers” who have done god know how many horrible things for centuries to people around the world in the name of Jesus, Civilization, Progress, etc.?

  10. AMTraveler

    Loved the scenes of Asa and her mother – in fact I could have watched a full episode of them shopping, walking the streets, and reminiscing and done completely without Reza. The manner in which Reza presented Mike’s discomfort with the group was a complete misrepresentation and unfair. Mike’s sentiments appeared quite genuine, and although it is sad that he has to feel that way – I don’t think that MJ, Asa or GG could truly empathize with the added element of rejection that he and his family feel. That they questioned his feelings and tried to compare their experience to his own was inappropriate although not surprising given the manner in which Reza came over to “tattle” on Mike’s emotions. I think Reza was hoping that his own internal struggle would become the big storyline of the episode and when he didn’t get immediately targeted as a gay man by the population he started trying to project something that wasn’t there. My one gripe with Asa was, as you mentioned, her actions in the Blue Mosque. Asa should be aware of the customs, and although she claims she didn’t want to make a scene she is a traveler and an astute woman. It’s not hard to observe that only men (and apparently children) were entering the center area, nor do I believe that there were not ample signs in English as I don’t remember having an confusion about it when I was there. By discussing it in the mosque with Reza in front of a camera crew, she was in fact making a scene. It’s perfectly valid for her to feel the way she feels but I don’t think she handled it appropriately.

    Again, so glad that Asa and her mother were able to really capture the magic of Istanbul. It is a very cosmopolitan city – and somehow the camera crew managed to find more people in full covering than I did for my entire visit there, and I even went to the far more conservative Asian side across the Bosphorous. As a Jewish or gay tourist you can indeed travel there safely. Whether or not you still feel internal discomfort like Mike or Reza is a different thing entirely, but I felt like Bravo was totally ridiculous in trying to portray Istanbul as being a far more “extreme” place than it is. Looking forward to next week and some more genuine emotions from Asa and her mother, and will fast forward through Reza’s exhausting fakery.

  11. JrLeaguer

    Loved seeing the sites through their eyes. I have a dear friend who is a teacher and now lives in Istanbul and she sends me beautiful photos such as the Hagia Sophia, which is visible from her apartment window along with not so great ones like recently when the streets were being teargassed and rubber bullets were flying everywhere.
    I totally got where Mike was coming from. Being a Jew in a Muslim country that does not totally embrace Jews could be emotionally unsettling. While the other families of the cast members had to leave due to political differences, his family had the double whammy of political and religious persecution.
    I was surprised by Asa’s reaction to being confined to a small space in a Mosque. She left Iran when she was eight years old and I would imagine that she has memories of attending a Mosque when she lived there, not to mention that men and women are separated at Mosques here in America (and everywhere else) too.
    Seeing her mother’s reaction to being with her family again was simply beautiful. How wonderful that she had the opportunity to reunite with them.

  12. I really enjoyed this episode. I liked hearing Muslim women discuss their faith. I also liked that Mike was able to articulate his family’s experience and his emotions as a counterpoint to the experience the ladies were having.

  13. citygirl

    Asa’s objection to separation of men and women in mosques was necessary. There is a movement afoot in this country and elsewhere to end this separation. Even then, none of these people seem very religious so I wouldn’t be surprised if Asa had never set foot in a mosque, even as a child. I haven’t been to a mosque in years. What I would like to see is a visit to a synagogue so Mike will be able to connect. I was surprised MJ had fasted during Ramadan. I was able to connect with the women and their struggles of growing up Muslim in America, and feeling of connection. It’s nice to see that Shah people have more to them than their decadence.

  14. This was, by far, the best epi of Shahs I’ve ever seen & I’m hoping next week’s will be even better. I could relate so much to their feelings. Being Cherokee/Creek, when I go to a powwow & hear the drum (the heartbeat of Mother Earth) or visit where my people came from, I feel as if I’m home. My whole mind & body relaxes & my heart sings with joy. The whole epi, I kept thinking, ‘I get it, I get it, I understand exactly what they’re feeling’. Watching Asa & her mom, the reunion with their family was wonderful. Watching Asa with the dirt was moving. Seeing GG being touched. So many things in this epi just leapt out at me as being true & genuine. I felt for Mike because of his family’s experiences & how he felt. As for Reza – he has to make everything about himself or he just can’t have a good time. He takes a wonderful experience away from others when he tries to shine all the light on himself. Settle down, Mustache Man, there are other people in the world besides you. I’m looking forward to next week’s epi so much. Oh! And the less Lily, the better IMHO.

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