Hooshang got his feet wet with using computers as a tool for practicing English when he made a video resume in the Vocational ESL class. His interest was sparked, and Hooshang was hooked, spending late nights at home learning more about PowerPoint and Movie Maker. Hooshang’s natural abilities with and interest in technology led him to enroll in the ESL Digital Storytelling class, which was first offered Spring 2008.
Hooshang’s father himself was an immigrant in Iran, having come from India, and owned a movie theater there. As a young boy, Hooshang helped his father, much like the father and son in the Italian film “Cinema Paradiso.” Now, at the age of 85, Hooshang said his boyhood dream of “making movies” is a reality.
In his first digital story, “Good or Bad Story,” Hooshang narrates an Iranian folk story his mother told him, whose message is universal: What goes around comes around. Hooshang has since translated and remade the digital story in his native language, Farsi, and has shared it with his grandchildren, who also live in the U.S., as a way of preserving the story. More recently Hooshang has collaborated long distance with his daughter, an artist living in New York City whose artwork he featured in the digital story, to tell the story of his own father.
As Hooshang demonstrates, it is never to late to learn English, learn to use computers, and use digital storytelling as a means to capture, safeguard, and commemorate the past and the people who have shaped who we are.