Sarah Shahi’s Ethnicity, Nationality and Family History

Sarah Shahi’s ethnicity is mixed. Her father, Abbas Jahansouzshahi, is Iranian and was born there, while her mother, Mahmonir Soroushazar, was born in Spain to an Iranian father and a Spanish mother. However, Sarah Shahi’s nationality is American as she was born and raised in the USA.

Sarah Shahi, a famous Hollywood superstar actress, also has two siblings with whom she shares a very close bond. They are very fond of each other and give each other immense support while they pursue their respective careers.

Who are Sarah Shahi’s Parents?

Sarah Shahi’s parents are Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar, with her father being Abbas and her mother being Mahmonir. Sarah’s father has sadly passed away, but her mother is still alive.

Before Sarah’s father, Abbas died, he and her mother got divorced due to problems arising between them when she was still a child.

Sarah Shahi
Sarah Shahi and her parents when she was a child.

Meet Sarah Shahi’s Father

Sarah Shahi’s father, Abbas Jahansouzshahi, hailed from Iran, where he was born and raised by his family. The specific details about his early life, including the exact city or town in Iran where he was born as well as the identities of his parents and other family members, have remained somewhat elusive.

It is believed that Abbas was an educated individual who had undergone some form of formal education during his lifetime. He is said to have bagged a college education and is even believed to be one of the most educated members of his family. Unfortunately, the specific institutions of learning where he pursued his studies remain unclear.

What we know is that following his graduation, Abbas secured a position at the American embassy in Iran during the 1970s, showcasing his professional commitment and potential academic background. He worked at the embassy for years before he was forced to quit during the Iranian Revolution of the 1970s.

Our findings show that the trajectory of Abbas’s life took a significant turn after he and his family decided to leave Iran two years before the onset of the Iranian Revolution. Reports indicate that, given his association with the American embassy, Abbas became a target of the Iranian government. His situation became even more precarious as he was allegedly marked for execution when the Shah’s regime collapsed in 1979. Fortunately, he managed to evade this perilous fate and successfully fled the country with his family.

Upon reaching the United States, Abbas built a new life for his family. It was in the USA that he crossed paths with Sarah’s mother, setting the stage for a new chapter in their lives.

Who Is Sarah Shahi’s Mother?

Sarah Shahi’s mother, Mahmonir Soroushazar, is said to be a very interesting woman who shares a very close bond with her famous daughter. Born in Spain, Mahmonir’s origins are a blend of Iranian and Spanish heritage, with her father being Iranian and her mother hailing from Spain. Unfortunately, specifics about her parents and other family members, as well as her exact date of birth, remain elusive.

Despite the mystery surrounding her early years, it is believed that Mahmonir received some form of formal education while growing up, although the institutions where she pursued her studies remain undisclosed. Details about her early life and the exact manner in which she was raised by her family remain vague. It is also not certain if she has any siblings with whom she grew up in Spain.

What is clear is that, at a certain juncture in her life, Mahmonir made a significant decision to move from Spain to the United States while seeking greener pastures. This was a pivotal chapter in her personal and professional journey. In the USA, she carved out a niche for herself as an interior designer, showcasing her creative prowess.

It was also on American soil that Mahmonir’s path intersected with that of Abbas Jahansouzshahi, Sarah Shahi’s father. Their meeting marked the commencement of a new chapter in both of their lives, blending cultural backgrounds and forging a connection that would shape the future of their family.

Sarah Shahi Has Multi-Ethnic Roots

Sarah Shahi is clearly an American national, having been born and raised in the United States. However, despite her American nativity, her ethnic background is notably mixed, adding a rich tapestry to her heritage. Her mother, born in Spain, possesses a unique blend of Iranian and Spanish roots, being the daughter of an Iranian father and a Spanish mother.

On the paternal side, Sarah’s father hails directly from Iran. As a result, Sarah Shahi proudly carries both Iranian and Spanish ancestry, creating a cultural fusion that reflects the diversity of her family’s origins. Interestingly, reports suggest that Sarah can trace her lineage back to a 19th-century Persian Shah, suggesting a potential connection to Iranian royalty.

The title of Shah historically signified the highest rank in Iranian monarchies, implying that Sarah’s ancestry might include a link to a royal family.

Is Sarah Shahi half-Persian?

Yes! Sarah Shahi is half-Persian. For the record, the question of whether or not Sarah Shahi is half-Persian has been asked a number of times over the years, and the concept of her being half-Persian has confused many of her fans in the past since everyone knows she has Iranian and Spanish roots. Well, what some people don’t know is that Iran is actually also known as Persia.

For the record, in historical contexts, the region we now know as Iran was commonly called Persia by the Western world. This nomenclature originated from the writings of Greek historians who used the term “Persís,” derived from Old Persian, to encompass the entirety of Iran, with Persis being one of the ancient Iranian provinces. A pivotal shift occurred in 1935 when Reza Shah urged the international community to adopt the country’s native name, Iran.

However, resistance to this change prompted a reversal of the decision in 1959. Professor Ehsan Yarshater, the editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, advocated for using Persia and Iran interchangeably. As a result, both terms are now employed in cultural contexts, with Iran being the official designation in state-related matters. So, Sarah Shahi being half-Persian simply means she is half-Iranian.

Sarah’s Parents Met and Married in the USA

As we have already pointed out, Sarah Shahi’s parents, Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar, did not grow up in the same place; while her father was born and raised in Iran, her mother was born and raised in Spain.

However, fate brought them together when they both relocated from their respective native countries to the USA. Available reports say Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar met in Texas. However, the exact circumstances behind their first meeting are not quite clear. It is also not certain if what they had was love at first sight or if they gradually built up their romance.

What is clear is that their love story later transformed into matrimony as they eventually got married in the USA. The exact date of their wedding is unknown, as details about this event have remained vague over the years. Notably, both Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar have Iranian roots, making their romance even easier to blossom.

Sarah Shahi’s Parents Had Her in 1980 and Originally Called Her Aahoo 

Following their marriage, Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar gave birth to their famous daughter, Sarah Shahi, on January 10, 1980. Sarah is now 44 years old. Her star sign is Capricorn. Sarah was born in Euless, a city in Tarrant County, Texas.

For the record, Sarah Shahi’s birth name is not actually Sarah Shahi at all. Upon her birth, she was named Aahoo Jahansouzshahi by her parents. Her given name, Aahoo, is a testament to her Persian heritage, with its meaning translating to ‘gazelle’ in the Persian language. But despite the cultural richness embedded in her name, Sarah faced childhood challenges due to frequent teasing from peers who could not pronounce the name.

Sarah Shahi
Sarah Shahi

Sarah eventually got fed up with the teasing, and so, in an act of self-empowerment, she decided to adopt the name Sarah in second grade after being moved by a song with the same name. The decision arose from a desire to escape the taunts associated with her birth name, Aahoo. Sarah’s upbringing was influenced by her father’s insistence on maintaining a connection to their Persian heritage.

This manifested in Sarah growing up bilingual, fluent in both Persian and English. This linguistic duality not only reflects her cultural heritage but also speaks to the richness of her upbringing, shaped by a blend of American and Persian influences.

Sarah Shahi and Her Mother Suffered Abuse At Her Father’s Hands

Sadly, Sarah Shahi did not have the best childhood as she reportedly suffered abuse at the hands of her father and lived in fear lots of the time. In a heartfelt and exclusive essay featured in PEOPLE magazine, Sarah Shahi, who is now renowned for her roles in television hits like The L Word, Fairly Legal, and her recent venture on Showtime’s City on a Hill, opened up about that challenging chapter from her past.

The actress delved into her formative years in Texas as the daughter of Iranian immigrants and shed some light on a tumultuous childhood marked by her father’s abusive behavior. Recalling a moment from her early years, Sarah vividly recounted a night when her father, in a drunken stupor, left her and her mother in a state of fear. Her father had just assaulted her mother and had left them in such a state of fear that they decided to run away from the house that very night.

Sarah was just five years old at the time. According to her, her mother woke her up from sleep and whisked her away from the house as they escaped to a women’s shelter in Arlington, Texas. Stranded in the cold January night with only her pajamas, this refuge became a lifeline, providing safety and preserving their lives for some time away from her father.

Sarah explained that she grew up being afraid of her father. According to her, the depth of her father’s struggles with addiction—battling demons of alcohol, prescription drugs, and gambling— got the best of him and it affected everyone in the household. His addiction manifested in a cycle of physical and verbal abuse towards her and her mother. She never got to truly warm up to him in her childhood.

Sarah Shahi’s Parents Divorced When She Was 10

Unable to reconcile the issues that plagued their marriage, Sarah Shahi’s parents eventually decided to part ways and this happened when she was still very young. Sarah herself once offered a glimpse into the final days of her parents’ union. She explained that after her mother sought refuge in a women’s shelter in Texas to escape her father’s assaults, they stayed there for some time to escape the man.

However, after a while, Sarah’s mother decided to go back home but first, she got a restraining order against her husband, and this prompted Sarah’s father to vacate the family home. Following this, Sarah and her mother returned home. Initially, there was a glimmer of hope as her parents later reconciled and reunited, much to the excitement and happiness of Sarah. Unfortunately, this respite proved temporary, and the cycle of discord resumed, ultimately culminating in Sarah Shahi’s parents officially divorcing when she was just ten years old.

Following the divorce, Sarah’s mother was granted custody of her children, leading Sarah to move in with her. It is now clear how involved her father was in her life during her childhood following his divorce from her mother. Sarah herself has always had lots of praise for her mother and how she worked really hard to make sure she had everything while growing up in Texas.

But Sarah’s mother has since found love once again. According to Sarah, her mother has remarried and currently oversees the management of a medical building alongside her stepfather in Texas. Tragically, Sarah Shahi’s father passed away in 2015. The details surrounding the state of their relationship before his demise remain unclear. Whether fences were mended or their connection improved in the final chapters of his life remains a mystery.

Does Sarah Shahi Have Any Siblings?

Sarah Shahi is not an only child, as she has two siblings. She is the middle child in the family. Sarah Shahi has an older brother named Cyrus Jahansouzshahi and a younger sister named Samantha Jahansouzshahi. All three siblings are very fond of each other and very supportive. The strong bond among the three siblings is evident in how they celebrate their wins on social media.

Not much is known about Cyrus, Sarah’s older brother. His date of birth is not clear so his age at the moment is not known. We know that he has chosen a path of service, currently serving in the armed forces. While the specific country’s armed forces remain undisclosed, Sarah has proudly shared glimpses of his military life through photos portraying him in action as a soldier.

Not much is known about Sarah Shahi’s younger sister, Samantha Jahansouzshahi. Her age is unclear, but all reports indicate that she is indeed the youngest Shahi sibling. Not much is known about her life at the moment, but our findings show that has pursued a career as a production assistant, showcasing the diversity of talents within the Shahi family.

The cooperative spirit among the siblings is palpable, and their closeness extends beyond their immediate circle to include their mother. They frequently meet up with their mother and involve her in their shared projects.


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