We love our members! In fact, we love them so much that we want you to get to know them and share in our community. In this series, Member Spotlight, the French Cultural Center will introduce you to a member via our blog. This month we are featuring Camran Shahidi, former resident of Switzerland, and frequenter to our French conversation events. Read on to learn more about Camran...


Interested in sharing your story? Let us know! Interested in being a member and all the fun perks that come with membership? We would love to have you! Contact Membership Manager Natalie Collet at or call 617-912-0400.

"I have met some of my best friends at these events through the years. A tight group of Francophiles, we also share mutual passion in other areas, including French movies, international travel, world events, skiing and tennis. "

 




What is your connection to the French language and/or francophone culture?

My great grandfather hailed from France. Naturally, this influence fostered a strong love of France and its language in our family from generation to generation. As children, we spoke primarily English and Persian at home. French was only spoken when my mother and grandmother – both fluent in the language - did not want us to understand their conversation! I started learning French in middle school. Then my mother landed a teaching position at the International School of Geneva in Switzerland, where I completed high school. Those four years in Geneva offered a golden chance to improve my French through immersion, and enjoy traveling often with my family to neighboring France! Currently, besides being active at the French Cultural Center, I enjoy audiovisual immersion through TV5Monde programming. I must admit I am hooked on the show Chérif, featuring the coolest cop in France!

Why did you decide to become a member of the French Cultural Center?

My educator mother was instrumental in this decision. One day she excitedly told me she had discovered this authentic French Cultural Center in a classy brownstone mansion in the Back Bay. She encouraged me to check it out, saying how wonderful it would be for us to maintain our ties to French culture and language right here in Boston! Am I glad she did! I went to a welcoming social conversation gathering, joined, and never looked back.

How long have you been a member here?

Since the late 90s! After a three-year stint at a start-up in the Silicon Valley in early 2000s, I moved back to Boston and rejoined the Center. Having witnessed French cultural offerings available in the Bay Area, I developed a new appreciation for how active and fun our Center is in Boston!

What do you like about being a member at the Center?  Do you have any favorite classes or events that you have participated in?

I absolutely love the social, food, wine, music and conversation events! Among my favorites are: Conversation socials which allow me a unique occasion to practice French with fellow Francophones, the fantastic Bastille Day, La fête de la Chandeleur, classical and jazz performances, and unique country appreciation events such as those celebrating Swiss, Greek, and Bulgarian cultures and cuisine. As a history buff, I took a few excellent classes dwelling on topics such as the history of the “Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres” as well as “Châteaux de France.” I look forward to more of those lectures! I must mention here that I have met some of my best friends at these events through the years. A tight group of Francophiles, we also share mutual passion in other areas, including French movies, international travel, world events, skiing and tennis.

If you could travel to any francophone country, what would it be and why?

Certainly Switzerland, where I can visit my alma mater and friends in Geneva and the Alpine village of Leysin. On the same trip, I would then travel to southern France, which is remarkably beautiful and relaxing!





Natalie Collet

Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French!

See All Posts

Related Posts

Meet Christopher Smith

We love our members! In fact, we love them so much that we want you to get to know them and share in our community.…

Read More

Meet Christine Smith

We love our members! In fact, we love them so much that we want you to get to know them and share in our community.…

Read More

A Toast to the Francophonie: How to Make a Ti Punch

Throughout March we are honoring diversity of the Francophone world!  What better way to celebrate than offering a toast to our Francophone friends with this…

Read More

Upcoming Events

Soccer Match

French Tailgate and Match

New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC

Saturday, August 31, 2019 5:30 PM To 10:00 PM

All are invited to enjoy a match between the New England Revolution and the Toronto FC! Purchase your tickets and enter to win a chance to meet French player Wilfried Zahibo.

Read More
Open House

Fall Open House

Discover all the center has to offer

Thursday, September 12, 2019 5:30 PM To 8:30 PM

Learn more about our classes, library, upcoming events, and membership perks!

Read More
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:00 PM To 3:30 PM

Join Benjamin this month for an in-depth discussion of Cantatrix Sopranica L. et autres écrits scientifiques by Georges Perec.

Read More