The ethnic lineup at Access Sacramento includes programs in Vietnamese, Romanian, Samoan and Farsi.
One of the longest-running ethnic programs is Amir Refah's "Tehran TV/Azerbaijan TV," which he's produced for six years. The one-hour show, which airs Thursdays on Channel 18 at
, is broadcast in Farsi, the language of Refah's native country,
Iran. Refah mixes Iranian and Azerbaijanian music videos with news and educational and motivational messages.
Refah describes himself as a "little person in a big society trying to make everybody to be friends."
One night a week, Refah rearranges the dining area in his
Sacramento house to create a makeshift studio. He usually waits for a quiet window to begin filming, sometimes long after dark, when the traffic outside subsides and the neighbors have gone to bed.
Refah, who emigrated to the
United States about 20 years ago and works for a firm that has defense contracts with the federal government, describes his show as a school for new immigrants. His goal is to encourage them to be model citizens.
"What I tell them in my show is remember where you are and who you neighbor with. Try to be nice. Stay in school. Try to be the best."
Refah said he counts among his viewers many native-born Americans, who like the music even if they don't understand the language. Their ranks included a clerk behind the counter who recognized him during a recent visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles.