This month I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and radio personality Hooman Khalili. You can catch him every morning on Alice Radio 97.3 FM – he has been part of the Sarah and Vinnie morning show for the past 16 years. Part of Hooman’s job is interviewing high-profile guests like Sting, John Travolta, Maroon 5 to name a few.
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In 2008 Hooman created the #1 most viewed non-partisan video to inspire the youth of America to get out and vote for the presidential election. The video received 5.1 million views on YOUTUBE and ended up in the museum of Radio and Television in NYC.
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I have known Hooman for more than 12 years and find him to be one of the most hard working and generous people I know. He is always willing to support my philanthropic efforts and participate in my myriad of events despite his busy schedule. I am grateful to have him share his thoughtful answers in this month’s Conversations with Hilary.
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Hooman and Hilary
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What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
The fact that my mom and are in America, we are Christians and we are American Citizens, would probably be at the top of the list. That may not seem like a traditional accomplishment but every great thing that has happened in my life is a result of those three things.
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My life is a miracle, and no matter what I’m going through, I remind myself of the unmerited grace that has set me up to thrive. Number two on my list (what many would consider a traditional accomplishment) is the fact that I am on the radio with Sarah, Vinnie, Uzette, Bryn and Vanessa! It’s a beautiful thing to be a member of the #1 morning show in the Bay Area. It’s a party everyday and it affords me the ability to contribute to a lot of charities and meet incredibly interesting people.
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Do you have a prized possession?
This is gonna sound sappy but there are a few. My relationship with my mom is a possession I treasure everyday. She’s the kindest person I know – always inconveniencing herself for others.
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My relationship with my coworker Sarah is another gift from above. Over the past 16 years she has stood up for me more times than I can count. And my third prized possession is my church, REALITY (in the mission). I’ve been to more than 300 churches in my lifetime and this one, hands down, is by far the very best church I’ve ever been to. It’s full of the spirit. I’ve been attending for a year and a half and 99% of the people I’ve brought have come back (atheists and Christians alike).
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What qualities do you think others love about you?
Wow this one is tough. It might seem odd to start with this but I like to provide value to the people that are my friends and acquaintances. I want to be a problem solver for my friends. I want to help them in their time of need. I also genuinely like people! I like to go out and meet everyone in the room if I can, I like to engage. When we meet I’m hopeful you and I will click. Lastly, if I know you are down, I will call, I will reach out, I will get you out of your house! I want you to get out of the pit, I want you to laugh and run and be silly again!
If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
Probably a full time movie maker, I’d also start my own Sirius Satellite radio station, and invent a new type of Yoga.
What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
In terms of my career – I’ve been with Sarah and Vinnie for 16 years now, and I can honestly say I like that every day is completely unpredictable. No matter what I’m personally dealing with, it has to take a back seat, the show must go on. But what I LOVE about my job is that people tune into us to laugh. Whether they are on their way to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or they are just alone . . .lonely! I love that we comfort people and put a smile on their faces
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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Pray, truth be told, I actually wake up 30 min earlier then I need to so I can put the next 12 hours in the LORD’S hands. I used to wake up close to 4AM – I now wake up at 3:20 AM. Each day I have at least 100 decisions to make and 100 crossroads – without the prayer at least 90% of those decisions will be wrong.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Friday nights are special indeed – because I’m totally single, I don’t have a girlfriend, I don’t own a house, I don’t have any kids, I don’t have a wife . . . I go out every night of the week. Often by the time Friday rolls around the week has caught up with me and I just “pass the “F” out around 6PM. If a group of my friends get together for a happy hour on a Friday no matter how tired I am, I’ll rally. The feeling of a Friday night – the feeling of getting through the week is sweet.
What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Success, getting married, owning a house, accomplishing a lot of things, being admired.
What are you passionate about now?
The answer here is a bit on the long side so bear with me. Surrounding myself with people who are amazing, Church (Realitysf.com), prayer, making movies, being part of the #1 morning show in the Bay Area, laughing, getting massages. I truly enjoy helping people and being there for them in their time of need. I love going out and there is always so much to do in San Francisco. My birthday is coming up, I’m passionate about throwing a great party where I can see my friends laugh, drink, dance and sing! Lastly I’m very passionate about taking big risks. Trying to accomplish things that are so much bigger then anything I am capable of doing in my own strength.
What’s your favorite season and why?
I’d have to say Summer. I like good weather. Summer time is usually when I travel and go on adventures. Music concerts during the Summer are usually the best.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
A solar-powered iPod that is fully loaded with everything I’d ever want to listen to. An unlimited supply of matches that were water proof. Some kind of fishing pole/Rambo knife that is perfectly effective on sea and land (if there could be a fourth a tent with a built-in bed and pillow)
If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Probably a Mojito – (its usually what I order when I go out)
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Well it depends on what category – In Classical its Bach – Suite No.1 in G performed by Pablo Casals. . . In Pop Music it’s the Beatles either LET IT BE or BLACKBIRD. Lastly I love the song Knees to the Earth by Christy Nockels (Revolution Album Version).
Hooman with his adopted American family
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
It would have to be in this order; Jesus, Solomon from the Old Testament (David’s son), Mozart, Bach and The Apostle Paul.
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Free Like a Bird – A life of Unmerited Grace
Do you have any regrets?
This a tricky question because I am exactly where I am supposed to be. If anything in my past were to change then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. But that being said…I would have loved to have gone to some famous college like an NYU or a USC or Stanford.
Another tough question. Freedom for me Is being able to not attach my emotions to my circumstances. If I am truly able to do that, then I am free. Freedom is to be full of Joy and Peace even though I am surrounded by a war.
What are your personal core values?
God first. Even before the desires of my heart, my dreams, or my hopes. Help others even when it’s an inconvenience. Always pray, especially when I don’t want to. Forgive, even if the relationship after you forgive is not the same, still forgive, erase the resentment from your heart.