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 Library 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 Library, 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 Library?

My educator mother was instrumental in this decision. One day she excitedly told me she had discovered this authentic French Library 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

Former 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!

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Upcoming Events

Wine Seminar

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Gastronomy & Wine program: Your French Culinary Arts and Wine Journey

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Join us in our Victorian Founder's Room for the first Wine Seminar of the year, dedicated to the Loire Valley wines. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, our series is tailored to provide a deeper understanding of French wines, refine your wine-tasting skills and vocabulary, and foster confidence in conversations, selections, and pairings. We will provide you with an authentic French perspective and access to a splendid array of quality wines.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Meet the heroes who saved multiple art works during WWII in France! Michelle Young is a Harvard Graduate, author of the upcoming book The Art Spy about spy Rose Valland.

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Let's clink glasses and have a great time together! In collaboration with the Boston French Community.

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