Newsletter 19

Exhibition of Manifestations of Iranian Script and Calligraphy in Sweden

The Exhibition of Manifestations of Iranian Script and Calligraphy was held by the Iranian Cultural Council in Link?ping in Sweden on 4 June 2017. The calligraphic works of Al-e Taha, one of the famous Iranian calligraphers, were displayed in this event. This two-day Exhibition at the University City of Link?ping was greatly welcomed by Swedish lovers of Iranian art and the Iranian people living in Sweden. One of the programs of the Exhibition was a workshop on calligraphy, in which the participants were taught Persian script and were introduced to the features of cursive, thuluth, and Nasta?l?q scripts.

Unveiling Nezami’s Poem of Khosrow and Shirin in Italian

Newsletter 19

Nezami’s poem of Khosrow and Shirin has been translated from Persian into Italian by Daniela Meneghini, Professor of Persian language and literature of Ca Foscari University of Venice under the title of Khosrow e ?irin. Amore e saggezza nella Persia antica.This book was published in 2017 by Ariele Publications and is now available on the Italian market at a price of 24 euros.

The unveiling ceremony of this book was held on 2 June 2017 in the community hall of the library of the Translation House of Rome. This event, which was greatly welcomed by the Iranians and Italians interested in Persian culture and literature, in addition to the translator of this work, hosted Akbar Gholi, Iranian Cultural attaché to Italy.

In his speech, Gholi emphasized that Daniela Meneghini is the translator of one of the most valid books of Persian grammar into Italian, and her expertise in the history of Iranian literature, Particularly that of the Seljuk era, the period in which Nezami lived, has granted a depth to her translation of Khosrow and Shirin poem which can be grasped from the secondary title of this work: Love and Wisdom in Ancient Iran. This approach originates in a new trend in Iranalogical studies in Italy which does not limit them to Persian language and literature and grants them a cultural depth.

Later, Daniela Meneghiniprovided a brief introduction of this work and, then, referred to the French and Russian translations of Khosrow and Shirin poem. While emphasizing that this masterpiece has also been translated into Turkish, she spoke about the disagreements regarding the Turkish or Iranian nationality of Nezami and introduced him as an international poet.

In the rest of the program, some parts of this poem were recited both in Persian and Italian by Abolhassan Hatami, Director of Alefba Cultural Organization (non-governmental) in Rome, and his wife, Gaudia Sciacca, which was greatly welcomed by the participants.

It is worth mentioning that in 2012 a statue of Nezami was erected in Villa Borghese in Rome and unveiled in presence of the authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijanand the mayor of Rome. Unfortunately, in the description label of the statue, Nezami has been introduced as an Azerbaijani poet with no reference to his versifying in Persian. This act faced vast and significant opposition on the part of the Iranians residing in Rome. In order to show their objection to such a mistake, they signed a scroll and asked for correcting the label. Their complaint is being officially followed by the Cultural Office of Iran in Italy.

Holding “Ferdowsi’s World” Exhibition in Kazakhstan

The Iranian Cultural Office in Kazakhstan held “Ferdowsi’s World” Exhibition in the state historical-cultural and literary-memorial Reserve-Museum of Abay in Semipalatinistk on 11 June 2017. There were several Shahnameh-related works on display in this exhibition. In this event, which was held with presence of a number of lovers of culture, artists, media people, and cultural authorities of the city, Bulader Jans Bekov, President of Abay Museum, maintained that Iran and Kazakhstan have a good relationship with each other and, given the richness of Iranian culture, they hope to witness an increase in the cultural relationships between the two countries and hold more similar exhibitions in order to familiarize the people of Kazakhstan with the Iranian culture and art.

Next, in his speech, Masud Sheikh Zein al-Din, Iranian Attaché to Kazakhstan, introduced Ferdowsi as one of the most distinguished poets of Iran. He added that, Shahnameh, the everlasting masterpiece he versified about 1000 years ago, has managed to consolidate the status of the Persian language, wisdom, and literature for future generations.

In this exhibition, 47 works related to Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, including some pictures from Baisonghori Shahnameh and an invaluable collection of Iranian handicrafts, were on display for interested visitors on 11 – 30 June.

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

Publication of the Photo Collection of “Iran through the Camera Lenz” in Italy

Newsletter 19

The photo collection of “Iran through the Camera Lenz”, prepared by Anna Chiara Moggia during her 15-month journey to Iran, was published in 2017 in Italy and is now available at a price of 30 euros.

Signing a Book on Ab?-Sa?d Abul-Khayr in Madrid Book Fair

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

The signing ceremony of the book Asra?r al-Tawhid fi? maqa?ma?t al-Shaykh abi? Sa?i?d by its translator, Joaqu?n Rodr?guez Vargas, was held in the stall of Divan Bookshop in Madrid Book Fair on 11 June. The Spanish translation of this book won the 24th Book of the Year Prize in the International and Iranian-Islamic Studies sections of the competition. This book was published with the cooperation of the Iranian Cultural Office of the Islamic Republic of Iran by Mandala Publications in 2015.

Joaquin Rodriquez Vargas is an Iranologist who has translated more than 10 books in the field of Persian literature into Spanish. He maintained that, although Ab?-Sa?d Abul-Khayr is a well-known figure among Iranians, it is not the case in Spain because the knowledge of Iranian Sufism in Spain is limited to Mol?n? (Rumi), ??fe?, and ?A???r(to a little extent). From among Ab?-Sa?d’s books, only his quatrains have been translated and published in Spain. However, according to most masters of Persian literature, such as Shafiei Kadkani, they do not belong to Ab?-Sa?d and are merely attributed to him.

Madrid Book Fair is one of the most important book fairs in Spain. It was held for the first time in 1933 and is now inaugurated by the king of Spain every year. In this event, which is held in the Exhibition Center of Madrid, more than 300 stalls display their books on behalf of different bookshops and publication centers.

The 2nd Iranology Workshop in Iran’s House in Berlin

The 2nd specialized meeting of Iranology on the theme of “Iranian Art, Culture, Literature, and Society” was held in Iran’s House in Berlin on 30 June-2 July 2017.


• Professor Roxana Haag Higuch (University of Bamberg)

• Professor Brigitt Hoffmann (University of Bamberg)

• Sima Teyefeh (Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia)

• Professor Bert Fragner (University of Bamberg)

• Professor Ulrich Marzolph (University of G?ttingen)

• Professor Oliver Bast (Sorbonne University)

• Professor Saeid Firoozabadi (University ofTehran)

• Professor Ali Bahramian (Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia)

• Professor Ghahreman Soleimani (Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia)

• Professor Thomas Ogger (Hafez Institute)

• Seifollah Shokri (Music House of Qazvin)

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

Exhibition of “Iran: Ancient Cultures between Water and Desert” in Bonn, Germany

Newsletter 19

Newsletter 19

The Exhibition of “Iran: Ancient Cultures between Water and Desert” was opened in Bonns Bundeskunsthalle Museum on 13 April 2017. This event, which was held in partnership with the National Museum of Iran and the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, will continue until 15 October 2017.

In this event, a new perspective of Iran will be opened up before the eyes of European visitors through a number of unique pictures from the ancient history of this land from the seventh millennium BC and the rise of the Achaemenids in the first millennium BC. For the first time in the world, some of the treasures found in the tombs of two Elamite princesses and a number of dazzling findings from Jiroft graveyard will be displayed to the public in Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.

The exhibition also displays the first examples of sedentism and urban engineering, some of the cultural achievements of the people of Persia, and more than 400 items with common human cultural roots.

Holding the Meeting on “Iranology in America”

Newsletter 19

The meeting of “Iranology in America” began in Saray-e Ahl-e Qlam (House of the People of the Pen) in Khane-ye Ketab (Book House) on 27 May 2017 with a speech by Dr. Rudolph Matthee, Iranologist, historiographer of the Safavid era, and the writer of the book Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan. He maintained that before the 1970s, when Professor Richard Fraye started the relationship between America and Iran, there was no trace of Iranology in the United States of America. The establishment of an association called the “Peace Group” furtherinfluenced the development of Iranology in this country. Professor Matthee also stated that, the anthropologist, Louise Berg, was the first American woman who became interested in Iranology. She has written some famous books about Iran. He also referred to Nikki Keddi, an American scholar of Eastern, Iranian, and womens history and Professor Emerita of History at University of California, Los Angeles, as the founder of the comprehensive Iranology course in America and emphasized her role in conducting Iranian studiesin the USA.

Professor Mattheeadded that the victory of the Islamic Revolution enhanced the growth of research in the field of Iranology in relation toShiite studies in America, which resulted in the expansion of such studies there. In the past, Shiism was merely considered to be a branch of Islam, and just a few studies had been published in this regard. According to Professor Matthee, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iranian studies in America adopted a new direction and expanded both qualitatively and quantitatively. Most importantly, the related research methodologies changed, and presently Iran is known as a unique country with a glorious history originating in ancient times.

Holding a Commemoration Ceremony for Ferdowsi in the House of Asia Institute in Spain

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Newsletter 19

The ceremony of commemorating Ferdowsi, the Persian poet, and appreciating the Persian language was held with the cooperation of the House of Iran Institute in Spain and the Cultural Office of Iran in Madrid on 23 May 2016.

In this event, Teresa Rodriguez del Almo, President of the House of Iran Institute said that Iranians see themselves in the poems of Ferdowsi’s Shahnamehand its narrations and events. She also added, “We know of no nation who loves poetry as much as Iranians do.”

The next speaker was Juan Antonio ?lvarez-Pedrosa N??ez, Professor of Linguistics at Complutense University of Madrid and the Head of the Center for Middle East Studies of this university. He maintained that the contact of ancient Greeks, who founded civilization in Europe, with Akaemenid Iranians was so important for them that the Greeks utilized it in order to establish their own national identity. He added that Shahnameh has several functions in Iranian culture: it is used for the configuration of new Persian and protecting it against the penetration of foreign words as well as for the revival of the mythical stories of ancient Iranian culture which had been created during the Akaemenid era by clergymen.

The last speaker of this ceremony, Laura Castro, expert in the history of Iranian mythology, presented a paper entitled Legitimacy of Power in Iran Through Shahnameh and Literature. After providing a brief account of the history of Iran from the Sassanid era to the Akaemenid era, she spoke about the quality of the transfer of Iranian myths from peasants’ oral traditions and old books to Shahnameh.

Introducing Contemporary Iranian Poetry in “Literature Night in Paris”

Newsletter 19

The program of Literature Night in Paris was held with the cooperation of Forum des Instituts Culturels Etrangersà Paris (Organization of Foreign Cultural Centers in Paris), known as FICEP, Ministry of Culture and Communication of France, and Paris Municipal Counsel in the capital of France. One of the events of this program was a workshop on the theme of “Familiarity with Iranian Contemporary Poets”which was held by Reza Afshar Naderi, Iranian poet, writer, and journalist, with the cooperation of Cultural Center of Iran in Paris. This workshop, which was held in Mémoire de l?Avenir of Paris, continued until late at night and was warmly welcomed by a great number of Iranian, French, and other foreign attendants.

PhD Admissions Test for Iranology Applicants (2017)

The interview test of applicants to Iranology Major (PhD program) was held in the morning of Wednesday, 7 June 2017 in the Higher Education Center of the Iranology Foundation. Thirty four applicants who were qualified to choose the Iranology Major took the interview test. The test included questions on technical English and Iranology references, history and bibliography, Persian language and literature, and Iranology. The written section of the admissions test, including the technical English and technical Arabic sections, had been previously administered to the applicants on Wednesday, 31 May 2017. It is noted that after rating the applicants’ interview test, the results were sent to the National Organization of Educational Testing to select the final candidates of the first admission stage.

Newsletter 19

Nowruz in Kurdistan

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