The Shahnameh Project

Ferdowsi Is Alive and Well and Iran Shall Remain

Joint authors of the book, The Persian Book of Kings: Ibrahim Sultan's Shahnama, Charles Melville and Firuza Abdullaeva have worked tirelessly to create the first comprehensive website bringing together worldwide documentation and research on the great work by Iran’s poet, Hakim Abu’l Qasim Ferdows, the Shahnama or ‘Book of Kings.’ Written 1,000 years ago in northeastern Iran, the Shahnama remains one of the most influential and popular works of Persian poetry>>>


The Persian Rose

Rose petals, oil and essence are not only used as a perfume, but also in food

Ever since I was a child, I've been comparing any rose I saw to the ones from Iran. I would climb fences, cross roads, come to a screeching halt just to get out of my car and smell a rose sticking out from someone's garden or growing wild on the road side, thinking to myself, maybe this one will smell like the one at home? I would even gage the air and whether it had just rained or possibly if the flower was under enough sun to have released some aroma>>>


Desert Roots

Journey of an Iranian Immigrant Family

16-Jul-2012 (3 comments)
Within Desert Roots lies my quest to understand my father’s decision to return to Iran—the whys, the hows—which ultimately led me to trace our family history. The story is of a uniquely Iranian experience—of the home culture, of rootedness, and of exile. It is a story of Iran beyond the Revolution, beyond politics—the story of an Iranian family whose tradition of endurance reaches back centuries. It is a story I hope my children will pass on to theirs>>>


Our beloved Rice

From "Pomegranates and Roses"

09-Jul-2012 (4 comments)
Rice is taken very seriously. In fact, you could say Iranians seem to have a love affair with it. Rice did not make an appearance in Persian cooking until relatively late in the eighth century. There is no word for rice in the Zoroastrian holy book Avesta, although some historians think rice was grown in Persia as early as the fourth century. The Persian word for rice, berenj, comes from the Sanskrit, which suggests that it arrived via the Indian subcontinent. However, the word 'Pilaf'comes from the Persian word Polo(or Polow)>>>


Returning to the Root

From "Pomegranates and Roses"

29-Jun-2012 (5 comments)
For me, Iranian recipes are intertwined with its rich history, its people, and my ancestors. I gathered recipes by email, phone and by travelling: to Tehran, to the Caspian sea, to Ghazvin and remote villages – some people even parted with their old nalbekis (tea cups) and spoons so that I could take them home! I went to relatives’ kitchens around the world, to London, Paris, LA, NY, Geneva. All this showed me that you can indeed make this fabulous food wherever you are>>>



حتماً می دونی زندگیمو نجات دادی‎

04-Jun-2012 (one comment)
فکر نکنم چیزی از تهران بچگی هایم یادم مانده باشد. پدر و مادرم خیلی قبل از انقلاب به امریکا مهاجرت کرده بودند، موقعی که من تازه هشت ساله بودم. ولی آنها با عشق ایران بار آمده بودند. عشق به تاریخ غنی و زیبایی طبیعی فوق العاده آن. یادم هست هنگامی که در باره جنبه هایی از زندگی در ایران یاد می کردند صحبتشان آمیخته با دلتنگی غریبی بود>>>


Persian "Capital"

Hassan Mortazavi’s new translation of Marx’s classic work

31-May-2012 (7 comments)
This paper examines the new features of Hassan Mortazavi’s new translation of Marx’s Capital Volume 1 and the responses which it has received inside Iran. I argue that what led to this translation was both a dissatisfaction with the failure of the Iranian left during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and an interest on the part of a new generation of Iranian youth in philosophically based, non-dogmatic and constructive alternatives>>>


Things We Left Unsaid

Excerpt from Chapter 9

31-May-2012 (2 comments)
Zoya Pirzad is a renowned Iranian-Armenian writer and novelist. She has written two novels and three collections of short stories, all of which have enjoyed international success. Things We Left Unsaid has been awarded multiple prizes, including the prestigious Houshang Golshiri award for Best Novel of the Year and her most recent collection of stories, The Bitter Taste of Persimmon, won the prize for Best Foreign Book of 2009 in France. She grew up in Abadan, where this novel is set, and now lives in Tehran>>>


Iran's Epic and America's Empire

Implications of the Shahnameh for present political tensions

Following a brief survey of Iranian history from its beginning in the 7th century B.C. to Ferdowsi s time in the 11th century, Mahmoud Omidsalar's Iran's Epic and America's Empire (Afshar Publishing, 2012) provides a history of the poem and a biography of its author. It offers an explanation of the Shahnameh as a national icon and considers the implications of the poem for the present political tensions that mark Iran's relationship with the West>>>


اشتراک احساسات

دو شعر از "فصل چهارم"

27-May-2012 (one comment)
فصل چهارم مجموعه اشعاری است که بین ژوئن 2010 و 2011 در این سایت چاپ شده. آینه زندگی و احساساتم در عرض چهار فصل آن سال است و فکر کردم که زمان آن باشد که بر کاغذ چاپ شود. شاید به اشتراک گذاشتن احساسات شخصی با غریبگان کاری خودخواهانه باشد ولی من در این سایت خودم را میان دوستانم میدانم و این کتاب را به همه دوستان تقدیم میکنم>>>


تأویل باید معتبر باشد

به باور من تنها یک فلسفه ی قرون وسطایی دینی بود که رگه هایی از خردگرایی در خود داشت

من تنها کوشیدم نشان دهم که بسیاری از مفسران دینی ما در نیم سده‌ی اخیر، با تزریق مفاهیم خودخواسته به کتاب های مقدس چون قرآن و اوستا، به سوءاستفاده ی آرمانی از این متون دست زده‌اند. من اگر چه در کار پژوهش، "تحلیل" علمی و اندیشه ی انتقادی را بر تعبیر و "تأویل" شهودی ترجیح می‌دهم، ولی ‌مخالف تفسیر متون ادبی‌، دینی و فلسفی ‌نیستم>>>


The Forbidden

Poems from Iran and its Exiles

19-Apr-2012 (3 comments)
The poems I have selected for this anthology represent the young, the old and the ancient. Although this anthology is divided into six sections, each a complete nugget, I suggest you read this collection from front to back because each poem is a musical note carefully sequenced so that by the time you finish the last poem you can hear the powerful symphony of the poets’ voices>>>


Who Deceived Whom?

“An Islamic Republic, not a word more and not a word less”. Which part didn't you understand?

26-Mar-2012 (4 comments)
Recently I finished a book by Ali Gharib. The name of this book was “Istadeh bar armaan” The writer in this book attempts to give an accurate account of events leading to the 1979 revolution and Khomeini becoming a leader. Then he goes on to quote from the memoirs of people like Banisadr, Bazargan, Yazdi, Soroosh and many others as to how Khomeini betrayed all of them along with Iranian nation and diverted their revolution into the path that it was never supposed to take >>>


Persia in Crisis

Interview with Professor Rudi Matthee

14-Mar-2012 (2 comments)
Rudi Matthee finished his BA in 1975 in the Netherlands in Arabic and Persian language and literature, and subsequently spent a year in Iran as an exchange student, studying and traveling to various places in the country. He has authored three books and co-edited as many; all on the subject of Iranian history. His latest book, Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan, was just published. Rudi speaks fluent Persian and Arabic and reads in both languages>>>


Bombay "Blind Owl"

A new translation of Sadegh Hedayat's classic work

13-Mar-2012 (3 comments)
The aim of this translation is to provide an accurate and updated translation based on the definitive Bombay edition. My method began with a translation very close to the original Persian to preserve each sentence and its meaning. Next, repetitive proofreading and editing were undertaken to improve the flow and bring the text closer to the center. The result is the retention of untranslatable Persian words (with footnotes), the use of atypical English words and phrases to convey the Persian, and the use of the dash as it appears in the Bombay edition>>>