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Farhang Foundation, together with The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at UC, Irvine present:

October 6, 2012 Irvine, California


Part 1: CONFERENCE 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Lectures by experts in the fields of  Persian epic, mythology and art history

Part 2: PERFORMANCE 8 p.m. “Love Stories of the Shahnameh”  Storyline & Naqqali: Gordafarid (In Persian)

Language: English Venue: The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at UC, Irvine Address: 1030 Humanities Gateway Irvine, CA 92697-3370 Ticketing: Free and Open to All

Choreography & Production Design: Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam Dance Performance:  Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam & Miriam Peretz Venue: Irvine Barclay Theatre & Cheng Hall Address: 4242 Campus Drive Irvine, CA 92612

The Shahnameh images displayed in this program book are courtesy of The San Diego Museum of Art, and part of a larger collection of these works residing at the museum. The digitalization of the pieces was made possible with funds provided by Farhang Foundation.

Cover Illustrations: “Narrative Illustrations in Persian Lithographed Books” by Ulrich Marzolph, Nazar Publishing Co.


Table of Contents: Shahnameh - The Persian Epic.................................................................... The Conference Program............................................................................. About the Lecturers...................................................................................... Premiere Performance: Love Stories of the Shahnameh......................... About the Artists........................................................................................... Special Thanks

Patrons of 2012 Shahnameh Festival Shazad & PariSima Ghanbari Ahmad & Haleh Gramian Sharo Khastoo Farhad & Nushin Mohit Alan & Anoosheh Oskouian Ali C. & Anousheh Razi Sponsors of 2012 Shahnameh Festival DIAMOND K.Jam Media Radisson Newport Beach GOLD ATLAS ME, Inc. Smart Level Mailing & Printing, Inc. Zarrinkelk, Kashefipour & Co. SILVER Intratek Computer, Inc. Soraya Jewels Orange County Council Sharo Khastoo – Chair Shazad Ghanbari – Member, Trustee Fariba Hezar – Secretary Mona Karimpour – Member Assad Kazeminy – Member Darioush Khaledi – Member, Trustee Parmis Khatibi – Member Tannaz Mazarei – Member Anoosheh M. Oskouian – Member, Trustee Dariush Rachedi – Member Majid Zarrinkelk – Member

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Individuals & Community Organizations Goli Attaie C.H.I.L.D. The California Zoroastrian Center Touraj Daryaee Karen Drews Hanlon Behrooz Ghavami Gilda Gilak Iranian American Medical Association (IAMA) Iranian American Society of Engineers and Architects Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) Irvine Iranian Parent Association (IIPA) Hassan Kashefipour Khayam Persian School Foundation Ron Mavaddat Sara Mizban Sia Nemat-Nasser Network of Iranian American Professionals of OC (NIPOC) Orange County Community Foundation Pacific Symphony Nasrin Rahimieh Doug Rankin Niloufar Talebi World Affairs Council of Orange County Majid Zarrinkelk Media & Supporters 670AM KIRN Radio Iran Iranshahr Weekly Magazine IRTV Ketab Corp. Irvine Barclay Theatre Metro Digital Printing & Marketing Solutions OC Metro Graphic Design by: Sam Siãvash Anvãri


Shahnameh - The Persian Epic Shahnameh or the Book of Kings is the single most important work ever written on Iranian identity and history in the Persian language. The epic was composed in verse in the tenth century CE by a landed gentry from Khurasan by the name of Abolghasem Ferdowsi. Ferdowsi spent thirty years of his life putting this epic to verse, sometimes relying on his own wealth, in order to preserve the history of the Iranian people for the posterity. The Shahnameh tells the traditional narrative of Iran’s history, from a time immemorial to the Muslim conquest in the seventh century CE. The book was inspired by, and received its historical information through, intermediary sources such as the Sasanian royal history, known as the Khwaday-namag (Book of lords). Indeed the Shahnameh is a very Iranian view of the world and its ancient history. The contents of the Shahnameh may be divided into three parts: I) Mythological; II) Epic; and III) Historical. The mythological part of the Shahnameh begins with the story of the creation of the world, followed by the primordial kings and heroes who lived, fought and brought culture and glory to the land of Iran. Such kings as Houshang, Kiumars, Jamshid, Tahmures and others fight demons and monsters, brought culture, learning and art for the Iranians. The greatest among these rulers is king Jamshid who is endowed with the most important ingredient for rulership in the Iranian world,

17th century Iran Manuscript Painting King Faridun receives the envoy of his two sons 17th century | Opaque watercolor on paper | 9 3/4 in. x 5 1/8 in. (24.77 cm x 13.02 cm) | Iran Asian 1971.65 Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd

Prof. Touraj Daryaee UC Irvine

namely the Farr, which is roughly translated into English as (Divine/Royal) Glory. The story of Jamshid is one of the best known stories of the early part of the Shahnameh as it tells how during his rule the Nowruz or the Iranian New Year was first celebrated. The creation of a societal order along with all that is needed for a civilized people is attributed to king Jamshid. The story of Jamshid is, however, instructive since it emphasizes that men are subordinate to God and should not overreach their


potential: Jamshid, the greatest king of the mythical age, falls from grace and loses his Farr because of hubris and thinking that he is above God. Then the land of Iran is taken over by a foreign ruler who has two snakes over his shoulders. This is a motif in Indo-European literature, where a three headed dragon or snake appears in Nordic, Indian and Iranian tradition as an enemy of the people. Luckily, he is dethroned through the help of a blacksmith named Kaveh who, by placing his leather apron on a pole as a flag, is able to rally the people and the next king, Faridun, is able to win the day. It is important to note that legend has it that this very same leather apron became the royal flag of Iranians until the seventh century CE and was taken to battle by the kings of Iran.

Persian literature. Rostam unknowingly faces his son, whom he has not seen before, and mortally wounds him, because he had come to Iran as an invader. Kay Kavus, who has the potion to revive the son of the great Rostam, refuses to do so and Sohrab passes away in his father’s arms. The moral of this tragic story is that even the greatest of Iran’s heroes will lose out if the sovereignty of Iran and the institution of kingship is in danger.

III) The historical part begins with Dara, that is Darius III, the last Achaemenid king of kings. His story and the coming of Alexander of Macedon are given a very Iranian flavor, where the invader becomes a half-brother of the Iranian king. Here Alexander receives the kingship over Iran by Dara himself. Then the Arsacid dynasty makes II) The epic part of the Shahnameh details the rule of a a brief appearance, followed by the rest of the story dynasty by the name of the Kayanids who are endowed which is the history of the Sasanian Empire. with Farr and rule over Iran, often against the kings of Rome and Turan. These Kayanids include Kay Kavus who has magical powers and can revive the dead, and perhaps the greatest of the Kayanids, Kay Khusro who is able to defeat the great Turanian king, Afrasiyab. But kings are men and are susceptible to making mistakes and some of them indeed fall into dire straits. It is here that the greatest of the Iranian heroes named Rostam, along with his horse Rakhsh, appear on the scene. He not only liberates those Iranian kings in trouble, but also fights with ferocity against anyone who dares to invade the Iranian realm. He surely is a demon slayer, a dragon fighter and is very much interested in fighting and feasting. Originally Rostam’s tales belonged to the eastern Iranian Scythian saga, where some of the Sakas had settled in the region known today as Sistan (meaning land of the Sakas / Scythians). In these tales, Rostam also has a son named Sohrab, whose birth commences one of the most tragic stories in Classical

15th century India Manuscript Painting Kay Khusro besieges the castle of Bahman ca. 1475 | Opaque watercolor and gold on paper | 9 17/32 in. x 6 5/16 in. (24.2 cm x 16 cm) | Indian Asian 1990.252 Edwin Binney 3rd Collection


The reason for which the Sasanians receive such detailed attention in the epic is that it was in fact due to their efforts that the writing of a royal history of Iran had been undertaken. It was the Sasanians who coined the name Iran and Iranshahr for their empire. Ardashir Babakan is the first Sasanian king whose talent is not only war, but all the important accoutrements of Persian culture - polo, chess, backgammon and jousting. Sasanians also established Zoroastrianism and sacred fires throughout the realm and supported the magi. Nonetheless, they also intermarried with the Byzantines, the Armenians, the Jews and the Christians and some were raised in Roman, Arab and Turkic courts. These stories show the cosmopolitanism and the worldly nature of the Sasanian kings and the realm of Iran. The greatest of the Sasanian kings is Khusro Anushirvan, who is the model of justice in not only Persian literature, but also the entire medieval world of the Middle East. His wise minister, Bozorgmehr is the symbol of sagacity, knowledge and provides the earliest material for wisdom literature in both Persian and Arabic literature. Khusro’s rule is the highpoint of Iran, where his palace at Ctesiphon - in modern day Iraq (Iraq is a Middle Persian term from the Sasanian period meaning “lowland”), had the highest standing arch in the world, and was part of one of the most diverse and largest cities in late antiquity, namely Mahoza / Mada’in.

17th century India Manuscript Painting Rustam battles a div ca. 1620 | Opaque watercolor on paper | 7 5/8 in. x 5 23/32 in. (19.4 cm x 14.5 cm) | Indian Asian 1990.260 Edwin Binney 3rd Collection

The Sasanian Empire comes to an end after long wars with the Turks and Byzantines and finally is eclipsed by the Arab conquest in the Seventh century. The tale of Yazdgerd III, the last Sasanian ruler, is given a tragic treatment in the Shahnameh, where his end comes in Khurasan, the same place where the epic was composed by Ferdowsi. We should remember that the Shahnameh was composed some four centuries after the fall of the Sasanians. Although the stories of the Shahnameh were current and well-known from the Jaxartes River in Central Asia to Iraq and beyond, it was this particular national epic of Iran that immortalized the stories. By the ninth century CE, most if not all the dynasties forming in this region claimed to be connected to the Sasanians or one of the Iranian heroes or rulers mentioned in the Shahnameh. Thus, the Shahnameh also became their


history, but also a manual on how to act and rule over Iranian lands. Local kingdoms, be it ruled by Arabs, Turks or Persians, all promoted the Shahnameh, and their Amirs, Sultans or Shahs read the epic to learn from their ancient predecessors. There were many copies of the Shahnameh which circulated in the Iranian world, while others retold the stories by heart and the epic of the Iranian nation passed from heart to heart. In this way, in villages, countryside, towns and capitals the tale of the great Iranian kings and heroes lived on and became a vehicle for remembering the past. In a much similar way, the Shahnameh remains the badge of identity for the Iranian people for the past millennium and even today.

16th century India Manuscript Painting Alexander at the wall of Gog and Magog ca. 1600 | Opaque watercolor and gold on paper | 7 9/16 in. x 4 9/16 in. (19.2 cm x 11.6 cm) | Indian Asian 1990.313.1 Edwin Binney 3rd Collection

14th century Iran Manuscript Painting Gordiyeh advises her brother Bahram Chubineh not to aspire to the Persian throne ca. 1330 | Opaque watercolor, gold and ink on paper | 12 in. x 8 15/32 in. (30.5 cm x 21.5 cm) | Iran Asian 1971.54 Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd


Language: English Venue: The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at UC, Irvine Address: 1030 Humanities Gateway Irvine, CA 92697-3370 Directions & info: Ticketing: FREE and Open to All

Concerefne Program Agenda: 10:45 a.m.

Welcome Remarks: Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) 11:00-12:30 p.m. THE ART OF THE SHAHNAMEH

Panel chair: Mazyar Lotfalian (UC Irvine) Presenter: Linda Komaroff (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) Topic: “Engaging the Present and Recontextualizing the P  ast: Presenter: Topic: Presenter: Topic:

Shahnameh Illustration Now and Then” Alka Patel (UC Irvine) “The Shahnameh in India” Sonya Rhie Quintanilla (The Cleveland Museum of Art) “Paintings from the Shahnameh in the Collection of  The San Diego Museum of Art” 12:30-2:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK 2:00-3:30 p.m. SHAHNAMEH IN HISTORY

Panel Chair: Presenter: Topic: Presenter: Topic: Presenter: Topic:

Jennifer Rose (Claremont Graduate University) Rahim Shayegan (UC Los Angeles) “Old Iranian Inscriptions, Greek Narratives,and the Shahnameh” Yuhan S-D Vevaina (Stanford University) “The Khodaynameh and the Shahnameh:  Putative Text and Narrative Context” Charles Melville (University of Cambridge) “The Shahnameh and its echo in m  edieval Persian historiography” 3:30-4:00 p.m. TEA BREAK 4:00-5:30 p.m. SHAHNAMEH: IDENTITYAND NATIONALISM

Panel Chair: Presenter: Topic: Presenter: Topic: Presenter: Topic: Closing Remarks:

Touraj Daryaee (UC Irvine) Firuza Abdullaeva (University of Cambridge) “Shahnameh in the Soviet and post-Soviet space” Mahmoud Omidsalar (CSU Los Angeles) “A Text of Art, A Text of Identity” Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews) “The Shahnameh and Iranian Nationalism” Mazyar Lotfalian (UC Irvine)


About the Lecturers Firuza Abdullaeva

(University of Cambridge) Dr. Firuza Abdullaeva is a graduate (BA, MA honour) of the Iranian Philology Department, Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg University, where she received her PhD in Iranian philology, Art and Islamic Studies in 1989. She was an Associate Professor at the University of St Petersburg when she joined the Cambridge Shahnama Project in 2002 after a term at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and a term at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) as a Fulbright Professor. From September 2005 until September 2010 she was Lecturer in Persian Literature at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford and Fellow and Keeper of the Firdousi Library of Wadham College, Oxford. From October 2010 she is the Head of the Shahnama Centre, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. Her main research interests include Classical Persian literature, Medieval Persian book art, Travelogue literature of the Qajar period and Russian Orientalism in Persia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

London, 2005, pp 320-333; “Cultural Transmutations: the Dialectics of Globalisation in Contemporary Iran”, in T Dodge & R Higgot (eds) Globalisation and the Middle East: Economy, Society & Politics RIIA, London, 2002; “The Myth of the White Revolution: Mohammad Reza Shah, ‘modernisation’ and the consolidation of power”, in Middle Eastern Studies, 37, 3, July 2001 pp 1-24; “Iranian Foreign Policy under Khatami: Reform & Reintegration”, in Iran & Eurasia ed A Ehteshami & A Mohammadi, Ithaca Press, Reading, 2000, pp 35-58; ‘Continuous Regime Change from within’, The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 2003, Vol 26 number 4, pp 53-68. Forthcoming: The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran, CUP, 2012

Touraj Daryaee

(UC Irvine) Touraj Daryaee is the Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World and the Acting Director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. He is the editor of the Name-ye Iran-e Bastan: The International Journal Ali M Ansari of Ancient Iranian Studies and the creator of Sasanika: The Late (University of St Andrews) Antique Near East Project. Among his publications are the following Professor of Iranian History & Director of books: The Oxford History of Iran, 2012; Sasanian Persia: the Rise the Institute for Iranian Studies at the and Fall of an Empire, IB Tauris 2009; Scholars and Humanists: University of St Andrews; Associate Fellow Iranian Studies in the Correspondence of S.H. Taqizadeh and of the Middle East Programme, Royal InstiW.B. Henning, co-edited with Iraj Afshar, Mazda Publishers, 2010; tute for International Affairs (Chatham Sasanian Iran: Portrait of a Late Antique Empire, Mazda Press, House). Author of: Crisis of Authority: 2008; The Spirit of Wisdom: Essays in Memory of Ahmad Tafazzoli, Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election RIIA, London, 2010; Iran Under co-edited with M. Omidsalar, Mazda Press, 2004 Ahmadinejad, Adelphi Paper, IISS, January 2008, Confronting Iran: the failure of US policy and the roots of mistrust Hurst, London, 2006, Modern Iran since 1921: the Pahlavis and after, 2nd Edition, Longman, London, 2007, Iran, Islam & Democracy Linda Komaroff The Politics of Managing Change 2nd Edition, RIIA, London, 2006; (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) “Iran and the US in the shadow of 9/11: Persia and the Persian Dr. Linda Komaroff has served as LACMA’s Question revisited”, in Iranian Studies, Vol 39, No 2, June 2006, curator of Islamic art since 1995. She is pp 155-170; “Peacekeeping in the Middle East’ Peacekeeping ed the author or editor of several books, and Rachel Utley, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2006, pp 135-146; “Persia in has written numerous articles and book the Western Imagination’ in Vanessa Martin (ed) Anglo-Iranian chapters on various aspects of Islamic art, Relations since 1800 Royal Asiatic Society Books, Routledge, with a special focus on the Iranian world. London, 2005, pp8-20; “Iranian Nationalism” in Youssef Choueri Her exhibitions at LACMA include Letters in Gold: Ottoman (ed) Companion to the History of the Middle East Blackwell, Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Istanbul (1999);

10 The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353 (2003); A Tale of Two Persian Carpets (2009); and Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts (2011). The latter was the first major exhibition on Islamic art organized by an American institution to travel to the Middle East, to the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (2012), where Komaroff was the guest curator. Her next exhibition Gardens of Eternity: Visualizing Paradise in Islamic Art is scheduled for 2016. She is the recipient of a number of grants for scholarly research, including two Fulbright fellowships, and Metropolitan Museum of Art and Getty fellowships, while the Legacy of Genghis Khan exhibition catalogue received the prestigious Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award from the College Art Association and Gifts of the Sultan received the Annual Publication Prize for Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue from the Association of Art Museum Curators. She has taught at Hamilton College, New York University, and UCLA. Komaroff orchestrated LACMA’s acquisition of the Madina Collection of Islamic Art in 2002, which in combination with the museum’s already existing collection of Islamic art, gives Los Angeles one of the most significant collections worldwide; in 2006 she began to acquire and exhibit contemporary art of the Middle East, placing LACMA’s collection at the forefront of American museums.

Charles Melville

(University of Cambridge) Charles Melville is Professor of Persian History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. Since 1999, he has been Director of the Shahnama Project, and since 2006 he has been President of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA), both based in Cambridge. His main research interests are in the history and historiography of Iran in the Mongol to Safavid periods, and the illustration of Persian manuscripts. Recent publications include edited volumes of Safavid Persia (1996), Shahnama Studies I (2006), Shahnama Studies II (2012), and ‘Millennium of the Shahnama of Firdausi’ (Iranian Studies, 2010, with Firuza Abdullaeva); recent books include The Persian Book of Kings. Ibrahim Sultan’s Shahnama (2008, also with Firuza Abdullaeva) and Epic of the Kings. The art of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (2010, with Barbara Brend), together with numerous articles on aspects of Iran’s medieval history and culture.

Mahmoud Omidsalar

Mazyar Lotfalian

(UC Irvine) Mazyar Lotfalian (PhD, Anthropology, Rice University) is currently the Assistant Director of Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. He is working on a book on aesthetics and politics of the transnational circulation of visual culture (film, multimedia art, performance, and photography) among Iranians. He is also interested in studies of science and technology in non-Western settings and the role the religion, a topic he addressed in his book, Islam, Technoscientific Identities, and Culture of Curiosity (2004, UPA). For this work he conducted multi-sited ethnographic research of Islamic movements in Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, and the US. He has taught courses on Islam, cinema, media, and science studies at University of Pittsburgh, Yale University, The New School University, and Emerson College, and held post-doctoral fellowship positions at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU, and Harvard University’s Middle East Center.

(CSU Los Angeles) I was born in 1950, studied in Iran through high school, came to the US in 1969. Got my BA in Economics from Fresno State University in 1975, my MA and PhD in Iranian Philology and Persian literature respectively in 1982 and 1984. Taught comparative literature and Persian language and literature for a while in various universities (UCB, UCLA, CSULB, Indiana University at Bloomington), and ended up working at academic libraries. I am now employed by the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library of CSULA.  I am also on the folklore editor for the Encyclopedia Iranica, and have been serving on the Supreme Council of the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia in Tehran. I have published 6 volumes of facsimile editions of Persian manuscripts with Iraj Afshar.  Also, two volumes of my Persian papers have been published in Iran and two English volumes entitled Poetics and Politics of Iran’s National Poem, the Shahnameh (New York: Macmillan, 2011) and Iran’s Epic and America’s Empire: A Handbook for a Generation in Limbo (Santa Monica, CA: Afshar Publishing, 2012). There are also some 100+ articles and encyclopedia entries published here and there. 

Alka Patel (UC Irvine)

Alka Patel is the Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. Her research has focused on South Asia and its connections with Iran and Central Asia including overland and Indian Ocean maritime networks. Her works include Building Communities in Gujarat:

11 Architecture and Society during the Twelfth-Fourteenth Centuries Rahim Shayegan (Brill 2004), Communities and Commodities: Western India and the (UC Los Angeles) Indian Ocean (guest editor, special issue of Ars Orientalis M. Rahim Shayegan is associate professor [2004/2007]), and her current book project on the Ghurids of of Iranian, and acting director of the Afghanistan and northern India (ca. 1150-1215). Her interests have Program of Iranian Studies at the expanded to include mercantile mobility, networks and architecDepartment of Near Eastern Languages tural patronage in 18th-19th-century South Asia, as evidenced and Cultures (NELC) at UCLA, where he in Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition (co-ed. K. Leonard, Brill 2012) has been the inaugural holder of the and her collaborative project with Karen Leonard on the merchant Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian (2005-2009). He received his BA communities of Hyderabad, India. from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his MA from the University of Sorbonne, followed by Ph.D. work at the University in Göttingen. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Sonya Rhie Quintanilla He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, before (The Cleveland Museum of Art) Sonya Quintanilla recently began her post joining the NELC faculty at UCLA. as the George P. Bickford Curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art at the Cleveland His research concentrates on Iranian languages, literary traditions, Museum of Art. For eight years she was and history, with special attention to interactions between the Curator of Asian Art at The San Diego Mesopotamia and Iran, as well as Greco-Roman and Iranian Museum of Art, where she was in charge cultural and ideological exchanges. He is also keenly interested of the world-class Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Southern Asian in the impact of ancient Iran upon the collective memory and paintings. She completed her B.A. in South Asian Art and Religion intellectual makeup of Iranian society in modern times. He has at Smith College in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Indian art history at authored and edited several books, among them: Arsacid and Harvard University in 1999; in 2007 she published her doctoral Sasanians: Political Ideology in Post-Hellenistic and Late Antique work in History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura. From 2000– Persia (Cambridge University Press, 2011); Aspects of History and 2004 Sonya taught South Asian art history at the University of Epic in Ancient Iran (Harvard University Press, 2012); The Talmud California at Irvine. Her scholarly publications are on early Indian in Its Iranian Context (co-editor, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010); sculpture and Jainism as well as modern paintings of India. and Persia beyond the Oxus (guest editor, Bulletin of the Asia She has curated major traveling exhibitions, including Into India: Institute, 2012). South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art (2012), Dreams and Diversions: Japanese Woodblock Prints from The San Diego Museum of Art (2010), and Rhythms of India: The Art of Yuhan S-D Vevaina Nandalal Bose (2008). (Stanford University) Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina received his M.A. in 2003 and his Ph.D. in 2007 from the Department of Near Eastern Jennifer Rose Languages and Civilizations, Harvard (Claremont Graduate University) University. He served as a Postdoctoral Jenny Rose teaches Zoroastrian Studies Fellow in the Undergraduate Core at the School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University. She holds a doctorate Curriculum and as the Lecturer on Old Iranian at Harvard from in Ancient Iranian Studies from Columbia 2007-2009. He was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the University, and her dissertation was Humanities from the National Council for the Humanities in 2010. published in book form as The Image of He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies Zoroaster: The Persian Mage Through European Eyes (Bibliotheca at Stanford University. He teaches a number of courses related Persica Press, 2000). In 2011 Jenny published Zoroastrianism: to Ancient and Late Antique Iran, including Old Persian and Middle An Introduction (I.B. Tauris), and Zoroastrianism: A Guide for the Persian Language and Literature; Winged Bulls and Sun Disks: Perplexed, (Continuum), both of which have been favorably reviewed Religion and Politics in the Persian Empire; and most recently, Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Religion and Society in Late Antique in the US and abroad. Iran. He is currently working on a book project on Zoroastrian   Jenny lectures extensively at other academic institutions, hermeneutics in Late Antiquity, and he is a co-editor of the museums, and Zoroastrian Association events throughout North forthcoming, The Blackwell Companion to the Study of America and Europe. She also leads study-tours of some of the Zoroastrianism, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell of Oxford, U.K. most important archaeological, cultural and devotional sites in Iran and Central Asia.


Premiere Performance:

“Love Stories of the Shahnameh” Inspired by the beautiful myths of the Shahnameh. Storyline & Naqqali: Gordafarid (In Persian) Choreography & Production Design: Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam Dance Performance: Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam & Miriam Peretz “Love Stories of the Shahnameh” is based on epic poems from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (“Book of Kings” – Iranian National Epic), one of the masterpieces of Persian literature, retelling the tales of “Shirin & Khosrow”, “Bahram & Arezoo” and “Sohrab & Gordafarid”. This program is designed and staged in the epic storytelling manner known as naqqali, combined with music and dance. It is performed in seven scenes of specially choreographed dances accompanied by five recitations of selected poems from the Shahnameh. The music consists of traditional Persian melodies by renowned composers. “Shirin & Khosrow”, is about the love and union of Khosrow-Parviz, a renowned king of the Sassanid dynasty, and Shirin, a beautiful Armenian princess. First Act: Khosrow Parviz as a young man (set to ‘Rood’ in the Segah mode by Majid Derakhshani) Middle Act: Shirin (set to a piece in the Segah mode by Majid Derakhshani) Final Act: The two proud lovers meet (set to a piece in Chaharmezrab-e shekasteh in the Bayat mode by Majid Derakhshani)

Khosrow Parviz is a prominent king of the Sassanid dynasty. During his father’s reign, he falls in love with Shirin, an Armenian princess, favoring her above all other women. After assuming the throne, Khosrow Parviz’s time is taken up with travels, and battles with Bahram Chubineh (Persian army-commander), causing him to gradually forsake Shirin, who weeps day and night. Ferdowsi situates the scene of their next encounter during Khosrow Parviz’s return from a lavish hunting expedition, the description of which in itself is one of the most astonishing sections of the Shahnameh. When the forsaken Shirin hears news of Khosrow Parviz and his entourage approaching, she prepares herself: she wears a red brocade Byzantine surcoat adorned with jewels over a golden dress perfumed with musk. On her head she places a crown of imperial Pahlavi splendor. She rouges her face the color of pomegranates, and steps onto the balcony of her palace to wait there, tears trickling off her lashes onto her cheeks, until Khosrow arrives. When he does, Shirin stands up and laments their lost former days, seducing him with her woman’s wiles, tempting him back to her: Oh great invincible warrior! Oh lion-heart, blessed king! Where did all your love and tears of blood, that were remedied by Shirin, go? What of our many unions and vows? The endless nights we turned into days? Eyes and hearts in tears, and smiles upon two lips? She cries until Khosrow too wells with tears, his face turning yellow like the sun. Khosrow orders Shirin to be brought back to his pavilions with esteem and honor. He immediately asks his chief priest to marry them according to ancient rites and rituals, which begins a long life of highs and lows for Khosrow and Shirin, who spend the rest of their lives loyally in love.    “Bahram & Arezoo”, examines the love between Bahram-e-Goor, a famous brave Iranian warrior king, and Arezoo, a beautiful girl who sings, plays harp, and serves wine gracefully.


First Act: Bahram-e Gur hunting Middle Act: Arezoo’s story Final Act: Bahram and Arezoo (all three sections set to music in the Chahargah mode by Parviz Meshkatian) Bahram is another acclaimed Sassanid king, a brave, measured, just and benevolent king. Nothing made King Bahram happier than to see his subjects prosperous and peaceful, living in pleasure. This story not only depicts the love of Bahram and Arezoo, but also displays dimensions of Iranian social life, such as the customs of courtship and marriage, and the hospitality Iranians are known for. In the beginning of the story, Bahram-e Gur (Gur, the ‘onager,’ is the animal he hunts) is on one of his usual hunting expeditions. He is shown to skillfully pin a male and a female onager together with one arrow, inspiring the awe and compliments of his entourage. He then gallops into a meadow full of sheep, where a sense of danger lingers. He asks the shepherd who the sheep belong to, and why the air of danger. The shepherd says the sheep belong to a wealthy jeweler who constantly worries about the safety of his jewels in transit, and that this jeweler has a beautiful daughter, the only person he takes his wine from. The shepherd, not recognizing King Bahram, praises the King of Kings, without whose just rule and lack of greed for gold the old man could not have such a prosperous enterprise. Bahram asks for directions to the jeweler’s home, and the shepherd points him to it, mentioning that if he waits until nightfall, he will hear a harp. Bahram wears common clothes, and rides on his horse towards the jeweler’s home, accompanied by only one groom. He hears the harp, and lifts the knocker on the door. He is invited into the home by the master of the house, and is lead by a maid servant through an ornate hallway. He thanks god to himself, and asks god to guide him away from greed and towards the way of justice, so that his subjects will rejoice in his legacy after death. The jeweler bows and greets him as his guest, spreads a carpet and cushions and begins to make merry, offering a feast of delicacies, cold and hot. Bahram tells the jeweler that he is a knight named Goshasp, who has asked to come in because he heard a harp, not intending to stay long. When it is time for wine, the jeweler calls for his daughter, Arezoo, whom he describes as an exceptional

wine-bearer, storyteller, harp-player and singer of songs that lift spirits. Arezoo tells the guest that he resembles King Bahram in grace and countenance, then sings songs that praise the king. Bahram is intoxicated and overwhelmed by Arezoo’s beauty and brains, and asks to marry her that night. Arezoo, who is equally smitten with the charming Bahram, agrees to marry him immediately.  “Sohrab & Gordafarid”, explores the infatuation, frustration, and unfulfilled love between Sohrab, a young Iranian-Turanian hero, and Gordafarid, a brave and clever Iranian warrior maiden. In One Act:

Inspired by the battle between Sohrab and Gordafarid (the arrangement of this Kurdish piece by Keykhosrow Pournazeri).

Rostam, the valiant Iranian hero of all the world, returns to Iran after a one-night union with Tahmineh, a princess from Turan, an enemy country to Iran. The result of this union is a son, Sohrab, who grows into a mighty and heroic young man. With the encouragement of the king of Turan, Sohrab sets to attack Iran in order to kill the Iranian king, and to install his legendary father, Rostam -- whom he has yet to meet -- in the king’s place, and to become the hero of all the world himself. When he arrives at the Iranian border, he defeats the keeper of the White Fortress. No one inside the fortress has the courage to face this mighty warrior, except for Gordafarid -- the heroin daughter of the warrior, Gazhdaham -- who is dishonored at this shameful defeat. She immediately dresses herself in knight’s armor, hides her hair under a helmet, mounts a swiftfooted horse, and races out of the fortress to fight. In a harrowing battle between them, Sohrab’s sword tears her armor, and her helmet falls to the ground. Sohrab realizes at the sight of her disheveled hair that he is fighting a woman, and is astonished at the lionesses of Iran. Sohrab falls for Gordafarid’s doe eyes, arched brows, and cypress-like figure, and ropes the woman he is captivated by. Gordafarid, who no longer sees combat to be a means of victory, resorts to a ruse of alluring glances, a charming tongue, and enchanting laughter, which lead to her freedom. 


About the Artists Gordafarid The first female naqqal (Iranian epic storyteller) of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh “Iranian National Epic”, Gordafarid, has excelled in performing traditional narration of epic stories (naqqali) through fourteen years of research, meticulous collection of narratives, and patiently following the footsteps of old masters of this ancient dramatic art. Gordafarid has come a long way in challenging conventional social norms that consider naqqali as being an art form performed by men and for men in public places such as Traditional coffeehouses. Her perseverance and determination bore fruit when Morshed Torabi, the most famous naqqal in Iran, prized her with his own cane in recognition of her achievements. She has incorporated different styles of naqqali into a seamless and unique narrative style that is all her own. Gordafarid’s stunning capability in capturing the imagination of audience has drawn large crowds to her numerous performances both inside Iran and abroad. She has also published books and articles on naqqali and offered workshops and courses on the subject at schools and universities. Her name has been recorded in the “Intangible Heritage” of UNESCO. Website:

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam graduated from the University of Paris VIII with a degree in History of Art and Theatre. He specializes in Middle Eastern folklore and mystical dance and has a deep interest in Indian, Indonesian and Flamenco dances. Shahrokh joined the renowned Theatre du Soleil in 1991, where he played lead roles in Ariane Mnouchkine’s productions of “Tartuffe” “La ville parjure” and “Les Atrides”. In 1997 he established the Nakissa Dance Company and created: “A Persian Night’s Dream”, “The Route of Orient”, “Nostalgia or Ghassedak”, “The Seven Pavilion of Love” (Haft Peykar), “Omar Khayam,” “Les Danses Mythologiques,” “Mani the Bouddha of Light,” “Rumi Le brûlé” and coming soon: “Hafez”. Meanwhile, he has also been playing in: “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare, directed by Christophe Rauck; “Romeo and Juliette”, directed by Lionel Briand; “The Baccantes” by Euripide, directed by Usevio Lazaro; “Soldier’s Tale” by Strawinsky and “La Diva D’Auschwitz”, directed by Antoine Campo; “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams directed by Phillip Adrian; “Kidnapping at the Seraglio” by Mozart directed by Jérome Deschamps and Macha Makeïef. He directed “Zohreh va Manouchehr” (Venus and Adonis) by Shakespeare in Persian; “Mardha va Chiz” (Men and the Thing); and “Kafané Siah” (Black Shroud). Since January 2005 he has been an official member of the “Comédie Fançaise” (the house of Molière) playing in: “Le Sicilien” by Lully-Molière, directed by Jean-Marie Villégier; “La Maison Des Morts” by Philippe Minyana, directed by Robert Cantarella; “Pedro et Le Commandeur” by Felix Lope de Vega, directed by Omar Porras. Website:


Miriam Peretz Miriam Peretz is an internationally acclaimed performing artist and dance instructor. She was a principle dancer with Inbal Ethnic Dance Theater in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is now assistant artistic director and principle dancer for Ballet Afsaneh where she has been a member since 1998. Miriam specializes in dances from the Silk Road (Persia and Central Asia), Middle-East, North Africa, Roma “Gypsy” trail, and Sacred Dance/Dance Midrash. She has also trained in Flamenco, Hawaiian, West African, Capoeira, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian, Dunham Technique, and various forms of modern dance. Miriam has studied with master teachers from around the world including Egypt, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Tajikistan and Israel. In the bay area she has been privileged to study with - Sharlyn Sawyer, Mahea Uchiyama, Suhaila Salimpour, Nanna Candelaria, Katarina Burda, and Yaelisa. Her studies and extensive work with traditional dance forms has also inspired new innovative work in the realm of Sacred Dance. In the fall of 2008, Miriam’s new interfaith performance piece, Miriam’s Well, will premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area. Website:

16th century Iran Watercolor Painting Enthronement of Luhrasp 16th century | Opaque watercolor on paper | 14 21/32 in. x 8 15/16 in. (37.2 cm x 22.7 cm) | Iran Asian 1968.6.1 Museum purchase with funds provided by the Asian Arts Council

Kia Jam, KJam Media and its affiliate companies salute Farhang Foundation and University of California, Irvine for their collaboration in celebrating the Shahnameh.

The management team of Smart Level Media and Printing Inc., salute Farhang Foundation and University of California, Irvine for their collaboration in celebrating the Shahnameh.

Zarrinkelk, Kashefipour & Co, Certified Public Accountants salute Farhang Foundation and University of California, Irvine for their collaboration in celebrating the Shahnameh.

Parviz and  Behrouz  Horriat  and   Atlas  ME,  Inc.  salute     Farhang  Foundation     and     University  of  California,  Irvine   for  their  collaboration  in   celebrating  the  Shahnameh.  


Farhang Foundation is dedicated to celebrating and promoting Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. Poetry



Areas of Focus








Traditions Film


A. Trustees, Council Members, Advisors & Supporters Iranians, Iranophiles and Iran Scholars who support the mission of Farhang Foundation and our programs by donating their time, knowledge and financial support.

B. Iranian-Americans (Iranians in our community) These are the people that most immediately relate to and benefit from learning more about their art and culture. They are also the individuals who will later be our cultural ambassadors to the community at large.


C. Non-Iranians (Community-at-large)


We feel that Iranian art and culture can contribute positively and should be woven into the multi-colored tapestry of great cultures that comprise America. That’s why our mission at Farhang Foundation is to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community-at-large.


Frequently Asked Questions Why does Farhang focus on art and culture only? Because at Farhang Foundation we believe in putting our efforts only in areas that can bring people together and add value to the community where we live. Iranian art and culture are universally interesting and can be useful to anyone in our community, Iranian and non-Iranian alike. As an example, think of Iranian cuisine; who in the world does not enjoy Iranian food when they try it? Yet many non-Iranians in our community don’t even know about and have not tried Iranian food. The same is true of Iranian music, philosophy, art and film. Each can be enjoyed by our whole community, yet, before Farhang, no organization has been focused on celebrating and promoting programs that make our art and culture accessible to the community-at-large. Is it a surprise then that most of the associations that the community-at-large has about Iran are negative and divisive? At Farhang we’re focused at changing this false image of Iran and Iranians, by celebrating and promoting the best parts of our art and culture in a way that is of benefit of the community at large. After all, America is a melting pot of the best parts of different cultures and so, it benefits from having our great culture added to it.

What does Farhang do? • • • • • •

Build bridges by highlighting aspects of our culture that are of benefit to the community-at-large. Define the image of Iranians around positive aspects of our heritage instead of media stereotypes. Educate our constituencies on the positive aspects of our heritage. Rally around unifying elements (art and culture) to bring Iranian-Americans closer to the community-at-large. Create a platform for Iranian-Americans and the community-at-large to celebrate Iranian-American traditions, cultures and contributions to society. Become a trusted resource.

How does Farhang do it? • By funding university programs, publications and academic conferences. • By sponsoring art and cultural events such as Nowruz and Mehregan, art shows, musical performances, plays, dances, films, and poetry readings. • By planning and funding exhibitions with local cultural and / or academic institutions, such as LACMA, UCI, USC and UCLA.

Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and non-profit foundation dedicated to celebrating Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large.

Farhang Foundation P.O. Box 491571 Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310) 666-1546 |

Board of Trustees Ali C. Razi – Chairman Mark Amin Dar Gabbay Shazad Ghanbari

Ahmad Gramian Amir Hemmat Darioush Khaledi Farshad (Fasha) Mahjoor

Ron Mavaddat Aria Mehrabi Farhad Mohit Anoosheh M. Oskouian

Hooshang Pak Shidan Taslimi

Management Team Bita Milanian - Executive Director Hassan Izad - Chief Financial Officer Sanam Zahir - Operations Manager

Shahram Soleimani - Secretary David. W. Newman - Legal Counsel (Pro Bono) Haydeh Shirmohammadi - Special Projects Director

Advisory Committee Janet Afary - University of California Santa Barbara Amin Banani - University of California Los Angeles Elizabeth Carter - University of California Los Angeles Touraj Daryaee - University of California Irvine, Academic Coordinator Fereshteh Daftari - Independent Scholar and Curator Arash Khazeni - Pomona College Linda Komaroff - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Afshin Matin-Asgari - California State University Los Angeles Sheida Mohamadi - Poet-in Residence at Maryland University Ali Mousavi - Los Angeles County Museum of Art Shirin Neshat - Modern Art Nasrin Rahimieh - University of California Irvine Shardad Rohani - COTA Symphony Orchestra-Los Angeles Kourosh Taghavi - Namâd Ensemble

Fine Arts Council Roshi Rahnama – Chair Amir Angha – Member Ladan Behnia – Member Azadeh Dadgostar – Member Shazad Ghanbari – Member, Trustee Homa Mahmoudi – Member Hooshang Pak – Member, Trustee Maryam Pak – Member Anousheh Razi – Member

Generations Council Amir Hemmat – Chair, Trustee Ali Fakhari – Member Farhad Mohit – Co-Chair, Trustee Sara Pak – Member

Patron Council Abdi Rais – Chair Nazfar Afshar – Member Ahmad Gramian – Member, Trustee Amir Hemmat – Member, Trustee Afshin Kateb – Member AJ Safavi – Member

UCLA Council Mark Amin – Member, Trustee Farhad Mohit – Member, Trustee Ali C. Razi – Member, Trustee Mehran Taslimi – Member Shidan Taslimi – Member, Trustee

The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, originally established by the School of Humanities in collaboration with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, became a campus center in January 2009. Dedicated to drawing on the strengths of the entire UC Irvine campus, the Center focuses on interdisciplinary research projects that bridge the arts, humanities, engineering, medicine, and the sciences. Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture University of California, Irvine 1st Floor Humanities Gateway Irvine, CA 92697-3370 (949) 824-1662 |

Orange County Council Sharo Khastoo – Chair Shazad Ghanbari – Member, Trustee Fariba Hezar – Secretary Mona Karimpour – Member Assad Kazeminy – Member Darioush Khaledi – Member, Trustee Parmis Khatibi – Member Tannaz Mazarei – Member Anoosheh M. Oskouian – Member, Trustee Dariush Rachedi – Member Majid Zarrinkelk – Member Iranian Studies Council Haleh Emrani – Chair Amir Aalam – Member Cyrous Adami – Member Mehrdad Amanat – Member Akbar Azad – Member Houshang Dadgostar – Member Ahmad Gramian – Member, Trustee Hassan Izad – Member, CFO Ron Mavaddat – Member, Trustee Aria Mehrabi – Member, Trustee Ali C. Razi – Member, Trustee Michael Saei – Member Farrok Yazdi – Member

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