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Jahanshah Javid

Age: 56 |

Birth City: آبادان |

Joined on October 02, 2012

Ehsan Yarshater Receives $10 Million Gift


Columbia News: Columbia University has received a $10 million gift from the Persian Heritage Foundation to endow the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies. Formerly known as the Center for Iranian Studies, the Center will be renamed to recognize Professor Yarshater, the founding director of the Center whose legacy and dedication to the study of Persian history and culture were exceptional.

This gift will enable the Yarshater Center to significantly advance the field through scholarly publications, including the Encyclopædia Iranica, A History of Persian Literature series, a Persian art series, and a Persian text series.

“In a career that has spanned seven decades, Ehsan Yarshater has distinguished himself as a pioneering and brilliant scholar of Persian culture, history, and literature,” said Columbia University Provost John H. Coatsworth. “This gift is a fitting tribute to his critical work and will support publications that are essential to the future of this vibrant area of study.”

A member of the Columbia faculty for more than 40 years, Professor Yarshater set the standard for generations of scholars as the first full-time professor of Persian Studies at an American university since World War II. He also served as the general editor of a 40-volume translation of al-Tabari’s 10th-century history of the world and the founding editor of the Encyclopædia Iranica.

The Encyclopædia Iranica is a scholarly, groundbreaking, and comprehensive research tool authored by multiple scholars. It is dedicated to the broad and inclusive study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent and the history of Persian literature, offering a comprehensive and detailed history of its subject.

According to Professor Yarshater, “I am deeply honored as well as delighted to witness the creation of the Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies. Having devoted my entire life to the preservation and advancement of Persianate culture, I am thankful that through the establishment of this Center, my life's work will continue unabated.”

He continued, “It is a source of great comfort to me that through the support of the Persian Heritage Foundation, and the stewardship of Columbia University, such internationally acclaimed projects as the Encyclopædia Iranica and A History of Persian Literature, as well as many other future projects will find a secure home at the Yarshater Center.”

Professor Yarshater was born in Hamadan, Persia (Iran) in 1920 and earned a PhD in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran (1947) before studying with W.B. Henning at London University, where he received a master’s degree and a PhD in Old and Middle Iranian (1960). He came to Columbia in 1958 and founded the Center for Iranian Studies in 1968. Professor Yarshater has authored several books, including Persian Poetry in the Second Half of the 15th Century (1953) and Southern Tati Dialects (1970).

The Yarshater Center is dedicated to a wide-ranging and comprehensive vision for Iranian studies with the Persian Heritage Foundation’s continuous support. The Center will be located within the Arts and Sciences at Columbia University and its director will report to the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences.

Being watched

As I was working. 

Skipping the front page

In Parque San Francisco, Arequipa.

Last gasp

Jurasic park in Querulpa, near Arequipa.

Fabulous Fiat

Fiat 600 from 1960's on display at our hotel in Arequipa.

Sun worshipper

In Santa Catalina Monestary, Arequipa, yesterday.

16 year old Iranian maths whiz granted Cypriot citizenship

Easy Branches: An Iranian teen, Datis Amirkalali, has been granted Cypriot citizenship by Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides in recognition of his stellar academic work.

Born in Iran in 2002, Datis came to Cyprus with his parents in August 2011 where they have applied for asylum.

He attends a private school in Nicosia and is an award winning pupil. Since 2015 he has been participated in the Pancyprian Maths Competitions of the Cyprus Mathematical Society, winning  first prize in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“Taking into consideration Datis’ excellent academic performance in maths which make him not only an example of academic brilliance but social integration of a migrant in Cyprus, the Interior Minister has decided to grant him Cypriot citizenship,” an official announcement said.

Because he is still a minor, his mother  Behnoosh Salhi was also granted citizenship.

Both citizenships have been approved by the Council of Ministers.

Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California

World Affairs: Abdi Soltani has served as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California since April 2009.

A card-carrying member of the ACLU for many years, Abdi has previously served as executive director of Californians for Justice, the Campaign for College Opportunity and at PARSA Community Foundation.

During his time at the ACLU of Northern California, Abdi has pursued a number of strategic priorities, including strengthening the ACLU’s presence in the Central Valley, expanding the ACLU’s capacity on state policy in Sacramento, and increasing statewide collaboration with the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Focused primarily on the overall strategy and direction of the organization, Abdi has gotten involved in a few areas of the program directly. He served on the Executive Committee of the Proposition 34 ballot measure campaign which sought to replace the death penalty in 2012, helped convene the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and is currently leading a project to examine campaign finance policy.

Before coming to the ACLU, Abdi served as a community organizer and led a number of policy campaigns in California. As a leader in the No on 54 Campaign in 2003, he helped defeat a proposition aimed at significantly weakening racial equality.

Abdi is a graduate of Stanford University, where he studied biology. He was awarded the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship in 1995, the Gerbode Foundation Fellowship in 2002 and the Levi Strauss Foundation Pioneer in Justice Fellowship in 2010. He currently serves on advisory boards of Pars Equality Center, Educations for Fair Consideration, and the Public Policy Institute of California.

Global Warming

On Ave. El Sol. 

DHS Reversal Reopens Asylum Cases for 87 Iranian Christians and Other Religious Minorities

The Washington Free Beacon: The Department of Homeland Security has re-opened the asylum applications of a group of 87 Iranian Christians and other religious minorities who have been marooned in Austria for more than a year awaiting a final decision.

Lawyers for the group said the latest DHS action, which they were notified about last week, reversed an earlier blanket denial of their refugee applications back in February and could be a breakthrough in allowing them to reunite with other family members already living in the United States.

"We were very happy to hear that the government re-opened these cases, and we're hoping this will bring them closer to being able to reunite with their families," Mariko Hirose, who serves as the litigation director for the International Refugee Assistance Project in New York, told the Washington Free Beacon.

"This is a specific group of people who this administration and several prior administrations has recognized have been persecuted and have committed to helping," she added. "We hope that the government will process these cases quickly, so our clients can reach the safety of the United States."

DHS did not respond to a request for comment. The State Department referred all questions on the matter to DHS.

The group has earned the sympathy and concern of a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress, as well as several high-level Trump administration officials.

Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador at large for religious freedom who just weeks ago held the first-ever four-day ministerial on religious persecution across the globe, has said he has been involved in several high-level discussions about this group of Iranian Christians and other religious minorities stuck in Austria.

"I hope there is a positive outcome," Brownback recently told the Free Beacon while declining to comment further.

A Trump administration official on Monday declined to comment on the specific cases, saying: "the administration is strongly committed to supporting the Iranian people."

"Since January 2017, over 800 Iranian religious minorities have been approved for admissions to the United States through this program and have been successfully resettled in the U.S."

The Iranian individuals and their family members applied for refugee resettlement in the United States under the Lautenberg Amendment, a law Congress first passed in 1989 to facilitate refugee admission of Jews fleeing the former Soviet Union. Lawmakers expanded the program in 2004 to include religious minorities in Iran.

The Iranians had traveled to Vienna from Tehran at the invitation of the U.S. government to complete their applications >>>