The 2nd International Conference on Talishi Studies at Yerevan, Armenia on 12-13 Nov 2011

The 2nd International Conference on the Talishi Studies shall be held at Yerevan, Armenia on 12-13 Nov., 2011.


The Conference is organized by the International Journal “Iran and the Caucasus” (BRILL, Leiden-Boston) in the Framework of the Celebration of its 15-th Anniversary, in cooperation with Modus Vivendi Center, Yerevan; Caucasian Centre for Iranian Studies, Yerevan; International Society for the Study of Turkey, Iran and the Caucasus (ISSTIC), and ARMACAD (supported by Hyksos Foundation).

Below is a synopsis of the 2-day conference (presenters, topics, etc):



DAY 1, November 12, 2011

9.00 – 10.00: Registration

10.00 – 11.40: GENERAL SESSION


Dr. Prof. Garnik Asatrian (Armenia), Head of the Organizing Committee; Editor, “Iran and the Caucasus”, Chair, Department of Iranian Studies, Yerevan State University

Talishi Studies: Present State and Perspectives.

  • Dr. Prof. Ali Granmayeh (United Kingdom), London Middle East Institute, SOAS, University of London-Talishi Language and Culture: How to Save them?
  • Dr. Prof. Kaveh Farrokh (Canada), University of British Columbia-The Process of the De-Iranianization of Caucasian Azerbaijan (1828-Present).
  • Dr. Vardan Voskanian (Armenia), Iranian Studies Dept, Yerevan State University-New Talishi Alphabet based on the Avestan Script (Project Presentation).

PRESENTATION – The new monograph by the Iranian Studies Department, Yerevan State University “Introduction into the History and Culture of the Talishi People”(in Russian) (ed. by Garnik Asatrian, Yerevan, 2011).

11.40 – 12.00 Coffee-break


Chairs: Ara Papian and Kaveh Farrokh

  • Andrey Areshev (Russia) – The Talysh Region and the Current Political Transformations in the South Caucasus
  • Ali Granmayeh (United Kingdom) – The Question of Talish and Communal Problems in Northern Iran
  • Roman Smbatian, Sona Davtyan (Armenia) – The political situation in Talishi inhabited territories in 1720-40s

13.30 – 15.00 Lunch


Chairs: Ali Granmayeh and Victoria Arakelova

  • Caspar Tristan ten Dam (The Netherlands) – The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: causes and consequences, brutalisation and radicalisation, and the chances of re-ignition – preliminary findings
  • Timirlan Aytberov (Russia) – On the main problems of the Avars in Azerbaijan and their solutions
  • Garnik Gevorgian (Armenia) – Настоящие границы поселения талышей (Real borders of the Talishi Habitat)
  • Elnur Aghayev (Talishi Academy of Sciences) – Наблюдения за динамикой развития талышского культурного возрождения (конец 80-х годов ХХ века) (On the Dynamics of the Talishi Cultural Revival: the late 80s of the XX c.)

16.30 – 16.50 Coffee-break


Chairs: Andrey Areshev and Timirlan Aytberov

  • Shahban Khapizov (Russia) – Demography of indigenous peoples of Azerbaijan
  • Irina Natchkhebia and Gia Jorjoliani (Georgia) – Путешествие в Талыш Джеймса-Бэйли Фрезера в 1822 (James Baillie Fraser’s Travel in Talish in 1822).
  • Babak Rezvani (The Netherlands) – Diversity, conflict and coexistence: the Iranian and the (post-Soviet ethno-political systems compared

19.30 – Welcome Party with Banquette (Mush Restaurant, Jrvezh)


Frontal view of the State University of Yerevan, host to the 2nd International Conference on the Talishi Studies on 12-13 Nov., 2011. The university is host to an excellent Iranian Studies program, staffed by exemplary researchers such as Professor Garnik S. Asatrian (Chair, Iranian Studies Dept., Yerevan State University; Editor, “Iran and the Caucasus”, BRILL, Leiden-Boston) and Professor Victoria Arakelova (Associate Professor, Department of Iranian Studies, Yerevan State University; Associate Editor, “Iran and the Caucasus”, BRILL, Leiden). The conference of Nov.12-13 has been possible through the works of Professors Asatrian and Arakelova. 


DAY 2, November 13, 2011


LANGUAGE – I (10.00 – 11.30)

Chair: Mehrdad Naghzguy Kohan

  • Mahmood Jaafari-Dehaghi (Iran) – Historical Changes in the Sound System of Central Talishi
  • Vardan Voskanian (Armenia) – On linguistic contacts between Talishi and Armenian
  • Shadi Davari (Iran) – On Talishi Oblique Case : A Case of Syncretism
  • Mahmoud Ja’afari-Joneidi (Iran) – Landscape and Dialects in Talesh.

11.30 – 11.45. Coffee-break

LANGUAGE – II (11.45 – 13.15)

Chair: Vardan Voskanian and Gia Zhorzholiani

  • Hasmik Kirakosyan (Armenia) – Об азари-талышских лексических параллелях (On Azari-Talishi Lexical Parallels)
  • Donald L. Stilo (US) – The Diachrony of the Present, Subjunctive, and Future Formations and their Derivatives in the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area
  • Mohammad Jaktaji (Iran) – On Some Lexical Comparisons between Lenkoran Talishi and Gilaki
  • Aharon Vardanyan (Armenia) – Linguistic archaisms in the Talishi language
  • Zaxiriddin Ibrahimi (Russia) – Некоторые проблемы формирования талышского литературного языка (On Some Problems of Formation of the Talishi Literary Language)

13.15 – 15.00 Lunch

LANGUAGE – III (15.00 – 16.30)

Chair: Mahmood Jaafari-Dehaghi

  • Shadi Davari and Mehrdad Naghzguy Kohan (Iran) – Possessive Construction in Southern Talishi (Masali Area) A Typology-Based Study
  • Mehrdad Naghzguy Kohan (Iran) – A study of grammatical characteristics of postpositions acting as case assigner: A case study in Talish
  • Mostafa Farzpourmachiani (Iran) – Common features of Tati, Talishi and Gilani.
  • Ali Zabihi (Iran) – The word “twl” in Talishi, other Iranian Language and Semitic Languages

16.30 – 16.50. Coffee-break


Chair: Hasmik Kirakosian and Arezoo Yahyanezhad

  • Ali Rafie and Yasir Karamzoda (Iran) – نگاهی به شعر تالشی (On the Talishi Poetry)
  • Elahe Taghvayi (Armenia) – Comparative Analysis of Talishi and the Dialects of Vafsi ad Ashtiani
  • Hoseyn Arefniya (Iran) – نكته اي چند از زبان هرزني (On Some Issues if the Harzani Dialect)
  • Ali Farshidvar (Armenia) – ذخیره‌ی لغوی زبان تالشیو زبان مازندرانی (On the Vocabulary of Talishi and Mazandarani)



Chair: Garnik Asatrian and Irina Natchkhebia

  • Sekandar Amanolahi (Iran) – The Taleshis’ Ecological Adaptation and its Significance in Comprehending the Origin of Pastoral Nomadism in Iran.
  • Victoria Arakelova (Armenia) – Demonic creatures and demonized deities in the system of Talishi Folk beliefs.
  • Asya Asbaghi (Germany) – Akhbarname – a lost book
  • Peyman Matin (Armenia) – Folk plants in Talishi culture

11.30-11.45 Coffee-break

ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (11.45 – 13.15)

Chair: Shahban Khapizov and Roman Smbatian

  • Raisa Amirbekian (Armenia) – Talishi Applied Art: View Through Centuries
  • Alexander Skakov (Russia) – Талыш-муганская археологическая культура. Краткий очерк (Talish-Mughan Archaeological Culture: Short Overview)
  • Zhores Khachatrian and Armen Nakhshkarian (Armenia) – К вопросу о происхождении ардебильской керамики (On the Problem of the Origin of Ardabil Pottery)
  • Samvel Markarian (Armenia) – From the Medieval History of the Talishi People.

13.15 – 15.00, Lunch


Chair: Sekandar Amanolahi and Khachik Gevorgyan

  • Arezoo Yahyanezhad (Iran) – Marriage rituals among Talishi ethnic groups
  • Mojtaba Ta’attof (Iran) – A short look at the effects of geographical features on people’s lives in Talesh
  • Ibrahim Safari (Iran) – آن قلمرو زندگی تالشان در گیلان و گویش های (The Life Space of the Talishis of Gilan and their Dialects)
  • Masoumeh Ebrahimi (Iran) – Imaginary beings in Talishi folklore

16.30-16.50 Coffee-break

FAREWELL DINNER -19.30- University Guest House, Mashtots Ave. 52.


For more information on the above topics and abstracts kindly see:

Abstracts of Papers, The 2nd International Conference on the Talishi Studies, 12-13 Nov., 2011, Yerevan, Armenia

Kaveh Farrokh’s topic at the conference is outlined in the abstract below:

The Process of the De-Iranianization of Caucasian Azerbaijan (1828-Present)

This topic examines the process of de-Iranization in those regions of the Caucasus corresponding to the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan from 1826 to the present. This process can be broken down into four  phases. The first phase (1826-1917) took place during the Czarist Era when Russian authorities sponsored and promoted Turkic cultural developments in the endeavor to diminish the region’s ancient Iranian influence. A prime example of Russian policies was the promotion of the Akinci plays followed by the Akinci newspaper (with Zardabi as editor) which was stridently anti-Persian. In tandem with Russian policies, the rise of Pan-Turkism in the Caucasus (1850s-1917) also promoted the process of de-Iranization in the Transcaucasus. By the early 20th century a number of pan-Turkist and anti-Persian writers with ties to the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire (i.e. Ali Husseinzade) had risen to prominence. By this time Russian authorities were also sponsoring the anti-Persian Mullah Nassreddin magazine. The second phase of de-Iranization occurred with the arrival of the Musavat Regime in Baku and the application of the term “Azerbaijan” (until 1918 only geographically recognized as the Iranian province of that name below the Araxes river) (1918-1920) during which pan-Turkism and de-Iranization were ideologically rationalized for the first time in Pan-Azeri terms (the union of Iranian and Caucasian Azerbaijan). The third phase of de-Iranization occurred after the fall of the Musavat s to the Soviet Union; during the latter’s tenure, a determined process of de-Iranization was implemented from the 1930s to 1990. As noted by Mehdiyova “…Soviet authorities falsified documents and re-wrote history books”. The final (fourth) phase followed the rise of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan (ROA) in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The de-Iranization policies implemented in 1826-1990 continue to be promoted at the educational and cultural levels by ROA authorities.

For readers interested in a summary of the topic, kindly consult:

Kaveh Farrokh at the WAALM ceremonies in London on October 31, 2009, where he obtained the “Best History Book Award” for 2008. Farrokh was also ranked as one of 128 most famous Iranian authors in 2011 by the website.At right is Farrokh’s latest textbook, “Iran at War: 1500-1988” (2011)

VOA interview with Kaveh Farrokh in New York

The Voice of America’s Behmod Mokri interviewed Kaveh Farrokh in New York on his recent text, Iran at War: 1500-1988 on August 14, 2011:

Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Hardcover 480 pages, released May 24, 2011 • ISBN: 978-1-84603-491-6. Contact: John Tintera, Marketing Director @ 718/433-4402,

To order consult Chapters-Indigo or Amazon.

Farrokh has been interviewed on Iran at War by the following radio stations:

  • WFLA-AM, Tampa Florida (June 17, 2011)
  • WHFS-AM Washington DC (July 1, 2011)
  • KCMN-AM, Colorado Springs (july 5, 2011)
  • Money Matters Network – Stu Taylor on Business, National Syndicated (July 7, 2011)
  • WGTD-FM Milwaukee WI (July 12, 2011)
  • Mark Johnson Show, WDEV, Burlington VT (July 19, 2011)

Cover jacket of Iran at War: 1500-1988. [CLICK TO ENLARGE] A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran. The troops are about to pose for a military review. Standing at far left with hand resting on sword is Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (of Northern Iranian origin). Note the diverse nature of Iranian troops, reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity. Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, all partake as one in the assembly.  Colonel Haji Khan and the officer to the right are members of the Gendarmerie para-military forces. Haji Khan died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One.  


[CLICK TO ENLARGE] The above assembly area as it appears today in Tehran 2011. As noted in the above 1926 photo, the assembly area seen in the previous photo was the Iranian Army headquarters -ستاد ارتش- at the time which today is the Iranian University of the Fine Arts -دانشکده هنر-. This is a very large building – the southern and western angles of this building are connected to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs- وزارتخارجه -. A beautfiul building known as the “Hakhamaneshi” [Achaemenid] -هخامنشی- which has been built in the Persepolis style is now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – وزارتخارجه-and is located to the south of the former Iranian Army Headquarters. The above photos were taken in 2011 from the southern angle of the assembly area.  -دو عکس از نمای جنوبی همان ساختمان است -محوطه ساختمانی که قبلا ستاد ارتش بوده و الان دانشکده هنر است ساختمان بسیار بزرگی است ضلع جنوبی و غربی آن به ساختمانهای وزارتخارجه وصل است. ساختمان بسیار زیبای معروف به هخامنشی که به سبک تخت جمشید ساخته شده و الان متعلق به وزارتخارجه است در ضلع جنوبی آن است-

The Wall Street Journal and the Reuters News Service have published a review which has also appeared on ,The New York Herald, ABC News (ABC 13ABC 18ABC 40), NBC News (NBC 6NBC 10NBC 12NBC 38), CBS News (CBS  9), Fox News (Fox 19Fox 26Fox 28Fox 42Fox 54) and The Nashvile News. See also Payvand News of Iran report.

The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Arts has also announced this book on Twitter.

Below are portions of the review on the Wall Street Journal – kindly note that the pictures inserted in the text below have not appeared in the Wall Street journal:

Kaveh Farrokh is an expert on Persian languages and Iranian history whose new book, Iran at War: 1500-1988, provides a full examination of modern Iranian military history… His previous title Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War (Osprey, 2007) was named “Best History Book” by the World Academy of Arts Literature and Media in 2008. Dr. Patrick Hunt at Stanford University, said this about it,  ”… a book for all who have ever been curious about the ‘other’ view on Persia, not from the Western standpoint rooted in Greece, but from the traditions of the Persians themselves… Meticulously researched and documented…..

A European copper engraving of Shah Abbas made by Dominicus Custos citing him as“Schach Abas Persarum Rex” or “Shah Abbas the Great monarch of Persia”. Shah Abbas’ victories over the Ottomans weakened them against the Europeans to the West, and especially in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Note how Custos makes a particular emphasis on linking Shah Abbas to the “Mnemona Cyrus” (the Memory of Cyrus the Great of Persia).

Iran at War begins where Shadows in the Desert ended, with the Arab conquest of Persia and the rise of Islam in the mid-7th century. Farrokh then describes the pivotal 16th century which saw the rise of a powerful family, the Safavids, which ruled Iran for 200 years. During the Safavid period, a strong, secular-minded central government fielded an army that was able to stare down threats from the Turks, Arabs, and Russians in the west and the Uzbeks and Afghans in the east. According to Farrokh, the push south, east, and west from Iran’s hostile neighbors during this era foreshadowed security threats it has faced down to the current day …

“For readers interested in geopolitics, Iran at War provides much needed insight into “the state of mind” of the Iranian people…that set the Iranians apart from their neighbors. His analysis of the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war provides important background information …”

Colonel Taghi-Khan Pesyan (1891-1921) in Imperial Germany (note German officer to the left) during World War One (Picture from page 143, Mehdi Farrokh, “Khaterate Siyasiye Farrokh” [Political memoirs of Farrokh], Tehran: Amir Kabir Publications, 1968). Mehdi Farrokh noted that Pesyan was”Motehaver” [ultra-courageous]. Pesyan had in fact flown several combat missions for the German air force during World War One, reputedly shooting down up to 25 British aircraft. It is believed that Pesyan was decorated with the “Eisernes Kreuz” [Iron Cross] by the Germans for his daring exploits in air to air combat.

An Iranian officer during his graduation ceremony from the St. Cyr Ecole de Guerre (Military academy) in France in circa 1932-1933 (graduation photo at left and graduation ceremony at St. Cyr at right). This student graduated with top honours and was reputed to be one of the most capable students of St. Cyr at the time (he was even given the title of “Sur Royanne”). 

[CLICK TO ENLARGE]  LEFT: Nader Jahanbani the flight leader of the Golden Crown aerial acrobatic team in 1960 (highlighted by red line) (Source: IIAF website). RIGHT:  Painting of an Iranian air force F-14A depicted in combat during the Iran-Iraq war (picture by Osprey Publishing’s  “Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat” by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop, 2004). Nader Jahanbani worked hard to inculcate world-class air to air combat skills among Iranian fighter pilots. Iranian Tomcats repelled Russian flown Mig-25s iviolating Iranian air space before the 1978-1979 revolution and downed several Iraqi air force aircraft in 1980-1988, including aircraft flown by Western, Soviet and Pakistani pilots (for more on this topic consultIran at War: 1500-1988,, 2011, pp. 397, 401).


Tayyara! Tayyara! (Arabic: Airplane! Airplane!). Iraqi crew of a BMP invading Iran in 1980 (at left) abandon their vehicle in haste at the sound of the roaring engines of two US-made Iranian F-4E Phantoms. Iranian Phantoms (at right) were also reported to be flying just meters above ground level to fire their 20mm cannon at Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles (Picture Source at left:; Picture Source at right: Farrokh, 2011).

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Elements of the Iraqi 12th Armored Division assemble at Fakkeh (in the Dezful area) on March 23rd 1982 to rescue remnants of the Iraqi 4th Army Corps crushed by a powerful Iranian offensive (Left – Steven J. Zaloga, Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, Osprey Vanguard  37, pp.32).  As these units deployed to attack, they were bombed and strafed by up to 95 Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.  The Iraqi 12th Armored Division was virtually eliminated. At right are Iranian regular army troops atop an overturned Iraqi tank of the 12th armoured division (source: Note that the vehicle has been overturned as a result of aerial bombardment by Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.   

Radio Interview with Kaveh Farrokh on Friday June 17, 2011


Kaveh Farrokh is due to be interviewed live on his new book, Iran at War: 1500-1988 on June 17, 2011 by the WFLA-AM radio station in Tampa Florida at 6:10 am Pacific time,

Kaveh teaches ancient Persian history at the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Division, and is affiliated with a number of academic organizations, including Stanford University’s WAIS (World Association of International Studies) program, the Hellenic-Iranian Studies Society, and The Iran Linguistics Society.               

Kaveh has been noted for a number of citations including the following:                  

Kaveh has been interviewed by a number of media outlets including:

Kaveh’s second book “Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War” received praise by Dr.s Geoffrey Greatrex (University of Ottawa), Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh, Department of Classics), Patrick Hunt (Stanford University), Nikoloz Kacharava (The University of Georgia in Tbilisi, Member of Academy of Sciences in Georgia, Active Member of New York Academy of Sciences) (posted on .             


Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War (at left– consult OspreyPublishing or which has been translated  to Russian (at right-consult the Russian EXMO Publishers website).


Farrokh greets Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University(shaking hands with Farrokh) and world-renowned Iranologist, Dr. Farhang Mehr (at center), winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award (photo from Persian American Society,March 1, 2008).  As noted by Mafie, Professor Frye of Harvard University wrote the foreword of Farrokh’s text stating that “…Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has given us the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and Roman viewpoint …it is refreshing to see the other perspective, and Dr. farrokh sheds light on many Persian institutions in this history…” (Mafie, 2010, pp.2).     


The Nobel Peace prize awarded to Sir Ralph Norman Angell (1872-1967) in 1933 (Photo in Public Domain). The United Nations affiliated organization ACUNS has noted that The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – WAALM has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (report also posted in, the Persianesque on-line Journal). Kaveh Farrokh is the chair of WAALM-School of Cultural Diplomacy’s Department of Traditions & Cultural History (for more infromation see Blog).

WAALM has been Nominated for the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE of 2011


The United Nations affiliated organization ACUNS has has noted that The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – WAALM has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (report also posted in, the Persianesque on-line Journal).

The Nobel Peace prize awarded to Sir Ralph Norman Angell (1872-1967) in 1933 (Photo in Public Domain).

This is due to WAALM’s role in promoting “Cultural Diplomacy”, encouraging the use of Soft power instead of Hard power / War, and its humaniterian and educational efforts to promote Peace and Understanding through its ‘WAALM – School of Cultural Diplomacy’ (SCD) and its ‘Empowering Conferences’ for less previllaged countries. The faculty heads of WAALM-SCD are Dr.s Zoltan Bécsi (Head of Department of Communications), Patrick Hunt (Head of Department of Arts and Literature in Humanities) and Kaveh Farrokh (Head of Department of Traditions & Cultural History).


Faculty heads of WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy:  Dr.s Zoltan Bécsi (Head of Department of Communications-left), Patrick Hunt (Head of Department of Arts and Literature in Humanities-center) and Kaveh Farrokh (Head of Department of Traditions & Cultural History-right).

The full text of the UN-affiliated ACUNS text is seen in the image of its website below (see in PDF) :

Dr. Marjan Dorbayani, the Director and Co-founder of WAALM notes:

However we believe there are more deserving champions of Peace with longer records on Peace efforts globally, who should be also nominated and eventually be the winner, obviously we are thrilled to learn about this news and appreciate the nomination and regardless of the result, we believe just being nominated for such a prestigious prize, increases our responsibilities towards humanity more than ever and it certainly makes every member of our Academy proud.”


WAALM founders  Dr. Marjan Dorbayani (right) and Dr. Mosi Dorbayani

Other nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize (list not exclusive) include:

The NIHON HIDANKYO organisation of Japan
Dr. Betty Reardon