Friday, December 12, 2008

Interview with Prof. James Russell



Kourosh Ziabari - Nowadays, you hear the name of Iran for the most catastrophic reasons in the global media headlines. Nuclear weapons, terrorism, mass destruction, violation of human rights, abduction of freedom activists etc. Such hostile approach for the coverage of Iran news which has been taking by the corporation media since long times ago would easily sequence to an international pessimism toward the people of Iran, the culture of Iran and the history of Iran. That's why, Iran is somehow interpreted as the most misrepresented, misunderstood country in the world that is being distorted by image despite of its richness of civilization.

Speaking to an American scholar of Persian Culture who has devoted almost 15 years of his lifetime to studying the furthest angels and brinks of Persian culture and Iranian lifestyle is worth reading at least once for it gives a clarified and impartial viewpoint of Iran, what the outgoing President of US calls the "Axis of Evil".

James Russell is a world-distinguished figure, a well-known name for those interested in Persian culture, Persian civilization and Iranian studies. He is a Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the a former Associate Professor of Ancient Iranian studies at Columbia University while teaching at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem priorly.

At the time being, Professor James Russell of the Harvard University is writing a book on a medieval Armenian collection of tales whose source he believes to be the Buddhist Lotus Sutra, an important scripture written by and for the Silk Road peoples, most of whom spoke Iranian languages.

I conducted an interview with Prof. James Russell with the aim of learning more about the viewpoints of an American university professor about Iran, the misrepresented and misinterpreted country that you can not discover its truths and realities, unless you travel and sense it face-to-face.

In the brief debate, we talked about various topics such as the life of Persian poet Mowlana, the customs and rituals of Iranian people, the history of Persian Gulf and the richness of Persian literature.

I invite you to come with us to walk you through the corridors of 7500 years history of Greater Persia; certainly you would learn more things, knowing not before!


Born in 1991, Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian freelance journalist and writer, the author of book "7+1", which is collection of his interviews with 7 contemporary Iranian authors. He is a contributing writer for websites and magazines of Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, UK and the US. A number of Kourosh's articles and blog posts have been translated into Spanish, German and French languages; moreover he appeared twice in BBC World service programs and PBS Media Shift as well.
He is Persian and lives in Rasht, in Northern Iran. Kourosh was selected as the world's youngest journalist by the Association of Young Journalists and Writers in 2005, He is acquainted with five world languages and is also a web and graphic designer for Persian web portals and magazines. 

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