During the Anjundan period Nizari Imams took on Sufi names

Interesting facts about History of the Middle East.

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The post-Alamut period in Nizari Ismaili history comprises the first two centuries after the fall of Alamut (1090-1256) and the Anjundan revival from the mid-fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

After the fall of Alamut, the Imams remained in hiding for almost two centuries in order to avoid persecution and to safeguard the community; only a handful of trusted da’is had physical contact with the Imams. Imam Sham al-Din Muhammad for instance, was concealed under the nickname ‘Zarduz’ (embroiderer).*

Illuminated pages from Diwan of Hafiz, late 18th century. produced for the 44th Imam Sayyid Abu'l Hasan. (Image: The Ismailis: An Illustrated History) Illuminated pages from Diwan of Hafiz, late 18th century. produced for the 44th Imam Sayyid Abu’l Hasan. (Image: The Ismailis: An Illustrated History)

The Nizari communities scattered over a wide region from Syria and Persia, Central and South Asia, developing locally and in isolation from one another. The Imams and the community disguised themselves under the mantle of Sufism that was spreading widely in Persia, appearing as a Sufi tariqa, using…

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Persian literature was dominated by a sophisticated tradition of poetry

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A manuscript of Rumi's Masnavi dated1652–53. (Image: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford) A manuscript of Rumi’s Masnavi dated1652–53. (Image: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford)

Persian literature is dominated by a highly  sophisticated tradition of poetry dating to the tenth century. Persian poetry can generally be divided into two forms: the lyrical and the epic. The major lyrical forms are the qasida, ghazal, and rubai. The basic form of epic poetry is the masnavi.

The qasida, a long mono-rhyme (aa, ba, ca) similar to an ode, is mostly used as a speech or in praise of somebody as well as for secular or religious moralism. It consists of three parts – a prologue, the actual praise or tribute, and a final appeal to the patron. It was also used to praise of God and the Prophet. The chanted qasida is part of the religious tradition of Arabic and Persian–speaking Nizari Ismailis.

The ghazal, rhythmically similar to the qasida only…

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‘Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video’ opens at The Craft & Folk Art Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Craft & Folk Art Museum and Farhang Foundation present Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video. This juried exhibition features photography and video works from artists around the world who have documented contemporary, intimate life relating to Iran and the Iranian diaspora. The exhibition will be on view at CAFAM from January 25 through May 3, 2015. The juried exhibition was organized as a means to identify and expose emerging artists from around the world whose works reflected on aspects of Iranian culture or heritage. The breadth and impact of the open call resulted in 615 submissions from across Europe and North America, Iran, Australia, and Japan. A final selection of 36 works by 33 artists was chosen by a panel of jurors immersed in the field of photography: Steven Albahari, publisher of 21st Editions; visual artist Ala Ebtekar; and Lucie Foundation Executive Director Cat Jimenez. Six video works were also selected, displaying skillful techniques in the short documentary format, as well as animation. “Partnering with the magnanimous Farhang Foundation has been a wonderful opportunity to reach out to an international pool of artists,” says CAFAM Executive Director Suzanne Isken. “Each of the works offers a vision of Iran from an artist’s perspective. This intimate portrait stands in contrast to the journalistic point of view most often served to non-Iranian audiences.” “Farhang Foundation is dedicated to creating platforms to showcase works of emerging international artists which explore themes of Iranian heritage and culture,” says Farhang Foundation Fine Arts Council Chair Roshi Rahnama. “Focus Iran has been a perfect collaboration with the visionary Craft & Folk Art Museum, co-creating a substantive and inclusive photography and video competition resulting in a strong and diverse body of work selected by the esteemed jury panel. We are thrilled to share this celebratory exhibition of international works with the Los Angeles community and beyond.” The selected artists: Sohrab Akhavan (USA), Mohammad Amin Nadi (Canada), Amir Behroozi (Iran), Ahmad Belbasi (Iran), Arash Bolouri (Iran), Yasmin Chegini (USA), Jovan Erfan (USA), Ramin Etemadi Bozorg (Iran), Majid Farahani (Iran), Marjan Farsad (Canada), Milad Haddadiyan (Iran), Mehdi Hawaii Sardehaii (USA), Judi Iranyi (USA), Shahrokh Jafari (USA), Morvarid K (France), Saeide Karimi (USA) and Siavash Yansori (USA), Atefeh Khas (Iran), Gelareh Kiazand (Turkey) and Kambiz Safari (Iran), Wawrzyniec Kolbusz (Poland), Samira Kouhi (Iran), Shaghayegh Mazloom (Iran), Ali Mohammadi (Iran), Siamak Nasiri Ziba (USA), Grace Oh (USA), Omid Omidvari (Iran), Sepideh Salehi (USA), Jalal Shamsazaran (Iran), Sheida Soleimani (USA), Fazilat Soukhakian (USA), Ramin Talaie (USA), Marjan Vayghan (USA)

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