November 2020
Editor’s Note

Paris: The Iranian Muse

In this issue we turn to Paris, which has been a secular haven for generations of Iranians. It’s played host to many politicians across the political spectrum.

Farokh Ghafari: The Cosmopolitan

In the 1940s, Farokh Ghafari moved to Paris and into the heart of its vibrant cinephilic milieu, hired as an assistant by Henri Langlois, cofounder and director of the Cinémathèque Française.

Mozaffar Din Shah in Europe

Mozaffar al-Din Shah and Akkasbashi: The Initiators

The French-Iranian Film Connection dates back almost as far as the history of cinema itself. In 1900, making profligate use of a loan from the Russian tsar, Mozaffar al-Din Shah, fifth in the line of Qajar monarchs, undertook a months-long pleasure tour of Europe.

From Diary of H.M. the Shah of Persia (Nasseredin Shah Qajar)

How Paris Bedazzled a Persian King

From the Diary of H.M. the Shah of Persia “We rose early in the morning, went down into a boat, and pushed off for the shore,” says Naser al-Din Shah—a.k.a. the Shah of Persia—in his travelogue, recalling his arrival in Paris on July 6, 1873.

Diaries of Haj Sayyah

Paris: A City That “Looked Like Jewelry”

From the Diaries of Haj Sayyah An Iranian in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Diaries of Haj Sayyah 1859–1877 documents Haj Sayyah’s travels throughout Europe and, eventually, America, where he became a naturalized citizen—possibly making him the first Iranian-American. He is said to have been honored by American

Iranians in Paris


Following in the tradition of capturing the American literary experience in Paris, from Stein to Hemingway to Baldwin, here’s a primer on some of the Iranian experience in France’s capital.

Iran's Military Assets Inside Syria

Iran’s Military Assets Inside Syria

It is an open secret that the Islamic Republic maintains a heavy military presence inside Syria, where for the past decade it has supported Syrian president Bashar al Assad against an armed rebellion. While it is difficult to know the extent of this military support