Online Launching Ceremony of the Farsi Translation of the Book A History of the Tajiks: Iranians of the East

Posted on: 14-10-2020

On October 14, 2020, the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) and Radio Nowruz organized an online launching ceremony for the Farsi translation of the book "A History of the Tajiks: Iranians of the East” authored by Dr. Richard Foltz, director of the Centre for Iranian Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The book is translated into Farsi language by Dr. Abdul Khaliq Lalzad, history researcher and published by the department of publications of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS). The event was accompanied by author and translator of the book, with moderation by Saeed Haqiqi, managing director of Radio Nowruz.

In this comprehensive and up to date history, from prehistoric proto-Indo-Iranian times to the post-Soviet period, Richard Foltz traces the complex linguistic, cultural and political history of the Tajiks, a Persian-speaking Iranian ethnic group from the modern-day Central Asian states of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. The author explores the revitalisation of Persian culture under the Samanid Empire in the Tajik heartlands of historical Khorasan and Transoxiana; analyses the evolution of the politics of Tajik identity; and traces the history of the ethnic Tajik diaspora today.

At the beginning of the program, Dr. Richard Foltz introduced his book. Dr. Foltz mentioned that he was interested to write a comprehensive history book about Tajiks. In his speech, he argued that the notion of identity is a complicated social pattern, as throughout the history in Central, South and West Asia, the word Persian has only belonged to Persian civilization, excluding others in the region. He stated that the dominant people wanted to strengthen their power influences by diverging people in different groups which was not to the advancement of the people in a society.

Dr. Abdul Khaliq Lalzad, the translator of the book, talked about the translated edition of the book as thoroughly a scientific-research book about Tajiks. He further mentioned about the historical narratives, saying that we do not have a language known as Tajiki, but from the historical point of view Tajik is rather the name of an ethnic group, mostly populated a large part of Central Asia. Besides, he emphasized that history should be known as it really happened, not by a discriminated bias by labelling other people as minority, majority or as immigrants. For a better understanding of the history, he suggested that it should be studied by scholars who have deeply investigated the subject.