The International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA)
Introductory Remarks and Acknowledgments:
The International Qajar Studies Association came about as a result of the efforts of many individuals across the globe over many years. It answers the need for a scholarly vehicle for the study of the Qajars (Kadjars) and the Qajar (Kadjar) era and the dissemination of information and research about the Qajar (Kadjar) period that would otherwise not easily come to light. It also speaks to the wish of members of the greater Qajar (Kadjar) family to create a vehicle through which the Qajar (Kadjar) Diaspora can be given a focus and a means of gathering together.
To these ends, the Association has set itself the goal of soliciting membership across the globe by scholars interested in the field of Qajar (Kadjar) Studies, members of the greater Qajar (Kadjar) family, and like-minded individuals with a general interest in 19th and 20th century Persian/Iranian history and culture.
The Association has set itself the goal of producing a yearly scholarly Journal, for which it solicits articles and monographs. It will also publish, on a regular basis, a Newsletter for the benefit of its membership and the public at large informing them of the progress of the Association. Additionally, the Association will sponsor scholarly conferences on the subject of Qajar (Kadjar) Studies; exhibitions on the Qajar (Kadjar) period; and encourage and support the publication of books and articles on the Qajars (Kadjars) and the Qajar (Kadjar) period.
The idea of an association dedicated to the Qajar (Kadjar) era and to Qajars (Kadjars) in general is not original to the present group of founders. It has been tried several times with various degrees of success, both inside and outside Iran, in the last sixty years or so. In more recent years, the idea was particularly championed by Ambassador Farhad Sepahbody-Qajar, who began an effort to gather information on the Qajars (Kadjars) through his innovative web pages. This Association, really, in a way, is his brainchild, though it has grown far beyond the bounds of what he had originally conceived it as. We wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank him for his pioneering spirit and tremendous energy!
The Association as it presents itself today owes its existence to the tireless efforts of a team of individuals who have willed it into existence. First and foremost, we wish to acknowledge our Honorary President, Prince Soltan Ali Mirza Kadjar, who has been a boundless source of inspiration and an invaluable living encyclopedia on matters Qajar (Kadjar). With the publication of his book, Les Rois oublies: L'epopee de la dynastie Kadjare, in 1992, he solidified in us the will to persist in creating an organization that would take up the task where he had left it off. We owe him an immense debt of gratitude.
Next, we wish to thank Prof. Majid Tehranian, Mr. Ferydoun Barjesteh and Ms. Mandana Ghajar, who offered their very broad shoulders for us to stand on, and thus enabled us to build what we believe will be an invaluable addition to the scholarly debate on the Qajar (Kadjar) era and the cultural safeguarding of its patrimony for generations to come.
We also wish to thank the team of Qajar era scholars who unhesitatingly joined the call to form our Advisory Council, enabling us to benefit from their expertise and willingness to participate in our conferences and publications and encouraging others to do so as well. Here, the efforts of our first Advisory Council Chair and founding Board member, Prof. Majid Tehranian, must be mentioned as indispensable in bringing this Council to life. For this and much else, we owe him an immense debt of gratitude.
Finally we wish to thank all those individuals, members of the greater Qajar (Kadjar) family and non-members alike, who through the years with their words and deeds have encouraged us, supported us, and goaded us on to create this Association and begin its important work. To all these individuals we say, it is for you that we have done this work, may it meet with your continued approval!
Manoutchehr M. Eskandari-Qajar (Kadjar)
President, International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA)
Santa Barbara, California, USA