Collections and Resources, Events, Global, Special Collections

Persian New Year Event to Celebrate Library Gifts and Collections March 25


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Nowruz Persian New Year: Celebrating the Persian Collection at UNC
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
5:45 – 8:30 p.m.
Wilson Special Collections Library
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203


A lively evening of Persian food, music, and learning will celebrate UNC’s Persian library collections on March 25.

The festivities coincide with Nowruz, the Persian New Year that is a traditional time of joy and a celebration of the coming of spring. They will take place in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library and are free and open to the public.

At 6:30 p.m., Reza Zarghamee will deliver the keynote address. Zarghamee is the author of Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World (2014). He is now at work on a life of the Persian king Darius. Both are part of the series Iran’s Age of Empire from Mage Publishers.

Beginning at 5:45 p.m., attendees can enjoy a reception catered by Cilantro Mediterranean Grill, with traditional Persian sweets from Caspian International Food Mart. Calligrapher Fatemeh Sayyady will demonstrate her craft, and a traditional Nowruz Haft Sin table prepared by members of the Iranian Cultural Society of North Carolina will be on view. The Library will also display Persian materials from the collections. UNC student Lily Herbert will perform traditional Persian music.

Copies of Discovering Cyrus and Persian cookbooks will be for sale, courtesy of Mage Publishers and the Bull’s Head Bookshop.

Zarghamee, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., is a lifelong student of the history of ancient Iran. He began learning Old Persian cuneiform at the age of 13 and continued studying Persian language and literature while pursuing a double major in history and biology at Columbia University. His J.D. is from Harvard Law School.

Persian studies is a fast growing area of study at UNC. Four recent endowments have helped build the Library’s capacity to purchase Persian language and cultural materials, and to provide cultural events and lectures in support of the collections. They are:

For more information about the Library’s Persian studies collection and ways to support it, contact Mohamed Hamed, Middle East and African studies librarian, at, (919) 962-3859; or Emily Silverman, associate director of library development, at, (919) 962-3437.

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