Collections and Resources, Gifts and Grants, Global

Two New Library Endowments Support Persian Studies

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Architectural detail from Persepolis, in Fars (Pars) province

Two endowments created in late 2013 will build and strengthen the growing Persian studies collections of the UNC Library.

The endowments are the Dr. Reza Saadat Memorial Endowment for Persian Study in Honor of Hafez-e Shirazi and the Horner Jarrahi Persian Studies Speaker Series Endowment. They bring to four the number of recent UNC Library endowments dedicated to Persian studies. The others are the Jarrahi Family Library Fund for Persian Studies in honor of Professor Carl Ernst and the Pars Endowment for Persian Study in honor of the people of Dashtestan, Iran. Contributions of many donors to the Pars Endowment have helped it grow to over $35,000 in just over a year.

World events, combined with interest in the region’s long and rich culture, have created a strong interest in Persian studies at UNC, throughout the Triangle, and globally. As permanent funds, the endowments will create a perpetual source of income for Persian studies collections and outreach.

“These endowments are forward-looking,” said Mohamed Hamed, UNC’s Middle East and African Studies Librarian. “They give the Library the ability to collect important materials today for research and teaching. As the endowments grow, they will help us in the future collect items that haven’t even been published yet. And through hosting visiting scholars, we will broaden the community’s understanding of Persian literature and culture.”

In addition to the endowments, the Library has received significant help from members of the region’s Persian community in the form of donated books and journals, and financial contributions.

A community celebration on March 25 in Wilson Library of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, will provide an opportunity to learn more about Persian collections at the UNC Library.

The Dr. Reza Saadat Memorial Endowment for Persian Study in Honor of Hafez-e Shirazi
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Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz

The Dr. Reza Saadat Memorial Endowment for Persian Study in Honor of Hafez-e Shirazi will assist the Library in acquiring needed books, journals, and electronic resources.

A member of Dr. Saadat’s family and a longtime family friend and countryman established the endowment in memory of the late Dr. Reza Saadat, a professor of physics at the University of Shiraz.

The endowment additionally honors the great Persian poet, Hafez-e Shirazi (1325-1389). Hafez was born in Shiraz. He is one of the most celebrated of the Persian poets, and his influence can be felt to this day. Many of his poems are well-known as proverbs or sayings.

The Horner Jarrahi Persian Studies Speaker Series Endowment
Photograph of Shaida and Vance Horner

Shaida Jarrahi Horner and Vance L. Horner II

The Horner Jarrahi Persian Studies Speaker Series Endowment, created by Vance L. Horner II ’92 and Shaida Jarrahi Horner ’93, MAC ’94, will support a permanent speaker series and events related to Persian studies, history, and culture.

University supporters Vance L. Horner II and Shaida Jarrahi Horner created the endowment to highlight Persian literature and culture, and to explore the Library’s collections. Established scholars will give free public lectures at the Library and will meet with faculty and students in informal settings.

In 2012, members of the Horner and Jarrahi family endowed the Jarrahi Family Library Fund for Persian Studies. This endowment provides sustained library support for Persian studies and was the first endowment of this kind established for Persian studies.

To learn more about the Library’s Persian studies collection and ways to support it, contact Mohamed Hamed, Middle East and African Studies librarian, at mseoud@email.unc.edu, or Emily Silverman, associate director of library development, at essilver@email.unc.edu.

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