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Emine Dağtekin and Semra Hillez

Southeast Anatolia in Turkey is a region where important centres of early Christianity could be found. In Gaziantep, which was named “Little Bukhara” during the reign of Egyptian Mamluks, many Armenian churches have been documented. However, most of them have been destroyed or used for different purposes. The paper is dedicated to the study of three Armenian churches in Gaziantep where Armenians lived until the early 20th century. The history, the plan and frontal structures, ornaments of these churches are presented for the first time.

Hrach Martirosyan

This paper aims to present seven Armenian personal names of Iranian origin from the Armenian historical provinces of Siwnik‘ and Arc‘ax: Dadi/Dadoy, Kohazat, Marhan, Mrhapet, Niw-dast, Niw-Xosrov, and *Oyz/Uz. These names are scantily attested in literature (almost all of them being hapaxes) and are, therefore, little known to scholarship.

Murtazali Gadjiev

The article describes a Muslim grave, dated 915 A.H. (1509-10 A.D.), found near the citadel of Derbent. According to the epitaph, the stela was erected on the tomb of Shah Vali b. Shaqil who was assigned the title of šahīd al-sa‘īd (“happy martyr”). The date on the grave refers to the period of the military actions at the walls of Derbent, particularly to the siege of the city by the troops of Shah Ismail Safavi.

Pauline Niechciał

The article reflects on the idea of both calendric time and its material supports used by the Zoroastrians of Iran in reference to the identity of the group. The qualitative analysis of the data collected during the fieldwork among the Zoroastrian community has shown that a distinctive time-reckoning system plays the role of an important marker that strengthens the community’s Zoroastrian identity in the face of Muslim domination. In the post-Revolutionary Iran, the calendar is one of the key pillars of the Zoroastrians’ collective self-awareness—both as an idea of a specific time-reckoning system designating ritual activities, and as a material subject that acts as a medium to promote specific values and ideas.

Charlotte Hille and Renée Gendron

This article recounts the story of how the Circassians have been able to raise awareness of their deportation in the 1860s during the Caucasian Wars. After a brief methodology the authors provide an overview of the Circassian history. The second section analyses the period when the Circassian population came under Russian rule after the 1860s. The third part focuses on three broad approaches or strategies used by several Circassian groups to increase the awareness of the Circassian subjugation in the 1860s. The last two sections discuss some of the changes that have occurred as a direct result of the work undertaken by Circassian organisations. The authours argue that the Circassians have created lieux de mémoire, especially since the beginning of the 1990s, what does not always overlap with the dominant Russian perception of history in the North Caucasus. The analysis demonstrates how the Circassians have (re)discovered their story and the impact of this new information on their actions.

Hamid Ahmadi

Taking Iran-Tajikistan cultural relations as its case study, this article tends to say that despite the important role of culture and civilization in foreign policy, politics and the political factors also have a vital place in shaping the relations between states in global and regional levels. Moreover, as the author argues, political factors play even more important role and are able to somehow overshadow the common cultural and civilizational ties. The destiny of Iran-Tajikistan cultural cooperation, especially the efforts in reviving the ancestral Arabo-Persian alphabet to replace the Russian (Cyrillic) one, explains how politics in general and political differences in particular, brought those enthusiastic and cherished efforts into a stalemate if not a deadlock.

Haggai Ram

The paper presents a review of a monograph by Lior Sternfeld, Between Iran and Zion, published recently on Jewish histories in 20th-century Iran. The author analyses this book within the context of previous scholarship on Iranian Jews and other Middle Eastern Jewries.

Peter Nicolaus and Serkan Yuce

Yezidi communities throughout the world are struggling with their collective identity; each at a varying and somewhat differing stage of self-discovery. While the present paper does seek to elaborate upon this journey for the Yezidis in Transcaucasia, Germany, Canada, and the USA, its main focus remains the analysis of the political developments in the Yezidi heartland of Northern Iraq. This is so that the reader may have a fuller picture of the catalysts spurring this Yezidi reimagining. On the one hand, you have the traditional Yezidi leadership caught within a complex series of client-patron relationships with Kurdish leaders: ethnic identification is leveraged for promises of influence and power. While, on the other hand, newly minted Yezidi military commanders, as well as grassroot figures and Yezidi NGOs, are trying to establish themselves as heads of a Yezidi community that is undeniably distinct from their Kurdish neighbours. This paper will further show that the withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the face of the ISIS attack in 2014, the half-hearted responses of the regional Kurdish and Federal Iraqi governments, all coupled with the stalled return of Yezidi refugees contributed to a growing Yezidi movement to cement their identity, as well as satiate a growing urgency to define themselves as a distinct ethnoreligious entity.

Arsen K. Shahinyan

The article is an attempt to restore the approximate number of the people classified by the Shariʽa law as ’ahl aḏ-ḏimma, i.e. gentiles (mostly Christians), who were under the protection of the Arab (Islamic) Caliphate in the vilayet of Armīnīya and in its three administrative units—Armīnīya I, Armīnīya II (Arrān), and Armīnīya III (Djurzan/Ǧurzān).