Webinar to discuss Arab writers’ views on Jalal Al-e Ahmad

November 22, 2020 - 18:24

TEHRAN – Arab writers’ views about the renowned Iranian novelist and short story writer Jalal Al-e Ahmad will be discussed during a webinar on December 1.

The Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies in Tehran will organize the webinar in collaboration with the Simin and Jalal Museum House, the institute has announced.

Majed Merhej Rabat of Wasit University in Iraq and Ahmad Jad of the Suez Canal University in Egypt will deliver lectures during the webinar, which will begin at 3 pm on https://webinar.ihcs.ac.ir/b/ihc-p3c-jmm. 

Masumeh Nemati Qazvini of the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies and Reza Tavassoli, the director of the Simin and Jalal Museum House, will also attend the online colloquium.

A live visit to the museum will also be arranged during the two-hour session, which will be organized to celebrate the birthday of the writer. 

Born in 1923, Al-e-Ahmad was a prominent Iranian writer, scholar, and social and political critic.

Some of his works, including his most popular polemical essay “Plagued by the West” and his most popular novels “The School Principal”, “By the Pen” and “Lost in the Crowd”, have appeared in English translation.

An English translation of his story “A Stone on a Grave” by Azfar Moin was published by Mazda Publishing in the U.S. in 2008.

The book also contains an in-memoriam essay entitled “Jalal’s Sunset” by his wife, Simin Daneshvar, who was a prominent writer.

In this book, Al-e Ahmad investigates the recesses of his own psyche to explore the roots of his identity as an Iranian male, his manhood. Consciously, he tries to uncover why having children to continue one’s name and legacy, not unlike one’s gravestone, should signify that he had existed.

Al-e Ahmad spent his childhood in relative comfort. Many members of his family, including his father, older brother and a brother-in-law, were all Muslim clerics.

Early in the 1930s, when the Ministry of Justice under Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian monarch who ruled 1921–41, began to regulate the activities of the clergy, Al-e Ahmad’s father went into voluntary retirement. His decision forced young Jalal to leave school and work at various jobs in the marketplace such as watchmaking and selling leather goods.

He was a member of the Tudeh Party, an Iranian Communist organization, and also translated works by French writers André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus into Persian.

In 2008, Iran established the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards in memory of the writer, who passed away in 1969.

Photo: A poster for a webinar that the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies will organize on Arab writers’ views on the Iranian novelist and short story writer Jalal Al-e Ahmad.


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