“Beyond the Border”: Iranian scholar publishes diary of trips to Tajikistan

January 22, 2022 - 18:8

TEHRAN – An Iranian regional studies graduate has published an account of his two journeys to Tajikistan in a book entitled “Beyond the Border”.

Ehsan Safarzadeh made the trips, each of which lasted one month, in summer 2007 and winter 2016. 

In a preface to the book published by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), he declines to call it a travelogue.

“For the most part, the book contains my memories of the trips written in the form of diaries, which do not come in succession,” 

The main aim of the book is to raise readers’ knowledge of the Khorasan region and Transoxiana.

The first chapter begins from the Balkh Wilayat and goes on with crossing the Amu Darya and Farah Roud, two major rivers in Central Asia and Afghanistan. In the second chapter, the book focuses on Tajikistan.

In one of his diaries, Safarzadeh wrote, “During my stay, I never heard the people in Dushanbe say that they listen to Tajiki Radio, a Tajik radio channel airing from IRIB’s Khorasan Center!”

“Later, I found out that the radio has no signal in Dushanbe at all, and the people of the city listen to BBC and Radio Azadi, the Afghan branch of the U.S. government.

“A question arose for me as to why there is nothing about Tajikistan in Iranian media. There are a few TV series [in Iran] in which a Tajik character has a minor role in their stories. There is no trace of the people of this part of the Khorasan region in the historical series. Even in the Iranian news media, no news about Tajikistan has been published over the years.

“What is the reason for this? Doesn’t IRIB have an office or a representative in Tajikistan? I asked. They said that IRIB does have an office at such and such an address. I headed for that location; there was a semi-abandoned building.” 

In the book, Safarzadeh also talked about Tajik media’s frequent references to Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who has held the post since 16 November 1994.

According to the book, Rahmon is referred as “leader”, “master of the government” and “founder of peace” in the Tajik media.  

Photo: Copies of Iranian scholar Ehsan Safarzadeh’s book “Beyond the Border”. 

MMS/YAW

Leave a Comment

1 + 4 =