CIRA 21st Annual Meeting, Northridge, California, March 28-30, 2003

Persian Gulf Members’ Participation at Center for Iranian Research and Analysis (CIRA)

CIRA held its twenty-first annual meeting at California State University, Northridge, on March 28-30, 2003. The event featured twenty panels, one field study report, one keynote speech, two plenary sessions, and one slideshow. Two well known Middle East specialists, namely Professors Nikki Keddie (UCLA) and Gary Sick (Columbia University), spoke at this year’s conference.

The sessions which we attended were useful, and we used the opportunity to promote the Persian Gulf Taskforce. Also, during an interview with a local radio show, Mohammad Ala explained the mission of the Persian Gulf Taskforce and provided its website address to the listeners.

On Sunday March 30, Javad Fakharzadeh, Mohammad Ala, and Amir Naghshineh-Pour spoke about Iran’s legacy in the Persian Gulf. After a brief introduction, a slide show summarizing history, membership, and accomplishments was presented to an eager audience.

During the questions and answer time, a number of useful comments and suggestions were presented. Several attendees objected to listing Ebi as an abuser in the website because he was the first person who sang the Persian Gulf song. Moreover, one person indicated it was written in his Dubai contract not to sing the Persian Gulf song. After the meeting, we discussed Ebi’s issue in a great length. The board voted to issue the following statement about Ebi:

“Given the very patriotic nature of the song “Kahlidj Fars,” great benefit will come from its dissemination to the public in Iran and abroad, so the Board decided that every Iranian should assess his/her procurement and involvement of Ebi’s products and concerts on a personal basis.”

We welcome Ebi to our community and will support his right to sing the Kahlidj Fars song whenever an opportunity arises. At the CIRA conference, a poet told the audience that a poem about Khalidj Fars has been written and another singer will soon be performing the poem.

According to the conference organizers, the Persian Gulf session was well organized and presented. It created interest among the attendees, and several new members joined our taskforce the same day. We would like to use this opportunity to thank the organizing committee members of CIRA for providing the Persian Gulf members an opportunity to present Iran’s legacy and to examine the history of Persian Gulf.

Because of the success of this year’s event, the Board has decided to continue to participate in this or similar conferences (both in Iran and outside of Iran) to promote Persian Gulf history and its legacy. Participating in conferences is one way of promoting our Iranian identity and history.