Legacy, tradition and perseverance

This paper is an invitation to revisit and re-examine facets of one of the most ancient civilizations – Iran – so as to reclaim that heritage and to exercise a degree of control over a historiography which it represents. Its purpose is to add to the voices expressing discontent with the Eurocentric – more specifically Anglo-Saxon – approach to history which considers European history as the core history while the rest of world history languishes in the shadows and on the periphery. It is an invitation to reject the Eurocentric attempt at de-nationalization and de-culturalization of the history of those labeled “people without history” and fabrication of a superficial national identity subject to manipulation.

Several important dimensions of Iran must be appreciated much more fully, such as its long history, rich culture, its philosophical orientation and its intellectual history in the pre-Islamic era (specifically, in the form of the religious and ethical system of Zoroastrianism discussed in part two). Iranian political ingenuity and Iranian identity and nationalism during and after the Arab/Islamic conquest require greater attention and re-examination.

National identities and national consciousness play a fundamental role in shaping the development and the future of socio-economic and political formations. They are the backbone of a strong resistance to hegemonic tendencies of others both internally and externally. And the absence of a historically well grounded and collective identity is one of the greatest obstacles.

— Dr. Mehdi S. Shariati, Ph.D., .

Zahoor. A., (1997), Abu Raihan Muhammad al Biruni, Hansanuddin University.

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