Some comments about our oral history program
Understanding the Modern History and Culture of Iran through Life Stories

June 2002
T
his Association, which was established in Berlin in June 2000 and is headed by Hamid Ahmadi, is a member of the International Oral History Association (IOHA). It aims to build up archives of the recollections of all Iranian social groups and interests and, in this way, to preserve the historical legacy of the Iranian people. One key motive for its foundation is the realisation that every year we lose several prominent Iranian who, regrettably, leave no record of their life experiences and contributions in the fields of politics, science, literature, arts and other areas of life…".details
Bulletin of the International Oral History Association, Vol. 1, Num. 1, June 2002, PP. 63 - 64.

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August 2006
As of August 2006, Columbia University has acquired a valuable collection containing about five hundred hours of interviews in DVD format. Although transcripts are not available, there is a complete catalogue of the contents. The DVDs will reside in Columbia’s Oral History Collection…
With every passing year several Iranians who once played a significant role in that country’s recent history perish without leaving any record of their experiences and contributions in the fields of politics, science, literature, the arts and other fields. The Research Association for Iranian Oral History, based in Berlin, Germany and led by Dr. Hamid Ahmadi, seeks to preserve this historical legacy of the Iranian people and to build up archives of the recollections of all Iranian groups with an emphasis on individuals who did not always belong to the core state-elite.

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said
Professor of Arab Studies and Director of the Middle East Institute,
Columbia University
From
Newsletter Fall 2006, Middle East Institute, Columbia University

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Harvard University Library, Annual report 2008-2009
The Middle Eastern Division in Wiender Library enjoyed a beautiful year of acquisition in over 60 languages. The Persian collection benefited greatly from the acquisition of the Iranian Oral History DVD collection, a set of more than 200 videodiscs containing some 475 hours of interviews … in an effort to document the people and organizations behind the resistance the Pahlavi Dynasty brought down by the revolution of 1979. The collection was produced largely through the efforts of Hamid Ahmadi, founder of the Research Association for Iranian Oral History in Berlin.
http://hul.harvard.edu/publications/ar0809/B03-significant-acquisitions.html

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September 9, 2013

Oral history collection of the Research Association for Iranian Oral History in Berlin is an important resource of Iranian oral history.
International Society for Iranian Studies

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February 2, 1995
My Dear Friend Ahmadi,
Your Iranian oral history research is urgently necessary to study Iran,s modern history.”
Bozorg Alavi, Professor of literature and modern history of Iran, Humboldt University, Berlin

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November 5, 2003
In Iran- -as in the rest of the world- - conventional history saw the past mainly through the eyes of those at the top of society - - through the perceptive of courtiers, landlords, tribal chiefs, religious notables, government officials, and, of course, royal chroniclers. Dr. Hamid Ahmadi belongs to a new generation writing history from below. In this massive oral history project in Berlin out of which have come a series of published memoirs, including Khaterat-e Bozorg Alavi, Maham dar in Khaneh Haqi Darim, and the latest one entitled Gozar Az Tofan: Khaterat-e Morteza Zarbakht, Dr. Ahmadi has preserved for posterity the ideas, sentiments, experiences, lives, and what the French Annales School calls the mentalities of those not belonging to elite- - some of whom actually came from the lower middle class and even the working class. It is through endeavours such as that of Dr. Ahmadi that we will be able to construct a history of modern Iran from below. Without such painstaking endeavours we would inadvertently perpetuate the conventional tradition of writing of history from above- - seeing the past through the eyes of either past or present rulers. As a historian of modern Iranian politics I am eternally grateful to Dr. Hamid Ahmadi for his Research.
Ervand Abrahamian  Distinguished Professor of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics.

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December 10, 2002

My esteemed Friend Hamid Ahmadi,
I congratulate you on your persistence and continued efforts in Iranian oral history, despite the numerous restrictions, difficulties and financial hardships.  I have read your latest book, A Study of Islamic Revolution in Iran. Both your research and your scholarship are testaments to your hard work. 
Wishing you the best of health,
Babak Amir Khosravi, Researcher of Iran’s Political History, Former Member of Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran, a Founder of Democratic People’s Party of Iran and United Republicans of Iran

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March 1, 2003
Dear Scholar, Rear-Admiral Ahmadi,
Your prolific work on oral history will be everlasting.
Wishing you grace and health,
Dr. Mohammad Asemi, Author and Journalist

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April 11, 2012
Dear Mr. Ahmadi,
I admire your invaluable work in Iranian oral history which you have always pursued with meticulous care and broad vision. 
Wishing you continued success,

Dariush Ashoori, Author, Noted Iranian Thinker and Scholar

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December 28, 1995
Dear Esteemed Mr. Hamid Ahmadi,
Your hard work in the gathering of oral history is most valuable for the younger generations.  Such research is an indispensable tool for independent thought and decision making. 
Wishing you continued success and happiness,
Dr. Abolhassan Bani Sadr, First President of Iran’s Republic

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November 8, 2012
Dear Mr. Ahmadi,
Your oral history collection is an extremely valuable resource for the histories of contemporary political science and intellectualism.  I applaud your having undertaken such important project.
My best wishes,
Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science, Director of Program in Islamic Civilizations and Societies, Boston College, Massachusetts, United States of America

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February 7, 2009
Dear Mr. Ahmadi,
Last week I succeeded in reading your book the Memoir of Bozorg Alavi.  Your work in oral history was so fascinating that I *simply had to write* these few words of appreciation for your hard work. 
Sincerely,
M. F. Farzaneh, Author

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September 11, 2013
Dear Esteemed Mr. Ahmadi,
With gratitude for your hard work in illuminating the dark corners of Iranian contemporary history through your collection of Iranian oral history. 
Wishing you good health and success,
Roohangiz Karachi, Professor of Contemporary Persian Literature, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran.

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December 2014
Dear Dr. Ahmadi,
You have taken up quite a significant and memorable initiative and a necessary reshaping in our perception of the past.  My utmost respect and regards for you and your work in oral history. 

Ahmad Karimi Hakkak, Professor of Persian, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Director of Middle East Studies, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States of America

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April 30, 2013
Dear Mr. Ahmadi,
Your work regarding Iran’s oral history is a great undertaking, this is an unprecedented act in the history of Iran and you have enabled the transfer of this history to Iran’s future generations. 
Wishing you success,
Dr. Abdolkarim Lahiji, the President of the International Federation of Human Rights

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February 29, 1996
Dear Esteemed Mr. Ahmadi,
I have carefully examined your oral history program.  In my opinion, the research that has gone into this work is a great service to Iran’s contemporary history and culture.
With respect and regards,

Dr. Habib Lajevardi, Director of the Iran Oral History Project (1982-1987), Harvard University, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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November 3, 1997
Dear Cherished Friend, Honorable Dr. Ahmadi,
Your research in Iranian oral history is invaluable and is a great service to current and future generations. 
Dr. Ahmad Madani, the Defense Minister and Commander of Iran’s Navy (1979) and second elect in the First Presidential election of Iran (1980)

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February 2, 2015
It is an unparalleled service to gather diverse Iranian perspectives through oral history, including those who have worked for Iran’s social and cultural progress through their professional, political, and social contributions.  This project introduces and records the struggles of those whose efforts have not been included in the dominant historical narratives. This knowledge has been gathered with very little financial support and through your tremendous determination.  It provides access to younger generations and continues a century long struggle for cultural, social and economic progress as well as the establishment of political democracy and human rights in Iran.  
Wishing your success,
Haideh Moghissi, Professor in Department of Equity Studies, Founder of the Iranian National Union of Women and member of its first executive and editorial board, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

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December 10, 1997
Dear Ahmadi,
I sincerely thank you.  You are doing invaluable work in oral history.
Wishing you continued success,
Bagher Momeni, Author and Historiographer

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March 2015
Dear Hamid Ahmadi,
With gratitude for all of your efforts and determination for producing this historical collection.

Shahrzad Mojab, Professor in Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Director of Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

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February 2, 2015
Our Dear Esteemed Friend Hamid Ahmadi,
Despite limited resources has single handedly taken up the enormous task of accumulating numerous oral narratives in Iranian history.  This a feat worthy of institutions or cultural foundations with significant funding and staffing.  This archive facilitates needed reflection on the turbulent events of 20th century Iran by progressive activists who have fought against religious reactionaries, political autocracy and foreign dominations.  This is especially critical at a time when the Islamic regime is busy presenting the historical realities as upside down.
Saeed Rahnema, Professor of Political Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

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March 2015
Dear Mr. Ahmadi
My best wishes and gratitude for your important cultural and historical services throughout these years.  I am thankful for your invaluable work in the field of Iranian oral history.
Nayereh Tohidi, Professor in Department of Gender and Women Studies, Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic  Studies, California State University Northridge, California, United States of America

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June 3 2009
Dear Mr. Hamid Ahmadi, 
Your unparalleled Iranian oral history archive, created through your endless efforts, is a brilliant and lasting work.  I congratulate you for such a historic creation. 
Fereydun Vahman, Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark

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