Art And Culture

Tributes to Lady of Knowledge

Tributes  to Lady of  Knowledge Tributes  to Lady of  Knowledge

A function to pay tributes to Dr. Badr-al-Zaman Qarib, the high-profile Iranian linguist and Sogdian language expert, was held on Saturday, (November 29) at the premises of the Iran Society for the Appreciation of Cultural Works and Dignitaries.

The event was attended by Gholam-Hossein Haddad-Adel, president of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, Hojat-ol-Islam Ali Younesi, President Rouhani's advisor on ethnic affairs, and a number of key personalities in Iran's literature and cultural circles, MNA reported.

Dr. Mehdi Mohaghegh, society president, commenced the ceremony saying that "Qarib is indeed a lady from a family of knowledge; as her great grandfathers were among the elites of not only the Persian language but Arabic, as well."

Qarib herself is a preeminent figure in linguistics and had the chance of apprenticeship with the most celebrated figures within and outside Iran, he added.

Haddad-Adel acknowledged Mohaghegh's efforts to pay homage to Iranian dignitaries and said "Dr. Qarib is a world-class figure in literature and linguistics and the only permanent female member of the Language Academy."

"On Sogdian language, most probably her works are the most accredited and authentic reference, which is an honor for all Iranians," he asserted. Sogdian, an eastern Iranian language is spoken in the Central Asian region of Sogdiana, located in modern-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Sogdian is one of the most important Middle Iranian languages.

Haddad-Adel also admired the octogenarian Qarib's personality and moral principles.

  Difficult Path

Dr. Jaleh Amouzgar, chairman of the department of Ancient Iranian Culture and Languages at Tehran University, praised her fellow female compatriot and noted "she has passed a difficult path toward success."

Amouzgar further added there are many talented people but not all of them achieve the extent of knowledge and success that Qarib has reached.  Qarib has made the best use of every opportunity she has been granted, inside and outside the country. "Gratification, I believe, is the feeling she has when looking at her life in retrospect," Amouzgar stated.

Dr. Zohreh Zarshenas another speaker elaborated on Qarib's scholarly status and achievements in Persian literature and language. "Today, we hail a woman who has shed light on a least explored area of Iranian literature and has contributed immensely to sustain the greatness of this ancient culture," she said.

Badr-al-Zaman Qarib expressed her gratitude to the organizers of the function and said she dedicated her whole life "to my books, teaching and research. To witness my students becoming senior professors and researchers is truly overwhelming."

She briefly described the steps she had taken and the hardship she went through to reach the high academic echelon and added: "Currently I am gathering the collection of Sogdian vocabulary which has not been included in the existing dictionary; to be published as a small dictionary complementing the previous one."

Qarib further revealed the composition of a Balkhi language glossary. To acclaim her lifetime of scientific work and research, she was granted an honorable mention with the golden emblem of the society signed by Mohaghegh.

In 1997 and 2006 two of Qarib's works, "Extinct Languages" – A joint translation with Yadollah Samareh, written by Johannes Friedrich – and "The Dictionary of Sogdian Language" – in three languages of Sogdian-Persian-English – were selected as the book of the year and awarded the "World Book Award" by the ministry of culture.