Yazd Province, with its environmental, geographical, historical and cultural diversities, while depriving from some of God’s gifts, is among the oldest and richest regions of Iran. According to Professor Iraj Afshar, studying this ancient city in terms of urbanization style and standard and combination of society and human manifestations that still has preserved its ancient originality, makes retrieving its history of the lives of residents and communities and past events easier (Afshar, vol. 2, 1975: 1). Therefore, research on each corner of it is a good tool to provide the ground for a profound study for the interested people.
I must thank God that the first edition of this collection was welcomed and many of interested ones were interested in translating it into English. With God’s kindness, this important matter has come true, and now the collection of Yazd from another Perspective is on your hands in both Persian and English. You have the outcome of several years of continuous and demanding work. This book, of course, is not free from flaws, but at least it can be claimed that it is a ground for future research.
In the first edition of this collection, by restricting the field of study and using field and library research as well as interview methods, it was attempted to collect a selection of knowledge and studies on ten major buildings of the historic city of Yazd by benefitting from experienced people and experts’ knowledge and guide. The ten major buildings are: Tomb of Twelve Imams, Grand Jame Mosque of Yazd, Ziaiyeh School (Eskandar’s Prison), Amir Chaqmaq Complex (Amir Chakhmaq), Dakhma-e-Zartoshtian (Tower of Silence), Dolatabad Garden, Lari Mansion, Yazd Water Museum, Zoroastrian Fire Temple and museum of Mirrors and Lighting. The selection index of these ten buildings among the historical monuments of Yazd, was the role of these buildings in the Islamic-Iranian urban drawing in addition to being visited by more tourists.
In this collection, it is tried to publish new knowledge gathered from scholars by the year 2015. The research, after being documented (matching resources) and translated into English, has been published for the use of both domestic and foreign scholars.
After writing the biography of dear interviewees whose knowledge has been used in writing this work, the writing begins with definitions of major names. Then, with the division of the book into ten chapters, the writing of the work has continued. Each chapter is based on one of these ten buildings. The beginning of each chapter is illustrated with a pictorial identity certificate (a picture of the building) about the building and brief information about the building. Each chapter contains five parts as follows:
- The Building History: In this section, historical developments of the building have been discussed from the beginning to the present day;
- The Building Location: In this section, the current location of the building is specified;
- The Building Use: Since each building loses its main function over time, this section describes the building use;
- The Building Architectural and Artistic Effects: In this section, some information is provided on the architectural and decorative structures and arrays of the building;
- Common Narratives Concerning the Building: Since in research works, narratives or oral history, sometimes clarify the distortions regarding the issue, this section contains information that has been included in field research concerning cases such as rituals and ceremonies, as well as narratives about the building.
Finally, the book ends with images and bibliography, but this is not the end.
The dynamic and active of the narrators’ views are an interesting point of this work. In order to preserve the intellectual rights of the respected scholars in this collection, their content is indicated by their name.
As the title suggests, Yazd from another Perspective tries to reconsider Yazd in other ways with what has been presented thus far. It is hoped that this work will be a way for interested readers and scholars to benefit from the diverse features of this desert city from different historical, cultural, literary, artistic and architectural perspectives instead of focusing on superstitious, exaggerated and undocumented ideas undermining the value of the historical city of Yazd.
It should be noted that the present collection does not contain all the untold issues, since many professors and scholars have presented valuable books and articles concerning Yazd, but unfortunately they were not alive, or during this four-year period, despite the numerous pursuit of their information, they gave a negative or incomplete response.
It should also not be forgotten that a thorough examination of the situation in Yazd requires scholarly and archaeological studies to uncover many unknowns.
It is worth noting that all the votes and words presented in this book are personal narratives of the narrators, and the author did not play a role in inducing or explaining them.
Finally, it is necessary to thank all those who helped the author in this work as follows:
First of all, Delaram Keymanesh, the competent expert and my honorable friend, helping me step by step since the beginning of the project in its first edition to its new publication with here compassionate consultation;
In addition, all the respected individuals whose interviews or comments have been presented in this collection, especially Ms. Fatemeh Danesh, Sedigheh Golshan, Mr. Hossein Maserat, Dr. Nariman Farahza, Dr. Reza Abouee, Mr. Mohsen Mirjani, and Mr. Saman Kargar whose experience has been the base for this work;
Furthermore, Dr. Hamid Azizi Bandarabadi whose new studies accompanied this collection, especially his article “The Role of Verses, Narratives and Judgments of Islamic Jurisprudence in Framing Urban and Architectural Spaces of Yazd during the Qajar Period”, that was an introduction to the beginning of the chapters “Lari Mansion” and “Yazd Water Museum”.
Moreover, a great and respected professor, Mr. Mohammad Reza Khabiri, who was the art consultant of this collection;
It is worthy of ending the lines with appreciating my dear parents whose loving kindness is and will be the key to all things.
Samaneh Khabiri- Seyed Alireza Lesan