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Iran: What’s in a Name? Historically known as Persia until 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi asked for the country to be called by its native name Iran means.

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Presentation on theme: "Iran: What’s in a Name? Historically known as Persia until 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi asked for the country to be called by its native name Iran means."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iran: What’s in a Name? Historically known as Persia until 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi asked for the country to be called by its native name Iran means “Land of the Aryans” Persia derived from ancient Greek name for Iran, Persis Name comes from a region in southern Iran called Pars

2 Location Asia: The Middle East North: former Soviet Republics South: Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman East: Afghanistan, Pakistan West: Turkey, Iraq Major Cities: Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Esfahan, Shiraz

3 Map: The Persian Cat

4 Shahyad Square, Tehran

5 Early History 6,000 years of civilization and 2,500 years of written history. 1,400 years of post-Islamic history since the Arab conquest in 7th century AD: religious and national subordination and never-ending conflict. Median Dynasty (728-550 BC): created first Iranian Empire Safavid Dynasty (1502-1736): conversion of population towards Shi’ism Qajar Dynasty (1781-1925): constitutional dynasty; British and Russian spheres of influence

6 Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979) Ruled Iran from the crowning of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925 to the overthrow of Reza Shah Pahlavi's son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. By the mid-1930s Reza Shah's dictatorial style of rule caused dissatisfaction among some groups Dynasty collapsed following widespread uprisings in 1978 and 1979. Its collapse marks a break in the ancient tradition of Iranian monarchy.

7 Islamic Revolution (1979) Transformed Iran from a monarchy under Pahlavi dynasty to an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. It has been called the third great revolution in history Helped make Islamic fundamentalism a political force Constitution based on rule by Islamic jurists Khomeini—Supreme leader (lifetime appointment) President—Head of the Government Cabinet Supreme Court Legislation

8 1980s—strained time with US 52 U.S. diplomats held hostage by group of Iranian terrorists who took over American embassy in support of the Islamic revolution. 444 day hostage crisis ended in 1981 The incident was seen by many as a blow against U.S. influence in Iran and its support of the recently fallen Shah of Iran, Pahlavi, who had recently been allowed into the United States for cancer treatment. In Iran, the crisis is thought to have strengthened the political hold of radical anti-American forces who supported the hostage taking. The crisis also marked the beginning of American legal action, or sanctions, that weakened economic ties between Iran and America.

9 Iranian Demographics Population—nearly 70 million Life expectancy at birth—69 years Birth rate—17 per 1,000 persons Death rate—6 per 1,000 persons Literacy rate—72%

10 Ethnicity and Religion Although there are various sub-groups, the majority of Iranians would say their religion is Islam. The largest ethnic group in Iran is Persians, followed by Azeris.

11 Economy Mixed System: Large and dominating public sector Small private sector Multinational corporations Structure: Agriculture 24% Industry 28% Services 48% Major Exports : petroleum, carpets, nuts Major Imports : capital goods, food items Unemployment rate: 16% and rising

12 A Youth Powered Society Youth Demographic Between 15-29 years old—25 million (35%) Median age—26 years old Legal voting age—16 years old Issue of high concern High unemployment

13 Women in Iran Higher Education—65% Changing Marriage and Child Custody Laws Shirin Edabi: Nobel Peace Prize 2003 Professional life Women in all aspects of work force Inequality in senior and managerial jobs

14 Women and the Islamic Dress Code

15 An Advanced and Cultured Society: Science Avicenna father of early modern medicine (11 th century) Biruni first anthropologist (11 th century)

16 Science (cont.) Mina Bissel Possible Nobel Peace prize candidate for her scientific work in the field of cancer biology and therapeutics

17 Art, Media, and Sport Andre Agassi Former world #1 professional tennis player. Freddie Mercury Lead singer of Queen

18 Art, Media, and Sport (cont.) Christiane Amanpour Chief International Correspondent for CNN Abbas Kiarostami internationally acclaimed film director; received 100 awards; President of Cannes Film Festival in 2005

19 Business Farzad Nazem Chief Technology Officer and Executive VP of Yahoo! Firouz Naderi Associate Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

20 Business (cont.) Pierre Omidyar Founder and chairman of eBay Omid Kordestani Senior VP for World Wide Sales and Field Operations of Google

21 Cuisine Very diverse, with each province featuring its own dishes Base of the cuisine: rice Most common ingredients include herbs, vegetables, saffron, nuts World capital of caviar Earliest wine production in Iran between 6000 and 5000 BC Shiraz wine: produced in 9 th century— finest wine in Middle East

22 Nowrooz—Iranian New Year Established in 1388 First day of Spring (equinox) Symbolic—rebirth, renewal Family celebration without religious connotation Traditions: house cleaning, new clothes, special dishes, family visiting, Haft-Sin table

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