This annual lectureship was established in honor of Farhat J. Ziadeh, whose contributions to the fields of Islamic law, Arabic language, and Islamic studies are truly unparalleled.
The Ziadeh fund was formally endowed in 2001 and since that time, it has allowed MELC to strengthen its educational reach and showcase the most outstanding scholarship in Arab and Islamic Studies.
This lectureship was established in honor of Hooshang Afrassiabi, who passed away on February 14, 1998. By that time, Hooshang and his family had lived in Seattle for almost two decades, having moved to the U.S. after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Mr. Afrassiabi's advanced degrees in Iran had included a focus on administration and government affairs, and he had a distinguished career in government service, including the position of Mayor of the lovely city of Shiraz. But his undergraduate education there had been in Persian literature, a love that he was to cherish for the rest of his life. In 1999 his three sons, all alumni of the UW in various fields, began the establishment of an endowment in their father's name. The endowment supports this lectureship as well as the annual student prize.
The Persian Literature Lecture Series is available for streaming online, sponsored by the Language Learning Center. Recent lectures have included Exiled Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, and Marjane Satrapi.