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Oklahoma State University

Indigenous rights activist set for Iranian and Persian Gulf studies series

Thursday, September 8 2016

The Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies (IPGS) program at Oklahoma State University will host Professor Taghi Farvar, an activist in defending traditional and conservation rights of indigenous tribes, for three speeches, scheduled for Sept. 14-16.

Farvar’s  visit to campus is made possible by a generous donation from Ali Fazel, CEO Accurate Environmental in Stillwater. The Dr. Fazel Speaker Series at OSU will host top-ranked academic scholars, policymakers and think-tankers who are specialists in the areas of contemporary Iran and the Persian Gulf, during the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

For several years, Farvar, a member of an Iranian Azerbaijan tribe, has been engaged in defending the rights of indigenous people over their ancestral domains and promoting understanding of the primary role of indigenous nomadic tribes as the original nature conservationists of their lands. Farvar chairs the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CENESTA) in Iran, and serves as president of the ICCA consortium (Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas), headquartered in Switzerland. 

Farvar will give three talks, starting with “Governance of Nature Conservation in Iran: An Evolving Scene and International Obligations,” which is set for Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. in 108 Wes Watkins Center. He will also speak on “Water and Agriculture Policies and Practices in Iran Today: The Divergence of Technocracy and Civil Society” on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m., and on “Pastoral Nomadism in Today’s Iran and its Future,” on Friday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. Both addresses will be held in room 204 in the Wes Watkins Center.

The Dr. Fazel Speakers Series is organized and moderated by Pedram Khosronejad, Farzaneh Family Scholar and associate director for IPGS in the School of International Studies at OSU.

The Iranian and Persian Gulf studies program was established by a $1.6 million gift from brothers Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh. The total impact of the gift will be more than $6 million after adding matching funds from Boone Pickens and the Oklahoma Legislature. The funding will support a faculty chair and four professorships focused on Iranian and Persian Gulf studies.

Check the website for additional speakers in this series or contact Khosronejad at or 405-744-6197 for additional information.

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