March 5th 2007 The conference Acquaintance with Nanotechnology During the Safavid Period. the speakers Dr. Khosravi from the Center of Nanotechnology of University of Tehran, Dr. Abdolhamid Hajipour, the dean and the managing director of The University of Cultural Heritage, Mr. Fereydun Joneydi, the head of the Bonyad Neyshaboor, and Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani the author of Arms and Armor from Iran as the key speaker.
On Monday 14 Esfand 1385 (March 5, 2007), I was scheduled to deliver a key speech on the history of arms and armor in Iran. The conference took place on the premises of Markaz Amuzesh Aali Miras Farhangi (The University of Cultural Heritage) in Niavaran Palace in Tehran. Ms. Mitra Etezadi and her students were very kind to organize the event there, and Dr. Abdolhamid Hajipour, the dean and managing director of the University of Cultural Heritage, was very kind and fully supported the whole project. The conference was entitled Ashnayi ba Danesh Nanotechnology dar Doreye Safavi (Acquaintance with Nanotechnology During the Safavid Period). The conference was meant to give a short introduction on the making of crucible steel. The title of the conference was influenced by an article by Dr. Paufler in Nature Magazine who had written that crucible steel was based on nanotubes. The scheduled speakers were high-ranking researchers, namely Dr. Khosravi from the Center of Nanotechnology of University of Tehran, who was scheduled to give a speech on the position and stance of nanotechnology research in Iran; Dr. Abdolhamid Hajipour, the dean and the managing director of The University of Cultural Heritage, who was planned to give a speech on the research level and findings of the university; and Dr. Fereydun Joneydi, the head of the legendary Bonyad Neyshaboor, who was going to give a speech on the weapons used in the Shahname. I was scheduled to give the last speech on the history of arms and armor from Iran. I got up early in the morning and went through my slides. I was really happy as I knew that I was going to deliver a talk in Persian. After all those years, speaking in English, German, and Spanish, I was going to talk in my mother tongue in front of my compatriots. I could not even describe my feelings about the kindness of all those kind people who had been helping me through all those years. I went into the hall and saw my parents, who were getting ready to accompany me. I could see the happiness in their eyes. We had a short breakfast and left for Niavaran Palace. We arrived there at 8:30 a.m., and the conference was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. I called the speaker of the students, Mr. Omid Tavoosi. A couple of minutes later, he appeared with a big smile, and we shook hands. I always wondered how nice he was, how welcoming. My compatriots in Iran were all so friendly, and one could really feel the Iranian hospitality everywhere. I gave him my laptop and the CD with the slides that were prepared by Legat Publishers. He explained that everything was going well, and we went into the conference hall. I saw the other students; they all greeted us with a big smile, and I saw how dedicated they were, running all over the place and making sure that everything was planned accordingly. Omid told me that they were expecting over 300 participants. Twenty minutes to the start of the conference, we went down to the conference hall. There, I was introduced to Dr. Khosravi from the Center of Nanotechnology of University of Tehran, who warmly greeted me. I also met a number of specialists and directors who had been helping me in my research and work. I saw Mr. Javaheri, the managing director of the Cultural Institute of Bonyad, who approached me with a warm welcome. I thought how nice a gentleman he was. Mr. Javaheri had been helping me so much in my research and was truly a big companion and supporter of my work
I saw his representative, Mr. Babai, and also other colleagues and friends from the Cultural Institute of Bonyad: Ms. Mitra Etezadi, Mr. Payandan, Mr. Amini, Mr. Saberi, and Mr. Faridi. I was really happy and proud to see that all specialists from Bonyad were present there. Ms. Etezadi always has been very helpful and kind and really supportive of my research throughout these years. Then, I saw Ms. Suri Ayazi from the National Museum of Iran, who greeted me. I was happy to see her. Ms. Ayazi is the director of Luristan and Historical Departments of the National Museum of Iran and has helped me a lot to conduct my research. I also saw Ms. Parisa Kord Beigli, the head keeper and curator of Reza Abbasi Museum. I was really happy to see her. She has been a great help for my research as well. Then, I saw Colonel Shahab Shadbahr from the Military Museum of Tehran, who had been helping me throughout all these years. A couple of minutes later, Mr. Joneydi arrived as usual with his big smile, and one could feel his strong personality. The conference started with the speech of Dr. Khosravi, who gave a short and interesting introduction on the state of nanotechnology research in Iran, followed by the speech of Dr. Hajipour, who gave a short and interesting speech on the research findings of the University of Cultural Heritage. The next speaker was Dr. Joneidi, who gave a very interesting speech on the meaning and usage of weapons mentioned in the Shahname, explaining the wrong interpretations of some terms. It was really interesting and revealing to listen to his explanations. Then, I was the next speaker and gave a speech on my findings and on the making of crucible steel. I invited questions during my speech, and many participants provided them. During the question-and-answer session, I realized that the famous Iranian TV host and journalist, Mr. Darisuh Kardan, was also among the audience and asked me a question. After I finished my lecture, I saw everyone giving me a standing ovation. That is a feeling that I can not even describe, a feeling of respect and appreciation for my book. Then, I saw Ms. Etezadi, Ms. Javaheri, Dr. Hajipour, Ms. Masume Jalilkhani (another speaker of the students), and Mr. Omid Tavoosian approach the lectern. Dr. Hajipour shook my hand and handed me an award from the University of Miras Farhangi, praising my work and research. I was really overwhelmed. Ms. Etezadi came and handed me a copy of the book Iran: The Ancient Land. Then, Mr. Javahri handed me a bouquet of flowers. I was really overwhelmed and thanked all of them and looked at the attendants who were still applauding. I walked down, went to my seat, and looked at the smiling faces of my compatriots. Many people approached me and congratulated me for my book. I had the opportunity to talk to many Iranian students. Many students gave me their email addresses and said that they would be happy to help me in my next research and book projects. I looked at all those daughters and sons of Iran and realized how proud I was of each one of them. I am also thankful to Ms. Etezadi for all her help during this week. The University of Cultural Heritage in Isfahan, Pardis University, the Graduate School of Conservation and Restoration of Historical Artifacts (Maremat Asar) assigned two of their best students to write their Master theses on arms and armor-related topics. One of them will be on the making of crucible steel, where I am assigned as the first supervisor among four other professors. Ms. Etezadi will also be a part of the examination board. Another graduate student will write about the making and the composition of the bow oil (roghan Kaman), a mystery that has been a puzzle for many researchers and bow makers for years. Both students took part in my lecture, and one of them accompanied us for the research and lecture series during the whole week. I am really happy that with the help of my compatriots, we are about to establish this academic field in Iran.