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Persian Language

Why Study Persian?

Studying Persian will open an intriguing world for you, or at least half of the world as the Persian saying goes! In the Muslim era Modern Persian was the language of politics and literature that culturally connected Anatolia to Central Asia and Northern India. Once you are able to read Persian you have access to the realms of Sufism and Shi’ism where Persian produced a rich body of literature from the poetry of Hafez, Amir Khusraw Dihlavi and Rumi to histories of the Saljuk, Timurid, Safavi, Mughal, and Uzbek empires.

Persian today includes Farsi, Dari and Tajiki dialects, spoken by more than 100 million people in the Middle East (Iran), Central Asia (Tajikistan, parts of Uzbekistan) and the Indian Subcontinent (Afghanistan). Persian languages of the arts and politics continue to animate regional and global politics. The Iranian Revolution of 1979, for example, transformed Iran into a theocracy, put an end to American political influence over the country, and made political Islam a force to be reckoned with globally. Persian will provide you with the tools to explore religiosity, politics, gender and sexuality in the Islamic Republic of Iran. For more information about Persian and Iranian studies at U-M, click here.

Educational Partnership with IMVBox

To give students of Persian further access to language and cultural resources, the Department of Middle East Studies has partnered with Boasting over 1,000 titles, has the largest library of Iranian cinema online available for streaming. By showcasing a large selection of award-winning Iranian films, including features, documentaries, shorts and plays, IMVBox aims to present the diversity, depth and richness of Iranian cinema. IMVBox's mission is to “paint a true picture” of the Middle East.