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Non-profit and Independent Peace Project

Persia Untold Stories

Website: (under construction) Facebook page: Persia Untold Stories Email:

Introduction: "Persia - Untold Stories" is an independent and nonprofit peace project which began in May 2013. The aim is to explore aspects of every day social life in Iran and Iranian culture which may be unfamiliar to non-Iranian people. To live in a friendlier world, first we need to have a brighter idea about each other. We want to share our own stories, as an Iranian who have lived and grown up in Iran, and as those who are traveling with Iranian passport. We would like to talk face to face with people who are interested to know more about Iran and about us. At the same time, we are doing our best to learn more about and from our host country, from its culture and social life; then we will share it in Iran after this journey. This project is non-profit and is not affiliated with any political parties.

Who are we? This project was founded by Komeil Soheili, an Iranian scholar and documentary filmmaker. He graduated in MA in Cultural Studies and Media from University of Tehran in 2010. Right after his studies, he started 6 months backpacking and hitchhiking travel around Iran to know more about the diversity of cultures and traditions of his native country. After that, he has started his documentary careers as a director, assistant director, researcher and plot writer. In May 2013 he left Iran for a travel around the world, where he has started his nonprofit peace project called Persia Untold Stories. Several Iranian Scholars helped him with this project. Including Motahar Amiri, an Iranian scholar and sociologist who has his MA degree in Cultural Studies in Tehran, and also Alisa Shablovskaya, Russian citizen who graduated in Iranian Studies from University of St Petersburg . They participated in the project in Yerevan and St Petersburg (in order).

Why Iran? Iran is a country that is mostly in news because of its political situation in the Middle East and the world. At the same time its a country which less been traveled by travelers of other countries and been isolated for several years under political dusts. However, its also a country of lots of different cultures and long historical background and complicated contemporary lifestyle. We, as citizens of Iran, decided to share our own perspective of our country, as we lived in.

Whats the project contains: 1- Presentation: Its a power point presentation about our personal experience of living and traveling in Iran. We have different topics that we choose in related to the community we are going to talk in. We are also welcoming any ideas and suggestions for new topics. So far, depends on the places, we have presented about: Lifestyle of Iranian young generation in contemporary Iran, Traveling in Iran, Iranian culture and literature, Iranian intercultural relation with different countries (depends on the country we are in). In each presentation, related to the topic, we will introduce some people we know personally and talk about their life stories. We try to choose different characters that represent part of the society. In some presentations we have direct video chat with them, and directly talk with them about and also ask them for updates. Also attendants can talk further with them via Facebook or other social websites, or at least just added them in their friends list to always have a contact that lives in Iran.

2- Iranian movie nights: We show some Iranian contemporary movies with English subtitle, and we discuss about Iranian society and lifestyle related to the movie. 3- Community for travelers who want or already visited Iran (under construction) We are building up a community for travelers to help them in their travel in Iran and connect those who already visited Iran with those travelers who are willing to explore the country. This would be a volunteer community to help travelers explore Iran themselves.

What we have done? 1- Armenia, Yerevan, 21th of June 2013, Scenery art house, Presentation 2- Russia, Rostov na Don, 6th of July2013Creative Space, Presentation 3- Russia, Rostov na Don, 7th of July2013, Creative Space, talk about Life in Tehran, with historical background of the city

4-Russia, St Petersburg, June 22, Ziferblat anti cafe, Presentation 5-Russia, St Petersburg, June 23, Ziferblat anti cafe, talk about Young generation lifestyle in Modern Iran 6- Russia, St Petersburg, June 24, Ziferblat anti cafe, talk about Situation of women in Modern Iran 7- Russia, St Petersburg, 5th of July, British Library, Presentation 8- Russia, St Petersburg, July 13, Books and Cafe, talk about roots of Persian literature in Kiarostami's films 9- Russia, Moscow, August 21, English Club, Presentation 10- Russia, Moscow, August 23, Ziferblat anti cafe, Presentation 11- Russia, Moscow, August 24, Ziferblat anti cafe, Iranian movie night and discussion about Iranian youth lifestyle 12- Russia, Moscow, August 25, Ziferblat anti cafe, Iranian movie night and discussion about everyday life in Tehran 13- Indonesia, Jakarta, August 28, Free Space, Presentation 14- Indonesia, Yogyakarta, October 30, Rumah Inspiri Jogja organization (The house of Inspirations in Yogyakarta), Iranian movie night and presentation about history and culture of Yazd (a city in central parts of Iran)

Parallel projects: 1- After Leningrad, a documentary movie. Komeil Soheili directed this documentary movie in St Petersburg with the help of Russians students of Documentary faculty. In this documentary director focused on importance of having tolerance among different beliefs and cultures. 2- Untold Stories of our countries, a project which has been inspired by Persia Untold Stories, in this project, students from different countries around the world will present their own countries as they lived, once a week. Indonesia, Yogyakarta, November 2013 - in process till august 2014, Rumah Inspiri Jogja organization (The house of Inspirations in Yogyakarta)

Support us: This is independent and non-profit project from people of Iran. Your support is vital in enabling Persia Untold Stories to fulfill its mission in sending peace message of Iranians to people of the world and help them understand better the real life and culture of Iran.

Ways to support us: 1234Invite and help Persia Untold Stories in organizing an event in your country/organization Donate ticket / money for traveling costs. Help us in promoting our mission in media coverage. Help us in graphic designs for poster and flyer.

Successful supports stories: 1- J. Talebi, an Iranian web designer supported us with making a website for our project, so we got more chance to spread our message worldwide. 2- M. Zahra, an Indonesian scholar and manager of fish company supported us with the plane ticket to Indonesia and organized different venues in some cities in Indonesia, where we could continue our project in far east. 3- Ziferblat Anti Caf in Russia organized different venues for us and also donated 50% of their one day costs to Persia Untold Stories.

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