Assyrians from Persia (Iran) to the United States, 1887-1923 Exhibit Event and Lecture | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Assyrians from Persia (Iran) to the United States, 1887-1923 Exhibit Event and Lecture

March 21, 2024 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Presbyterian Historical Society
Malek Yonan, Assyrian leader of Geogtapah, Urmia, and family, 1892. From the Shedd Family Papers, 1888-1934 at the Presbyterian Historical Society.

Join the Presbyterian Historical Society on March 21 at 5:30pm for an opportunity to view the traveling exhibit, Assyrians from Persia (Iran) to the United States, 1887-1923, and hear more about Presbyterian missionaries in Urmia.

About the exhibit:

Assyrians are the last Aramaic-speaking ethnic community indigenous to a homeland between Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Their communities were transformed by missionary education beginning in the 19th century, but documenting this history through Assyrian voices has proven elusive in the wake of their displacement. This exhibit's unique collection of papers and objects from the Lake Urmia region (Iran), documents the life, travels, and education of one Assyrian-Iranian family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The letters, journal, historic images, passport, and currency that form the exhibit are intended to highlight the importance of archiving and preserving family-held documents that enhance deeper understanding of the modern evolution of social and cultural change, especially among indigenous minority populations.

Learn more about the traveling exhibit.

6:00pm: Talk by Dr. Hooman Estelami of Fordham University
Presbyterian Missionaries and the Assyrian Bridge to America During the Qajar Era

Dr. Estelami will discuss the work of the first community of Presbyterian missionaries based in the city of Urmia in northwestern Persia during the Qajar era. Focusing on the domains of education, medicine, and evangelism, Estelami will use mission reports, missionary correspondence, diaries, biographies, and archival photographs to delve into missionary service to the Assyrian population of the region. Estelami will also discuss how this community of missionaries helped protect the Assyrian population of the region in the years leading up to and including World War I.

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Philadelphia, PA 19083