Why the Hebrew Revival Succeeded While the Attempted Revival of Ancient Iranian Failed

Sept. 20 2018

Born to a Zoroastrian (or Parsee) family in India, Manekji Limji Hataria (1813-1890) dedicated most of his life to improving the circumstances of his coreligionists in both India and Iran, advocating for their civil rights and trying to ameliorate widespread poverty and illiteracy. But another cause close to his heart was the revival of the pre-Islamic Persian language—a language related to, but very different from, modern Farsi—in which ancient Zoroastrian religious texts, as well as an impressive literary corpus, are written. Hataria’s efforts roughly coincided with those of Eliezer Ben-Yehudah (1858-1922), who contributed more than anyone to the creation of modern Hebrew. Sara Molaie compares their efforts, and contrasts Ben-Yehudah’s success with Hataria’s ultimate failure:

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Read more at Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

More about: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, History & Ideas, Iran, Language, Modern Hebrew, Zoroastrianism

 

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy