(prepared by Maziar Behrooz)


This is a work in progress.  Few years ago I decided to trace my family history as far back as possible. As an historian I found this to be appropriate and exciting.  But I have not been able to go back further than the middle of the nineteenth century on either side of my family.  This is of course a personal project but it is also a view into lives who may otherwise never "register" in "history."  Lives of people, some of whom I personally knew,  but all of whom were related to me and had a role in shaping my life.  At the same time they were all members of a much larger human society. People who loved and made love, worked, raised family, got old and...! The work is not complete but below you can see a glimpse of a much more detailed history, including pictures of people living and long gone.
This is a picture of my grandmother's old telephone. Her name was Seddiqeh Seddiqi-Nozari (Behrooz). She did not live long (1908-70/1290-1348 H.S) and died at 62.  She had schooling up to sixth grade and was a great teller of stories. I was the first son of her first son and we had a very close relationship.  She produced short and long stories on my demand as well as quality chocolate whenever we met.  When we could not meet, we spent hours talking on phone where she would tell me stories using this very telephone. The telephone is German made and in mint condition with Persian/Arabic as well as Latin numbers. It is in my possession now and is a reminder of her brief, gentle presence in my life.

And here she is, at a tender young age, before and after marriage. She was a beauty.



The Behrooz family (my father's side) from Hamadan, Persian speakers.  The picture was taken in mid-1930s.  Standing left to right: Zahra (a household attendant), Kal Farhad (aka Kali, another attendant) holding my aunt Mahin (1933-1938) who died at about this age.  Sitting left to right: Seddiqeh Nozari (1908-1969) my grandmother, Jahangir (1926-2014) my father with the funny hat and school uniform and Abd al-Ghaffar Behrooz (1898-1980) my grandfather.  Sitting on front are my aunts Tahereh (b.1928-left) and Parvin (b.1931-right).  An older sister, Eshrat (b.1924), is not in this photo and another son, Bahman, was not born until 1947.

My paternal grandparents with me in 1967 (photo by JB)



The Khosravi family (my mother's side)   Turkish speaking Azaris from Ardabil region who had migrated to Baku where my mother was born.  Their family name in Russia was Ghaffarov but they had to change it to Khosravi-Azarbaijani, upon expulsion from the USSR in 1929 and entering Iran.  Iranian authorities did not like Russian sounding names. 
Photo (below) was taken in Baku, Azarbaijan SSR, before the family's arrival in Iran (1929) without my grandfather who was expelled already.  Standing left to right: Mohammad (1919-1936/1297-1315 H.S.) my older uncle who died at the age of eighteen.  Agha Baji (1909-2002) my older aunt who  was  the real head of the household after the family's arrival in Iran and passed away at the age of 92. Taqi  (1921-1968) my uncle who passed away at the age of forty seven. Seated left to right: Khadijeh (1895-1953) grandmother I never met holding my mother Sara. Next is my youngest uncle Khosrow (1927-2015) and my other aunt Sorayya (1924-2010). Below (right): Rahman Khosravi-Azarbaijani (Ghaffarov-1880-1943) grandfather I never met. The photo's date is in 1910s.