Oral History of Dr. Kazemi Ashtiani and Royan Research Institute

Mohammad Ali Fatemi
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


A book titled, The Story of Royana: Oral History of Dr. Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani at Royan Research, is the interviews done by Behnam Bagheri and Mohammad Ali Zamanian and is the research and compilation made by Mohammad Ali Zamanian. This book has been compiled in the Studies of Cultural Front of Islamic Revolution Department and was first published by Rahyar Publications in 2019.

Other titles are seen on the cover of the book; one of them is "Oral History of Progress", which represents a collection of works done for compiling this book. Under this title you can see "Jihad Daneshgahi I", meaning it is the first book which deals with the oral history of this revolutionary institution in the oral history of progress. Beside this title the sign of "Ganj" inserted representing the oral history books of the Studies of Cultural Front of Islamic Revolution Department. Next to the title of book you see "Director of Balance of the Islamic Revolution" which refers to the late Dr. Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani. According to the preface of the book: "A man of science and medicine, of sport and literature, of foresight and of teamwork ..." This preface reads: "After the imposed war, a group of young man who returned from the war, came together and decided to set up a research center in which they could solve the problem of 'infertility' in the country for the first time ... “Royan” [research institute]...[is the result of] collective effort of Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani and his friends."

The 198-page The Story of Royana has formed with eleven chapters and six annexes, and in addition to the pictures within the book, contains a number of photos and index of references at the end of the book. "Cultural Revolution", "There was oil and nothing more", "Wishing to have children!", "Royan signboard in Zaferanieh", "Everyone heard Simin's cry!", "We trust!", "A congress with efforts of mad people!", "Reproductive Institute, Research center, Research institute of Royan!", "Believe in Cell Therapy", "Investigating a Secret Project", and "Managing Director of Royan is God" are the titles of this book chapters; and "To be Proud in Rocky Terrain of Sanction!", "The Medical Science Loses a Great Man", "Timeline of Activities and Achievements of Royan Research Institute", "Introduction to Responsibilities, Activities and Honors of Dr. Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani", "Brief Introduction to Cloning", And "Scientific, Educational Research Activities of Royan" are the title of annexes.

The emphasis of The Story of Royana is on the process of founding and operating Royan Research with the presence of Dr. Kazemi Ashtiani, so in the narration of this process, which is based on references and narratives, the narrator’s speech has exactly used. These quotes are usually memorials of narrators whose name has come at the end of each of them.

In the content of Reference, the "Interview with [Dr.] Hossein Baharvand" has the highest number; thirteen interview sessions. Therefore his memoirs were much more and prominent in the book, because he is close to the events and to the main character of the book and has been able to express his memories in detail. His most important memories relate to the pinnacle of experiments and breakthroughs that can be read in the book with regard to the preliminaries and consequences of events.

At the end of this introduction, read page 80 of The Story of Royana. The narrator of the memory in this page is Dr. Baharvand: ‘The research unit spent very difficult days. Royan researchers lacked facilities and had to save heavily on everything from laboratory equipment to food; otherwise the budget did not provide the necessities.’ The condition was so hard and stressful that even a simple Iftar in Ramadan nights had stuck in their minds after many years: "We really had no enough room in the research lab. If we wanted to broke our fast and have some meal, we only had a table on which we put our Iftar, after cleaning it up and laying plastic spread. Also outside the research lab, we made a place where put a samovar for brewing up tea. At the time of breaking the fast, we all gathered there to drink tea together and to break our fast. We were about fifteen to twenty. We ate around that 1 sq.m table. We had that table here for a long time and brought it with us…well… finances of Royan was not good. For Iftar, each of us had three dates, a 1 mm sliced cheese, and a loaf of bread. It was an iftar and we made tea too. We laughed, because if we wanted to have four dates instead of three, we should go to see one of our friends. Because he was a guard; and he said: “It’s impossible, we don't have enough. They’ve gave me these dates and I’ve divided them between all.” (Dr. Hossein Baharvand) with all hardships, however, Royan was able to have three separate research institutes over time as research teams and new research projects were added..."


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