A review of the book "In Memory of Comrades"; a genealogy of the Khorasani tribe

Genealogy and Its Necessity, Relying on Oral History

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Genealogy, as its name revealed, is a methodical and searching effort to obtain and present a clear picture of the background of individuals or a generation in a specific period or different periods of history.

      Today, the importance of this kind of research has increased because of the transformation of societies, especially after the industrial revolution and the displacement of human groups and the change in the status and position of families.

        Since genealogy is a part of social history, it covers a wide area of past human life and culture and studies the structure, process, and outcome of human actions during his lifetime. This part of historical studies, after long-term and perhaps excessive attention to political history, which is the history of those in power and political rulers, pays attention to the history of ordinary people and their social role.

       Genealogy under social history studies the background of society and people's relationships in material and spiritual life based on history. Of course, people's relationships with each other are researched in the collection of components and elements that make up daily life in historical periods. In this section, the types of food, how to prepare them, and in general the nutritional culture of the people, their appearance and clothing, jobs, work tools and daily life tools, leisure and entertainment, games and sports, and family system (including marriage and Management of life and childbirth, etc.) and daily health and the like are paid.

         In this way, genealogy is a suitable framework for understanding historical events, because many transformations occur around a particular generation or lineage, in the heart of political and social events and incidents, or affected by cultural and economic, and even natural and geographical developments.

        In addition to these, genealogical information in different formats helps to accurately recognize people and their position and performance and to distinguish people with the same name from each other.

       The purpose of genealogy is to record the characteristics of events, outside of any uniformity and monotony, and it searches for concepts and meanings in diverse and plural behaviors and narratives, and of course on the surface, not in-depth and against any finality. Genealogy seeks to find discontinuities in areas where others have found nothing but a continuous process of evolution.

       Some thinkers such as Michel Foucault, the famous French philosopher, believe that although the researcher should go deep into things like an explorer, the genealogist has a general and brief view from above and allows the depth of the subject to be observed as deeply as possible.

      As stated in the introduction of the book: "Getting to know the tribes and getting to know their way of life and livelihood, which is mainly rooted in the culture and history of the past, can introduce the audience to the culture and civilization of the ancestors and predecessors of this border."

       The Khorasan nomads probably came to Kerman from the south of Khorasan from the beginning of the Safavid period and were the source of many economic and cultural influences which the book has addressed.

       In this work, an attempt has been made to provide a history of anthropology, place, birthplace, migration, and the way of life and livelihood of Khorasani nomads. Also, interesting historical information, written documents and Nabi's oral narratives about the history of the Khorasani family are provided. The Khorasani tribe lives in areas of Sirjan and its surroundings such as Chartaghi and Chah Reza Rahmat, Dochahi, and Pariz.

      Considering what was said, in the book "In Memory of Comrades", the genealogy of the Khorasani Family" should be considered among genealogies based on oral history. Dozens of hours of face-to-face meetings and close interviews with people and recording their information, memories, and observations in a targeted manner, but this work under oral history.

      The author of the book is Dr. Ahmed Amiri Khorasani, who made this work in collaboration with Mohammad Ebrahim Amiri Khorasani, one of the most knowledgeable people of the Khorasani tribe. The detailed explanations of the author at the beginning of the book about the process of the formation of the work are commendable and one of the outstanding features of the book, which has shown the path of the research and activities done. The work is methodical and has paid attention to the most detailed aspects of the customs and lifestyle of the tribe people. The author, who is from the Khorasani tribe and has closely interacted with the tribe, presents detailed knowledge of the historical and social life of the tribe and its past.

       The book "In Memory of Comrades" focuses on the families of Taheri Khorasani, Amiri Khorasani, Siahkohi, and Haj Mohammad Rezaei, in two volumes (the first 826 pages and the second 1680 pages), and was published by the Kermanology Center in cooperation with the Iranology Foundation in 2018.

      Another important point about this book is the possibility of modeling it in other genealogical projects based on oral narratives. It seems that due to the settlement of small and large tribes in different parts of Iran, as well as the existence of large and rooted families in our country, this book can provide a research model for those interested in the genealogy of tribes and families.

      In the end, while thanking the respected author, I would like to express my criticism of the title of the book. Such titles, which are used in a clichéd and repetitive manner for many works, are not suitable for this book, and it would have been better to use another title for it.

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