This article presents an account of a Qashqa'i health worker's upbringing, education and training, noting in particular his transition from life in a traditional nomadic family through completion of a formal education. The health worker, Jamal, describes certain problems of modernity and the personal conflict he faces as someone who loves his culture but also wants to see improvements in the health status of his people. Written by a Qashqa'i author, who brings his own sensitivity and cultural knowledge to the text, the article makes some recommendations about the training and integration of rural health workers in Iran.
Medical Anthropology of the Middle East?
Soheila Shahshahani and Mohammad Shahbazi
In a region in which everyday life is under different kinds of threat, issues related to health are of prime importance. Preserving life, which is the least human right to be respected, is the last resort, yet it seems human life is an insignificant matter. For example, in everyday discourse in Tehran, we o en hear, “Human life doesn’t count.” Within this local world view the opposite can also be observed: an obsessive preoccupation with aesthetic aspects of the human body (see AME, vol. 1, no. 1). In between lies all that can be studied by medical anthropologists.
The Impact on Iranian Elderly Social Networks and Care Systems
Mary Elaine Hegland, Zahra Sarraf, and Mohammad Shahbazi
Anthropological field research in Iran, mainly in the village of Aliabad and in nearby Shiraz in south-west Iran, has documented radical social, cultural, religious and economic change over the last 28 years. Increasing emphasis on the nuclear rather than the extended family and pressures for geographic and social mobility have profoundly influenced the lives of the elderly. The traditional family system of support for elders - with regard to emotional and social needs, as well as financial assistance and physical care - is breaking down. Social scientists, social workers and health personnel must focus on adequately addressing the needs and concerns of the Iranian elderly in the twenty-first century and on developing alternative systems to deal with key elderly issues of health, well-being and social incorporation.
Books, Films and Conferences
Fabrizio Speziale, Mohammad Shahbazi, Soheila Shahshahani, Maryam Roshanfekr, Shahnaz Nadjmabadi, and Maria Esther Esteban Torné
Rūstā’ī, Moh.sen (1382/2003–2004), Tārīkh-e t.ebb va t.ebābat dar Irān (az ‘ahd-e qājār tā pāyān-e ‘as.r-e Rez.ā Shāh) be ravāyat-e asnād [History of Medicine and Medical Practice in Iran (from the Qajar Epoch until the End of Rez. ā Shāh’s Age) According to the Narrative of Official Documents] (Tehran: Sāzmān-e asnād va ketābkhāne-ye Mellī-ye Jomhūrī-ye Islāmī-ye Irān). Vol. 1, pages ccclxi + 660. Vol. 2, pages xv + 911.
Naficy, Abutorab (2000), The Pulse of Life at the Crossroad of the Traditional and Modern Medicine of Iran [Nabz-e hayat dar gozar-e tibb-e sonnati va tibb-e nuvin Iran]: Biographical and Medical Writings of Dr Abutorab Naficy (Isfahan, Iran: Naqsh-e Khurshid Publication). 459 pages + 6 pages of pictures at the end.
Al-Sabah, Altaf Salem Al-Ali (2006), Ibjad – Ornate Tent Dividers and Weavings of the Kuwait Desert (Kuwait: Al Sadu House). 85 pages, glossary of Arabic terms, black-and-white and colour photographs, index.
The first conference of the Union for Short Filmmakers of Islamic Countries (USFIC), 20–25 August 2007, Tehran, Iran
Congress for the Seventieth Year of Anthropology in Iran, 18–21 February 2007, Anthropological Research Centre for ICHO, Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
Second International Congress of Biological and Cultural Anthropology, 26–28 October 2007, Monastir, Tunisia