About us

The Golistan Project is a dedicated portal which is a virtual museum for the performing arts of Iran, from 1880 through the twentieth century 1980.

Our Story

Because the Golistan Project is the sister project of the Golha Project it is important to understand it in that context. The Golha Project undertook the task of collating, archiving, and conserving the 1500 Golha radio programs. The Golha Project indexed the entire Golha archive, made it searchable by 18 different criteria, and included transcripts of the poetry, biographies in Persian and in English of more than 600 poets and 250 performers, as well as the musical notes for 700 ballads—now all freely accessible at www.Golha.co.uk. The Golha site is now being used in American and European universities as a pedagogical tool in the field of Iranian Studies and Persian literature. After interviewing the artists from the Golha radio programs, I realized that the amazing contributions of these and many other iconic figures in Iranian performing arts were at risk of being forgotten and lost to future generations. It became clear that a world resource for the performing arts of 20th-century Iran was needed and thus the Golistan Project to archive and make freely accessible the contributions of these iconic performing artists was started.

Our Mission

Thousands of hours of audio and video and tens of thousands of pages of printed material about twentieth-century Iranian performing arts as well as the archives of private collectors have already been donated to the Golistan Project. Golistan’s goal is to make these resources freely available, fully indexed, and accessible online in Persian and in English to all students, researchers, and practitioners, regardless of their academic affiliation or country of origin.

Making this material accessible to students, researchers, composers, directors, and performers in Persian and in English will put the performing arts of Iran on the world map as never before. This accessibility will also, we believe, create an explosion of research on the heritage of the Iranian performing arts. These important artistic works were created during a time when Iran was coming to grips with modernity and the Persian performing arts of the twentieth century provide a unique insight  into this process.


Founder of Golistan Project

The Board


Founder of Golistan Project

Dr. Leonard Lewisohn

Co-Founder of Golistan Project

Philip McCaffrey


Mehdi Parhizkar

Assistant Treasurer

Golistan Advisors

Mehrdad Amanat

Mehrdad Amanat is an independent scholar who holds a Ph.D. in History from the UCLA. He is also the author of Jewish Identities in Iran: Resistance and Conversion to Islam and the Baha’i Faith and a contributor to the Encyclopedia Iranica.

Houchang Esfandiar Chehabi

Houchang Esfandiar Chehabi is a leading expert in Iranian studies at The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University where he is Professor of International Relations and History. His publications focus on Iran and its history and politics.

Hossein Omoumi

Hossein Omoumi is a scholar and teacher of Persian traditional musicand Maseeh Professor in Persian Performing Arts in the department of music at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts University of California, Irvine,..

Touraj Daryai

Touraj Daryai is an Iranian Iranologist and historian. He currently works as the Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture and the director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Parviz Jahed

Parviz Jahed is a film critic who regularly contributes to Persian media and film journals inside and outside Iran. He is the editor of the Directory of World Cinema: Iran, 2011 as well as the editor of Cinema-Cheshm, a UK Persian film journal.

Houman Sarshar

Houman M. Sarshar is the Editorial Advisor of the Judeo-Persian Studies Center for Iranian Studies, and the Encyclopaedia Iranica Director of the Publication Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History. He has published widely on the history and culture of the `Jewish community in Iran and their contributions to the Performing arts in particular.

Farzad Mobin

Farzad Mobin is the founder and director of WishExpress, a website whose mission is to move its users to greatness and happiness through their wishes and Elastic Teams, a collection of software developers and designers who define and construct custom business automation systems utilizing web and mobile applications.

Farhad Shah-Hosaini

Farhad Shah-Hosaini is a traveler, photographer, fisherman, music lover and collector.

Maryam Arami

Maryam Arami is an independent accounting professional in Los Angeles, California.

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