Unité d'arabe

Sabahi Farian

Prof. Farian SABAHI

Professeure invitée

022 - 379 7138


Dr Farian Sabahi


Italian (mother tongue), English (fluent), French (fluent), Persian (comfortable). Basic knowledge of German and Spanish.

E-mail: farian.sabahi(at)unito.it and fariansabahi(at)hotmail.com



  • Invited Professor, teaching the course Yemen : Histoire, politique, société, University of Geneva, Faculté des Lettres, Unité d’Arabe, (26 hours in the first semester)
  • Professor, teaching International Relations in the Middle East (mainly on Yemen and the Arab peninsula) and Economics of the Middle East (mainly on energy, oil and the nuclear question in Iran), University of Valle d’Aosta, Faculty of Political Sciences, (teaching 16 hours in the first semester+13 hours in the second semester)
  • Professor, teaching History of Islamic Countries, University of Turin, Faculty of Humanities (36 hours in the second semester)
  • Invited Professor, Baku State University (Azerbaijan), giving a seminar on Iran (second semester)


  • Professor of International Relations in the Middle East University of Valle d’Aosta, Faculty of Political Sciences, (teaching 20 hours in the second semester)
  • Professor of Cultures and Politics of Islam and History of Islamic Countries University of Turin, Faculties of Political Sciences and Humanities, (54 hours in the second semester)
  • Invited Professor, teaching the course L’Iran à travers son cinema, University of Geneva, Faculté des Lettres, Unité d’Arabe, (26 hours in the first semester)


  • Invited Professor, Université de Genève, Faculté des Lettres, teaching the course L’évolution politique et sociale en Iran dès 1890
  • Professor at the University of Turin, teaching the course Cultures and Politics of Islam (54 hours, Faculty of Political Sciences) and History of Islamic Countries (30 hours, Faculty of Humanities)
  • Invited Scholar, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya (Israel) 2008-2010
  • Professor at University of Turin, Faculty of Humanities, teaching the course History of Islamic Countries (30 hours)
  • Supervision of students graduating with thesis on Islam and democracy


  • Lecturer on human rights in Islamic countries, University of Siena, Master in International Human Rights (8 hours)


  • Lecturer at University of Rome, Faculty of Oriental Studies, teaching a course on Iran (24 hours)


  • Lecturer at University of Turin, Faculty of Political Sciences Teaching the course Islam and democracy (30 hours)


  • Lecturer on History of the Islamic countries, Master in International Human Rights and Genocide Studies (under the direction of Prof. M. Flores), Siena (10 hours)


  • Lecturer at the School of State Police in Alessandria, Intercultural communication with regards to the Muslim world (20 hours)


  • Lecturer University of Campobasso, Master on the Enlargement of Europe to the South of the Mediterranean (6 hours)


  • Lecturer on Islam, Bocconi Business School, Milan Master FSE per manager dell’immigrazione: esperti nella gestione di aziende e utenti multietnici (MaIm)

July 2003

  • Successful candidate for the post of researcher at the Institute of Iranian Studies in Vienna directed by Prof. Bert Fragner (position declined due to family reasons)


  • Lecturer, Faculté des Lettres, Geneva, teaching the course Histoire politique et sociale en Iran au XXème siècle (30 hours)


  • Researcher (on the Free Trade Zones of the Persian Gulf), Bocconi University, Milan Researcher, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva Easter


  • Visiting Fellow (one week), University of North Carolina, giving a seminar on the Middle East


  • Visiting Fellow, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva



  • Research grant funded by Bocconi University (Milan), Economic History Department, to work on Iran and free trade zones in the Gulf


  • Post-Doctorate (on buy-back oil contracts in the Islamic Republic of Iran), funded by Bologna University (I spent the two years at HEI in Geneva under the supervision of Prof. M.-R. Djalili, a specialist of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia)


  • Ph.D, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, on the Literacy Corps in Pahlavi Iran (from 1963 to 1979) under the supervision of David Morgan (History Dept.) and Richard Tapper (Anthropology Dept.), examined by Emeritus Professor Ann Lambton and Fred Halliday (London School of Economics)


  • Laurea degree in Oriental History, Bologna University (110/110 cum laude and publication of the final dissertation)


  • Laurea degree in Economics, Bocconi Business School, Milan


Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Pakistan, Yemen, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, UAE, Kosovo, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain.


Society for Iranian Studies, New York. Member of the scientific committees of: CRIA (Centro per le relazioni italo-arabe) within IsIAO (Istituto italiano per l’Asia e l’Oriente, Rome), Cipmo (Centro Pace in Medio Oriente based in Milan and directed by Janiki Cingoli), EAST (bi-monthly magazine on International Politics), Torino Spiritualità (organisation based in Turin), Nilde Iotti Foundation (based in Rome, aiming at promoting women’s participation in Italy).


  • 2010 Storia dello Yemen (History of Yemen), Bruno Mondadori, Milan This book is a detailed monograph exploring the history of Yemen from the end of the XIX century up to Abdallah Salah’s presidency. 192 pages, Arabic and English versions forthcoming.
  • 2009 Storia dell’Iran 1890-2008 (History of Iran), Bruno Mondadori, Milan This book is a detailed monograph exploring the history of Iran from the end of the Qajar dynasty up to the presidential elections of 2009. First edition 2003, second edition 2006, 266 pages.
  • 2002 The Literacy Corps in Pahlavi Iran (1963-1979): political, social and literary implications, Ed. Sapiens, Lugano This monograph is based on diaries, autobiographies and novels written in Iran by the literacy corpsmen involved in teaching in rural areas (within the so-called White Revolution) during the 1960s and 1970s, on the Iranian and foreign literature read in those two decades by the corpsmen, on documents collected in archives – Public Record Office in London, the National Archives at College Park Maryland, the Foundation of Iranian Studies at Bethesda Maryland, UNESCO archives in Paris, the International Bureau of Education in Geneva – between 1996 and 1999; and on interview held in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Iran, Italy and Pakistan in the same period. The information found in the written sources have been supported with oral history, a methodology particularly relevant in the field of political history. 340 pages.
  • 2000 La pecora e il tappeto: economia tribale in Azerbaigian. Il caso dei nomadi Shahsevan, Ariele, Milan This monograph is a research, completed under the supervision of the anthropologist Richard Tapper, on the Shahsevan nomads in the Iranian region of Azerbaijan. The book also analyses the case of the White Tent Programme under Muhammad Reza Shah, that is an educational programme brought by the Pahlavi authorities amongst the nomads. The author had done original research in the UNESCO archives in Paris, finding historical material of the 1950s and 1960s. 160 pages.


  • 2007 The Other Shiites: From the Mediterranean to Central Asia, edited by F. Sabahi, S. Naef and A. Monsutti, Peter Lang, Berna This book offers a survey of the other Shiite outside Iran, with a focus on their diversity and multiplicity in the last two centuries, the public affirmation of their identities through specific rituals and social attitudes. 266 pages.
  • 2004 The OSCE and the Multiple Challenges of Transition in the Caucasus and Central Asia (1991-2001), edited by F. Sabahi and D. Warner, Ashgate, Aldershot In the wake of 9/11 and the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus have moved to the forefront of the international political agenda. At the same time, the events since 9/11 have had a major impact on Central Asia and the Caucasus and external actors’ engagement in the region; 204 pages.


  • 2011 “The representation of Sunni Islam in the Iranian media”, in Brigitte Maréchal and Sami Zemni (eds), The Dynamics of Sunni-Shia Relationship. Doctrine, Transnationalism, Intellectuals and the Media, Hurst, London (forthcoming) “The Revolution of 1979 and the Iranian Jewish Community in Israel. A case study”, in Massoumeh Torfeh and Annabelle Sreberny (eds), Thirty Years On: The Social and Cultural Impacts of the Iranian Revolution, I.B. Tauris, London (forthcoming)
  • 12/2006 “La rivoluzione iraniana del 1979 e la prima fase della Repubblica islamica” in Alleanze e conflitti nel cono sud dell’Europa. Il ruolo strategico dell’Italia (ed. by G. Bertolo and G. Romeo), Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli
  • 1/2004 “Oil diplomacy in the Caspian. The rift between Iran and Azerbaijan in summer 2001” in The OSCE and the Multiple Challenges of Transition in the Caucasus and Central Asia (1991-2001), edited by F. Sabahi and D. Warner, Ashgate, Aldershot
  • 2003 “The White Tent programme: Tribal Education Under Muhammad Reza Shah”, in Faleh A. Jabar & Hosham Dawod (eds.) Tribes and Power. Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Middle East, Saqi Books, London, pp. 234-253
  • 2002 "L'Islam laico degli albanesi. Un enigma balcanico", in L. Lepri (ed.) Albania questa sconosciuta, Editori Riuniti, Rome
  • 2002 Gender and the Army of Knowledge in Pahlavi Iran”, in V. Martin and S. Ansari (eds.), Women, Religion and Culture in Iran, Curzon, Richmond


  • 2011 Contribution on Iran in Atlante geopolitico Treccani, Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, Rome
  • 2007 “Medio Oriente e Nord Africa”, in Atlante dei diritti umani, UTET, Torino. “Dichiarazione islamica universale dei diritti umani”, “Islam e diritti umani”, “Islam e azione umanitaria” in Dizionario enciclopedico dei diritti umani, UTET, Torino
  • 2004 “Sepāh-e dāneš”, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (ed. by Ehsan Yarshater)


  • 8/2005 “Les échange économiques entre l’Italie et l’Iran. La coopération dans le secteur automobile”, in Géostratégique, n. 8 (La politique des Etats de l’Europe et de la Russie au Moyen-Orient), pp. 167-180.
  • 5/2005 “Iranian Youth and Cartoons in the Islamic Republic under President Khatami” in Youth and Youth Culture in the Contemporary Middle East, ed. by Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, Proceedings of the Danish Institute in Damascus III – 2005, Aarhus University Press, pp. 140-154.
  • 2002 “The Literacy Corps in Pahlavi Iran (1963-79)”, in ISIM Newsletter, n.10,p.19 July 2001 “The Literacy Corps in Pahlavi Iran (1963-1979): political, social and literary implications”, in Cemoti, n. 31
  • 16 July 2001 “Interview with Kazempour Ardebili, Ministry of Oil, Iran”, Arab Oil and Gas
  • April 2001 “Oil defines Iran’s power struggle. The role of Italy in the Iranian energy sector”, in Géostratégique (Institut International d’Études Stratégiques), n. 5
  • 1996 “I nomadi Shâhsevan nel XX secolo: un modello di economia tribale”, in Rivista di Sociologia Urbana e Rurale


  • 2010 “Zoroastrian elements in Dante’s Divina Commedia”, in Dante and Islam, Biblioteca di via Senato, Milan
  • 2008 Donne in Iran fra emancipazione e diritti negati, in Cattedra del Mediterraneo. Un percorso attraverso i nodi cruciali dell’area, ed. by V. Trevisan, Centro Pace in Medio Oriente, Milano, pp. 42-49 Preface to Bassam Tibi, Con il velo in Europa, Salerno Ed., Roma Donne e Corano: storia di un rapporto ambiguo, Kos (rivista del San Raffaele) n.6
  • 2007 Article on the Iranian civil society http://www.cipmo.org/1501-indice-analisi/iran-farian-sabahi.html
  • 5/2006 “Interview with the Iranian lawyer and activist Mehrangiz Kar on Iranian women and human rights” in East (Europe and Asia Strategies), n. 10
  • 8/2005 “La donna musulmana tra Europa e paesi musulmani”, in Gnosis. Rivista italiana di intelligence, pp. 62-70.
  • 7/2004 “Sì la guerra era giusta, ma ora Bush”, interview with Ayatollah Montazeri, in Liberal Risk. Quaderni di cultura geopolitica, pp. 51-54
  • 2002 “L’istruzione tra religiosi e militari al tempo dello Scià”,Italian and Persian version, in A Oriente.Numero speciale multilingue.Il tempo in Oriente, III,n.7.
  • 5/2002 Update of Henry Laoust, Gli scismi nell’Islam, Ecig, Genova
  • 2001 “Il sistema bancario islamico”, in Etica ed Economia, vol. 2 (2001), n. 2 “Rapporti tra comunità musulmana e Occidente in una prospettiva multiculturale”, in Kéiron, n. 6 “L’inquieta identità degli sciiti iracheni”, Afriche e Orienti, anno 3, n. 1 “L’immigrazione afgana in Iran”, Afriche e Orienti , anno 2, n. 4
  • Summer 2000 “Siria: le prospettive del dopo-Assad”, “Il Libano tra il ritiro israeliano e la successione di Assad” in Afriche e Orienti, anno 2, n. 2. “Elezioni legislative in Iran: un laico scavalca i turbanti degli ayatollah”, in Afriche e Orienti, anno 2, n. 1
  • Winter 1999 “Intervista a Muhammad Talbi”, in Afriche e Orienti, anno 1, n. 4
  • Fall 1999 “Opposizione, vita rurale e cinema pre-rivoluzionario”, and “Iran, i libri dell’anniversario”, in Afriche e Orienti, anno 1, n. 3


Since 1994 I have been writing about Islamic Studies on the cultural supplement La Domenica in the Italian daily IlSole 24 Ore. Since 1997 I have been broadcasting on the Near and Middle East for Swiss Radio. For this work in June 2010 I was awarded the Amalfi Coast Media Award. A year after, I was awarded the Valdo Fusi – Torino Libera Award for Free Thought.


  • 2008 Un’estate a Teheran, Laterza, Rome This book is made of 22 chapters with interviews with the Iranian clergy and civil society, i.e. members of NGOs in Teheran, hojatolleslam Mohsen Kadivar, hojatolleslam Youssefi Eshkefari and Ayatollah Montazeri. 144 pages.
  • 2006 Islam: l’identità inquieta dell’Europa. Viaggio tra i musulmani d’Occidente, Il Saggiatore, Milan This book is the result of field-work in the mosques of seven European countries, where the author discussed with the imams and members of the Muslim communities. The main issues are the construction and funding of new mosques, the use of specific cemeteries, halal food, religious education, family law, the veil. 326 pages.


  • 12/2008 Out of Place (23’) is the story of an Iranian woman belonging to the Jewish community of Tehran who, after the Revolution of 1979, decides to leave and move to Israel. Many years later, sitting in her home in Petat Tikva, near Tel Aviv, she regrets her choice. She misses the warmth of the Iranian people and expresses a desire to return to Iran, where her brother and sisters still live. Rachel’s is the story of an immigrant mother with multiple identities. The story of a woman who suffers a deep loss. She thought she had found her ideal homeland, but it did not live up to her expectations and now, because of her son’s death, she almost hates it. Rachel is a strong woman. She suffers and feels responsible for the choice she imposed on her husband and sons. Her spouse is a minor figure, less aggressive but nevertheless he has his own dignity. In this story, the impulsive young woman contrasts with the thoughtful adult. The filmmaker deliberately leaves the difficult relationship between the Islamic Republic and the Jewish State in the background while her story triggered by the Iranian revolution develops. Broadcast on TV Channel SkyTg24 and presented in festivals in Turin, Rome, Genoa, Verona, Milan, London, Tel Aviv.
  • 8/2008 Che ne facciamo di Teheran? (What can we do with Teheran?, 20’) realized in Israel and broadcast on 6 August 2008 at 11 pm on the satellite channel RaiNews24 (www.rainews24.it)
  • 2007 Minareto mille punti (on the controversial construction of a mosque in Colle Val D’Elsa, Siena, funded by the Foundation Monte dei Paschi) with E. Camurri, directed by P. Raschillà, produced by S. Pistolini

Anciens collaborateurs