Eden Naby

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Eden Naby (born 1942) is an Assyirian-Iranian -Assyrian cultural historian of Central Asia and the Middle East. She was born in the once important Assyrian village of Golpashan, located outside Urmia in Iran. Eden Naby has conducted research, taught and published on minority issues in countries from Turkey to Tajikistan. Her work on Afghanistan and on the Assyrians stands out in the field of cultural survival. She was married to Richard Frye (1975) and they had one son, Nels Frye.

After graduating Temple University in 1964 for her undergraduate degree, she served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, and after receiving her PhD (1975, Columbia University) she taught in Iran. In 1980 she led a CBS 60 Minutes team for the first ever filming of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. She was featured in Charlie Wilson's War (2008) with Dan Rather.

Naby has devoted her time since 1979 to establishing endowments at United States universities to promote the preservation of Assyrian archives, publishing, and lectures. While limited in principal, these endowments, especially at Harvard University, lay the basis for the preservation of research materials, especially in diaspora. Naby, however, is not a professor at Harvard University.

Among her writings are many articles in the Assyrian Star (2001–2007) aimed at eliciting knowledge about Assyrian culture from knowledgeable members of the community. She has also mounted three exhibits (Harvard, 1998, 1999, Boston Public Library 2005) using Assyrian family photographs and the Harvard archives to illustrate 19th-20th century Assyrian history. As contributing editor on modern Assyrians for the Encyclopædia Iranica, she is responsible for hundreds of entries on the Assyrians.

Select bibliography[edit]

  • "The End of Christianity in the Middle East?" by Eden Naby and Jamsheed K. Choksy. Foreign Policy. November 2, 2010.
  • "Foreword to Walking the Precipice: Witness to the Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan" by Barbara Bick. New York, The Feminist Press, 2008
  • "Theater, Language and Inter-Ethnic Exchange: Assyrian Performance before World War I." Iranian Studies, Volume 40, Issue 4 September 2007, pages 501 - 51
  • "The First Kurdish Periodical in Iran", International Journal of Kurdish Studies Vol. 20, nos. 1&2 (2006) pp. 215–233
  • "The Plight of Christians in Iraq," The New York Review of Books, Volume 53, Number 19 November 30, 2006
  • "Ishtar: Documenting the Crisis in the Assyrian Iranian Community", Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 10, no. 4, (December 2006), pp 92–102
  • "Honey and Vinegar: Attitudes toward Iran's Assyrian Christians". 2006.
  “The Assyrian Diaspora: Cultural Survival in the Absence of State Structure,” in S. Mehendale and T. Atabegi, Eds. Central Asia and the  Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora  (Routledge, Keegan, Paul, 2005)  pp. 214–230.
  • Introduction The Well of Ararat by Emmanuel Varandyan. Belmont, Massachusetts : Armenian Heritage Press/National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, c2005
  • "Almost Family: Assyrians and Armenians in Massachusetts," Armenians of New England : celebrating a culture and preserving a heritage ed. Marc A. Mamigonian. (Belmont, Massachusetts : Armenian Heritage Press, 2004), p. 43-52.

Selected book titles[edit]

  • (with Michael E. Hopper) The Assyrian experience : sources for the study of the 19th and 20th centuries : from the holdings of the Harvard University Libraries (with a selected bibliography). .Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard College Library, 1999.
  • (with Ralph Magnus) Afghanistan : mullah, Marx, and mujahid. Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1998, rpt. 2002.