Best History Book Award 2008
The winner of the “Best History Book of 2008” (under WAALM’s category of Literature) was awarded to Kaveh Farrokh’s “Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War-Персы: Армия великих царей-سایههای صحرا-”
The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize nominated World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media (WAALM) supports, develops and promotes the dramatic and fine arts, creative writing and poetry, as well as professional journalism and media productions. WAALM regularly identifies and rewards excellence, inspires practitioners, and benefits the public, by means of awarding events.
The award granted is the Persian Golden Lioness statuette OR Diploma & Gold Medal of Excellence. For a full introduction to WAALM and the events please consult the widely consulted Persian Mirror magazine.
- Professors Vesta & John Curtis, the British Museum and Iranian Studies.
- Professor Richard Davis for his exemplary Translation of Shahnameh (The book of kings)
- Mr. Eric Jerpe, nominated as Best Novelist of 2008 for his work in Fiction, “The return of Scheherazade”
- Ms. Ren A. Hakim, nominated for Best Screenplay of 2008 for her work “Xerxes”
- Dr. Patrick Hunt, Best Iranian Studies (including Engineering an Empire: The Persians)
- More recent awardees for distinguished achievement in Iranian Studies include Dr. Irving Finkel (British Museum) and Dr. Touraj Daryaee (University of California, Irvine) in 2012.
Shadows in the Desert has been reviewed in peer-reviewed journals such as:
- Iranshenasi academic Journal (2010). The Iranshenasi journal utilizes first-class academics in the field of Iranian Studies to peer-review article submissions and book reviews – these are Dr. Jalal Matini (Chief Editor), Dr. William L. Hanaway (University of Pennsylvania) (Associate editor) and Professor Emeritus Roger M. Savory of the University of Toronto who is a primary member of Iranshenasi’s Advisory board.
- Italian peer-reviewed journal, the Quarderni Asiatici by Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani (Recensioni Libri (Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War). Quarderni Asiatici 95, n. 95 – Settembre 2011, pp. 105-119.
- R. Highaml, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February 2008, 45 (6): 1034-1034.
- F. Rhodes has noted in the peer-reviewed journal, Middle East, May 2007, (378): pp. 65-65.
Shadows in the Desert has also received praise by the following world-class academics (for more information, kindly click here):
- Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University, who wrote the foreword of Farrokh’s text
- Dr. Geoffrey Greatrex, University of Ottawa
- Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, University of Edinburgh
- Dr. Patrick Hunt of Stanford University was cited by the The Wall Street Journal (May 31, 2011) as having stated of Shadows in the Desert: ”… a book for all who have ever been curious about the ‘other’ view on Persia, not from the Western standpoint rooted in Greece, but from the traditions of the Persians themselves… Meticulously researched and documented…”
- Note: Farrokh’s text, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War-Персы: Армия великих царей-سایههای صحرا- is recommended reading for a Stanford University course entitled The Art of Persia. WAIS Society of Stanford University has also cited the Farrokh text.
Meeting his mentors: Farrokh greets Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University (shaking hands with Farrokh) and world-renowned Iranologist, Dr. Farhang Mehr (at center), winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award (photo from Persian American Society,March 1, 2008). As noted by Mafie, Professor Frye of Harvard University wrote the foreword of Farrokh’s text stating that “…Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has given us the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and Roman viewpoint …it is refreshing to see the other perspective, and Dr. Farrokh sheds light on many Persian institutions in this history…” (consult Mafie, 2010, pp.2).
Shadows in the Desert has been cited:
- as being among top three contenders for the Independent Book Publisher’s Association‘s Benjamin Franklin Award of 2008
- as “Iranian of the Day” for the book “Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War” by the Iranian.com website.
- by the Iranian equivalent of the New York Times Newspaper, The Kayhan Newspaper of London. Other citations are from the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) , Iran review, Press TV, Tehran Times, Hamshahri Newspaper (Tehran), and The Midwest Book review, See also Maryam Jaafari’s report in Amordad-Nameh, 2011, December issue, pages 7-9 (pdf).
- Popular reading in Western blogs such as Alred Snyder.
Farrokh has been interviewed regarding Shadows in the Desert by:
- the BBC
- Voice of America network
- the Leonard Lopate Show (WYNC FM) in New York
- We Talk Back of Louisiana and Mississippi (KMLB-AM)
- The Tommy Schnurmacher Show in Montreal, Canada (CJAD AM 800)
Prior to his speech at the WAALM event, the sponsors noted in their introduction of Kaveh Farrokh that one of the reasons why Shadows in the Desert was nominated for this prize was because the text has been found to be “…unbiased, and supported by proof and credentials…”. This evaluation is based on the collective decision by a 14-member panel of world-class academics of Iranica.
Farrokh at the WAALM ceremonies of November 2008.
Farrokh receiving the Golden Persian Lioness Award for “Best History Book of 2008″ from Michael Gayle (Political Section-Iran Affairs) of the U.S. Embassy in London) on October 31st, 2008 in London.
Shadows in the Desert has been trnalsted into Persian and Russian.
Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War - Recent Persian translation by Qoqnoos Publishers with the English to Persian translation having been done by Shahrbanu Saremi (at LEFT), The original publication by OspreyPublishing (at CENTER) the Farrokh text translated into Russian (consult the Russian EXMO Publishers website) (at RIGHT).
Following the award ceremonies, Farrokh, Eric Jerpe and Ren Hakim engaged in a book signing session. Each of these WAALM awardees signed a total of 29 books to commemorate the peaceful arrival of Cyrus the Great (575-530 BC) to Babylon on October 29th, 543 BC, and his proclamation of support and respect for the religious and cultural freedoms of the diverse peoples of the empire such as the Jews and the Babylonians.
Farrokh at the WAALM event in London on October 31st 2008.