Raised in the historic city of Isfahan, Mohammad Gharipour received
his Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History from Georgia Institute of
Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in
2000. He teaches architecture at Morgan State University and is the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. His
areas of research include Japanese traditional and contemporary architecture,
Persianate gardens and architecture, and restorative environments. He is the
recipient of Spiro Kostof fellowship award from the Society of Architectural
Historians (SAH) in 2008 and the author of several publications including Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in
Poetry, Arts and History(I.B. Tauris, 2013). in 2014, Dr. Gharipour was presented with the National Endowment for Humanities Faculty Award for his research on Synagogues of Isfahan, Iran. He is also curator of the Archnet collection on Synagogues of Isfahan.
Feniger, Neta and Rachel Kallus. "Expertise in the Name of Diplomacy: The Israeli Plan for Rebuilding the Qazvin Region, Iran." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 5, Number 1 (pp. 103-134), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2016.
After the September 1962 earthquake in the Qazvin region of Iran, Israel sent planning experts to assist Iranian relief efforts. A small project, the reconstruction of one village, led to a larger project initiated by the United Nations, in which a team of experts from Israel were sent to survey and plan the region devastated by the quake. This resulted in a comprehensive regional plan, and detailed plans for several villages. Israeli assistance to Iran was also intended to reinforce bilateral relations between the countries. The disaster offered an opportunity for demonstrating Israeli expertise in a range of fields including architecture, and to consolidate Israel’s international image as an agent for development. This article examines transnational exchange via professional expertise, using the participation of Israeli architects in the rebuilding of Qazvin as a case study, in order to demonstrate that architects were agents of Israel’s diplomatic goals. The architects had professional objectives, namely the creation of a modern plan for the region and its villages. At the same time, these objectives were intertwined with the Shah of Iran’s national modernization plan, and with Israel’s desire to become Iran’s ally in this drive for change and modernization, in the hope of promoting a different, more modern, Middle East.