On Thursday 19 November 2015 at the initiative of the Diocese, the launch of renowned photographer Nuran Zorlu’s latest work, Persia to Iran, was held in the Edgarian Hall. Present were representatives of all Armenian organisations, Armenian and non-Armenian invited guests and intellectuals. Church youth representative, Miss Natasha Aslanian was the host for the evening. The keynote speaker was Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian, who in his address, reflected on the Armenian-Persian cultural relations and influences.

In terms of history and culture and Nuran’s passion for science, he stated “With camera in hand, a love of history in his heart, his soul filled with respect for his Armenian heritage, mindful of the basic human duty for people to understand, and accept diversity in a climate of harmonious coexistence, Nuran set forth into a land he knew from books not in reality.

It is a book that cannot just sit on a bookshelf or a coffee table. It is a book that informs; that educates. It informs us of the greatness that can flow from the confluence of cultures; from people of different religious and cultural beliefs living together in harmony. A reminder so desperately needed now”.

In turn Nuran Zorlu rose to speak, thanking all who made the event and his mission possible, in particular, the Iranian Embassy Counsellor of Culture, Mr Mohsen Aboutalebi, who prompted Nuran with the concept of producing such a book. Mr Aboutalebi had travelled from Canberra to be present for the event. After expressing his praise of Nuran Zorlu, Mr Aboutalebi revealed his five years of service in Armenia in the same role where he was acquainted with the Armenian culture and language. As he revealed, “it is perhaps these impressions and memories which have led me to work closely with Nuran and to support the publishing of his first book”.

In his closing address, Bishop Najarian reflected on the points made by the three speakers and in turn, gave historic accounts and evidence of Armenian and Persian people, culture and language influences in their co-existence during the Sasanian and Parthian Empires, Shah Abbas to the present. He said, “The caring authorities of Iran , at the Government’s expense, removed every single stone of the Dzor Dzor monastery, and rebuilt it in a safer area, to avoid the monastery to be drowned.”

At the close of the presentation, copies of Nuran’s book were sold and autographed by the author with the opportunity to mingle at talk with him personally.