National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia
The Institute of Oriental Studies
The Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (IOS NAS RA) was founded in 1971, on the basis of the Department of Oriental Studies, created in 1958.
The greatest credit for the foundation of the Institute must go to Academician M.G. Nersissyan and Prof. H.G. Injikyan (Chief of the Department of IOS since 1958 to 1971), the first Director of the IOS Academician G. Kh. Sarkissyan (1971-1994) and RA NAS correspondent member, the Director of the IOS 1994-2006 N.H. Hovhannisyan. The present Director of IOS is Prof. R.A. Safrastyan since 2006.
The IOS studies the history, socio-political, international and regional relations, the culture, religion, the problems of national minorities and ethnic groups of the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Caucasus and Eastern Asia from antiquity to the present. From the geographical point of view this is conditioned by the circumstance that the Middle East and Caucasus are the regions which are the immediate neighbors of Armenia, whose ancient and modern history is closely interlaced with the history of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Persians, Byzantines, Georgians, Caucasian Albanians, Arabs, Kurds, Turks and other peoples. Besides, in most Arabic countries, Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Northern Caucasus there are active Armenian communities.
The IOS has the following Departments: The Ancient Orient, The Christian Orient, Arab Studies, Turkish Studies, Iranian Studies, The Eastern Asian Studies and a group of Kurdish Studies.
The Department of the Ancient Orient deals with the history, ethnic, socio- economic and cultural-linguistic problems of the countries of Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Armenian Highland: Assyria, Babylonia, the Hittite Kingdom, Urartu and other political entities, as well as with Hellenism.
The Department of the Christian Orient focuses on different problems of eastern-Christian communities, the history of medieval and modern Georgia, Armenian-Georgian and Armenian-Byzantine interrelations, the history of Caucasian Albania, the Caucasian ethno-cultural area, and also the eastern-Caucasian church and the interconfessional connections.
The Department of Arab Studies investigates the problems of medieval and modern history of the Arab East (Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, etc.), national-liberation movements, the downfall of colonial domination, the independence movements in Arab countries, international and inter-Arabic relations, ideology, Islam, etc.
The Department of Turkish Studies deals with the history of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, the juridical status of national minorities, the Armenian Question and the Armenian Genocide, the policies of the great powers, the peculiarities of the development of modern Turkey, the problems of Ottomanism, Pan-Turkism, Pan-Islamism, Kemalism, Neo-Ottomanism and Neo-Pan-Turkism.
The Department of Iranian Studies, besides the urgent issues of history, internal policy, agrarian relations and the Islamic revolution, investigates different problems of the ethno-cultural and linguistic peculiarities of the Iranian peoples and of classical and modern Persian literature.
The Department of Eastern Asian Studies investigates the problems of contemporary history of China, Japan and India, their foreign political tendencies, the place and role of those countries in the regional and international processes, as well as the policy of the above-mentioned countries in the South Caucasus and the Middle East.
The research group of The Kurdish Studies traditionally deals with Kurdish philology, language, literature and folklore. In parallel with this, it focuses on the problems of Kurdish history, in particular, the Kurds of Armenia, their spiritual and cultural awakening, Armenian-Kurdish relations, as well as the Kurdish problem today (in Iraq, Turkey, Iran).
Besides the above-mentioned, the IOS deals with the primary historical sources of the Orient, in particular, Arabic, Turkish and Georgian sources about Armenians and Armenia, as well as with the Armenian sources about the peoples of the Orient.
In the research-work of the IOS, the history of Armenian communities and the condition of Armenians in the Caucasus and Middle East, the elucidation of the political and economic role of Armenians in the countries of their residence, as well as the secular historical-cultural relations with the neighboring countries also have a definite place.
The scholars of the IOS have published numerous monographs in the above-mentioned fields. A considerable portion of its publications, besides those in Armenian, have been published also in Russian, Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, English, German, French, Italian in Russia, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, the USA, Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Italy and other countries.
The IOS publishes the following series: ''The Countries and Peoples of the Near and Middle East'', ''The Near East'', ''Turcic and Ottoman Studies'' and ''Aramazd''(together with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA).
The IOS is preparing new specialists by means of post-graduate fellowships and MA course. The IOS has a Scholarly Council for the granting of scientific degrees of Ph. D. and Dr. Sc. in the fields of World History, Historiography and Source Study.
The IOS employs highly qualified scholars, mostly with scientific degrees.
The IOS has wide contacts with famous foreign scientific centers through the exchange of scholars, literature and information, lectures, post-graduate fellowships, dissertations, etc. The IOS has organized joint research-programs with the Universities of Jena, Trier, Frankfurt (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Maryland (USA), École de France, Montpellier (France), with the Middle East French Institute of Damascus (Syria), Chandigarh Institute, with the Center of Political Researches of Delhi (India) and with the Institute of International Research of China.
The scholars of the IOS have regularly participated in the international conferences (Amsterdam, Leiden, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Munster, Teheran, Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Washington, etc.), including International congresses of orientalists (Moscow, Paris, Ankara, Hamburg, Montreal, etc.). The IOS has held several conferences in Yerevan, in particular, the International Conference of “Eirene”, the 3rd and 4th All-Union Conferences of Arabists (1969 and 1985), Conferences on Turkology, the Christian East and a Conference dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Oriental Studies, etc.
The IOS has a specialized library of literature on oriental studies which numbers about 60.000 volumes: collections of documents, monographs, collections of articles, periodicals, newspapers, etc., in Armenian, Russian, Georgian, Arabic, Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Hebrew, Kurdish, English, French, German, etc.