TAJADDOD (Modernity), a newspaper published as the official organ of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, of which a total of 202 issues appeared in Tabriz between 16 Jomādā II 1335/7 April 1917 and 14 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1338/29 August 1920. Though licensed as a weekly, the paper appeared twice a week in the early months of its publication, but in its last year, and during the exile of Ḵiābāni by the occupying Ottoman forces, it appeared with long interruptions. It was published in the Omid printing house in 4 four-column pages measuring 35 by 22.5 and 53 by 35.5 cm and carried no illustrations. The annual subscription was 4 qerāns in Tabriz. miscellaneous issues of the paper are held at the central library of Tehran University, the University of ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabāʾi in Shiraz, and at the Institute of Contemporary History of Iran in Tehran.

Abu’l-Qāsem Foyużāt was the nominal publisher of the paper in its first two years, because Shaikh Moḥammad Ḵiābāni, its founder and actual publisher, had been unable to secure a license in his own name. He eventually succeeded in Šawwāl 1337/July 1919, after fifty-eight issues had been published, in having the paper registered in his own name (Bayāt and Kuhestāni, eds., p. 368; Barādarān-e Šokuhi, p. 292).

The first chief editor of the paper was Abu’l-Fatḥ Ḵiābāni, who, after the 58th issue, was replaced by Taqi Refʿat (d. 1 Moḥarram 1339 Š./14 September 1920). The latter had played an invaluable role in the paper from its inception, and a great deal of its fame and legacy is owed to his contributions. His name, however, was dropped from the paper after the 86th issue.

Tajaddod’scentral concern was politics, but it also paid a considerable attention to cultural, social, and literary issues. Dedicated to “the spreading of democratic ideas” (Bayāt and Kuhestāni, eds., p. 368), it published refined versions of Ḵiābāni’s fiery speeches as well as articles by Taqi Refʿat, both permeated with nationalistic fervor and praise for liberty. In a special column devoted to “Modernity in literature” (“Tajaddod dar adabiyāt”) the paper exemplified its enthusiastic advocacy for radical changes and innovation in the traditional Persian literature by compositions from Taqi Refʿat, Šams Kasmāʾi, and Jaʿfar Ḵāmenaʾi, and as put by one observer, the paper manifested “a highly meaningful spirit” (Gol-e zard 9/2, 24 Rabiʿ I 1338/ 17 December 1919). These innovations, however, led to a heated debate between Tajaddod and some papers and journals in Tehran, such as Dāneškada (cf. especially Ārianpur, pp. 436-45, 452-55; Armaḡān 9-10, Āḏar1298-Bahman 1299 Š/December 1921-January 1922, pp. 287-88). The most serious drawback of the paper was that the verses it printed were all modeled in form and phraseology after the new literary styles current in the Ottoman Turkey; and as result, many of the Turkified Arabic words and phrases it used lacked the fluency and expressiveness which were imperative for the appeal of the new literary movement it was hoping to generate. Nevertheless, those concerned with the history of the Persian journalism all have generally praised Tajaddod, which in words of one of them was “a very serious and visionary paper” (Ārianpur, p. 224).



ʿAli Āḏari, Qiām-e Šayḵ Moḥammad Ḵiābāni, Tehran, 1945.

Yaḥyā Ārianpur, Az Ṣabā tā Nimā II, pp. 208-11. Bāmdād, Rejāl II, pp. 197-98.

Sirus Barādarān-e Šokuhi, “Az Āḏarbāyjān tā Āzādistān: sayr-i goḏarā dar ruz-nāmahā-ye Tabriz, 1275 Hq-320 Š,” in Yak-i qaṭra bārān: jašn-āma-ye Ostād Doktor ʿAbbās Zaryāb Ḵoʾi, ed. Aḥmad Tafażżoli, Tehran, 1991, pp. 279-97.

Kāva Bayāt and Masʿud Kuhestāni-nežād, eds., Asnād-e maṭbuʿāt (1286-1320 Š), Tehran, 1992, I, pp. 367-68.

Aḥmad Kasravi, Tāriḵ-e hijdah-sāla-ye Āḏarbāyjān, Teran, 1976.

Idem, Qiām-e Šayḵ Moḥammad Ḵiābāni, ed. Moḥammad-ʿAli Homāyun Kātuziān, Tehran, 1997, pp. 122-24, 130.

Guʾel Kohan, Tāriḵ-e sānsur dar maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1984, II, pp. 676-78, 680, 752-54.

Ḥosayn Omid, Ketāb-e tāriḵ-e farhang-e Āḏarbāyjān, Tabriz, 1954, II, pp. 25-26.

Raḥim Raʾis-niā and ʿAbd’l- Moḥsen Nāhid, Do mobārez-e jonbeš-e mašruṭa: Sattār Ḵān wa Šayḵ Moḥammad Ḵiābāni, Tabriz, 1970, pp. 229-46.

Ṣadr Hāšemi, Jarāʾed wa majallāt II, pp. 105-6.

“Šarḥ-e ḥāl(l) wa eqdāmāt-e Šayḵ Moḥammad Ḵiābāni,” Irān-šahr, Berlin, 1925.

Mortażā Solṭāni, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye fārsi dar majmuʿa-ye ketāb-ḵāna-ye makazi wa markaz-e asnād-e Danešgāh-e Tehrān, Tehran, 1975, no. 96.

Moḥammad Moḥiṭ Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tāriḵ-e taḥlili-e maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, Tehran, 1981.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: July 20, 2004

Last Updated: July 20, 2004