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Bayan Salis: An international bookshop in Tehran

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran 

Valiasr Avenue is the longest thoroughfare in Tehran and runs from Tajrish in the North to the main railway station in the south.    In this most amazing and diverse avenue, once in a while you come across a small place that is a sparkling gem that can brighten your life and bring joy to your heart and a smile to your lips.

Such was the news when we heard about this new international bookshop in North Valiasr just above Mahmodieh Street, a few hundred meters from the Modaress and Parkway Expressways, and not far from our house.

The delightful Mrs. Goli Emami kindly sent us the news of the bookshop a couple of weeks ago but we missed the grand opening where almost 60% of all the books on display were snapped up by voracious Tehran book lovers.   Most of these books were in English and some in French, and many were novels and art books.

The Bayan Salis International book store is located at No. 4 Salar Street, only a few meters from the main road.  The place is well known to many who seek to learn English, since a language study center was opened there by Mr. H.R. Talakoub about 8 years ago and it is now a well known study centre in cooperation with International House, a well known British teaching Language Center.  The center, because of its educational activities, had imported a lot of educational books and had taken part in International Book Fairs in Tehran in the past.

Last Thursday, we found time to go and see the bookstore and meet its manager, the most refined and admirable lady of Iran's literary world Mrs. Goli Emami.   She told us that this is the third library that she has started from scratch, the first was for Farabi University and some years later, the famous Zamineh Bookstore, which belonged to her and her late husband Karim Emami, and now this.  She said that to fill an empty place with volumes and volumes of books in three different languages has brought her an immeasurable thrill that fills her with joy and happiness which she so deserves after the long illness and passing of her beloved husband.

Goli Emami


Mrs. Emami was before this the general manager of Farzan publishing house.  When she took over, it was almost bankrupt but with her knowledge of literature and many good writers, an eye for new talent as well as her awareness of market needs and requirements, soon she turned   it into a well known, respected and financially successful organization.  She left Farzan after three years when she would not accept that her policies to enhance literature in Iran could be overridden by financial drives and motives.

In the near future there will be a gallery added to the bookshop with the aim of supporting young artists with regular exhibitions, which will make it into a truly cultural and enjoyable place to visit, and the ultimate goal is to start a publishing house as well.   Even though Mrs. Emami told us that she intends to come to work only part time, knowing her and her perfectionism and devotion to work I doubt that this will be the case.   We loved the wonderful wooden furniture in both the Persian section (natural wood color) and the foreign section (dark wood).  We must also add that this is one of the few places in Tehran that is disabled friendly.

The Bayan Salis International Bookstore
No. 4 Salar Street., Mahmoodieh, and Valiasr Avenue.
Tel. 22665986 & 22666209

... Payvand News - 12/21/07 ... --

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