Mejlis Institute, newly launched in 2019, is a registered non-profit organization that aims to strengthen cultural links between the Caucasus, Anatolia, the Middle East and Iran and promote awareness of such links in the recent and distant past. The word mejlis – common to Arabic, Persian, Turkish and medieval Armenian among many other languages – is used in the name of the organization in its premodern meaning, denoting a symposium or a gathering for the purpose of reciting and discussing poetry, playing music and enjoying conversation. The principal mission of Mejlis Institute is to provide a platform for such gatherings, fostering learning and collegiality. Situated in Yerevan, the Institute aims to celebrate the historical position of Armenia as a meeting point of different cultures and languages and strengthen the role of Yerevan as a hub for international cooperation. To this end, the Institute will organize educational programs, such as language courses (Armenian, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish etc.), history programs, arts workshops (photography, cinematography, music, calligraphy, traditional hand crafts), poetry nights, film screenings, and more.
Mehdi Hesamizadeh is a poet and composer. A native of Khorasan, he is now based in Germany and Armenia. He is deeply interested in history of music of premodern Iran as well connections between musical traditions of different regions of the Near East and the Mediterranean.
Polina Ivanova is a historian of premodern Anatolia and the Caucasus. She holds MA and PhD in History from Harvard University. Born in Russia and educated in Turkey, Greece and the US, she came to settle in Armenia to deepen her knowledge of the languages and cultures of Armenia and neighboring Iran.