Iran pays tribute to Jabbar Baghcheban,
founder of the country's first school for the deaf and pioneer of Persian sign
Iranians commemorate the 41st death anniversary of Jabbar Baghchehban, father of
the Persian sing language and founder of the first school and kindergarten for
the deaf in Tabriz in 1924.
Baghchehban, whose original family name was Asgarzadeh, was born to Iranian
parents in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1884. After World War I, he moved to Iran's East
Azerbaijan province and started his job as a teacher.
Asgarzadeh chose Baghchehban as his surname simultaneously with the
opening of his first kindergarten for deaf children.
'Baghchehban' literally means 'gardener' in Persian. The dedicated teacher of
sign language may arguably have chosen it for his surname as a metaphor for his
devotion to his country's little deaf flowers.
Baghchehban's sign language is an approach to visually represent the phonemes of
a spoken language. Since 'Mouth-Hand Systems' do not replace the phonemes, it
helps deaf pupils to gain literacy too.
The man, who played a key role in breaking the silence of the world of the deaf,
spoke his last words at the age of 82, on November 25, 1966 in Tehran.