ḤĀJI BĀBĀ, a satirical and politically critical newspaper, published in Tehran between 12 Mehr 1328 Š./4 October 1949 and 28 Mordād 1332 Š./19 August 1953, in 173 weekly issues. Owing to censorship, Issues 140 to 145 were published under the name Āqā Bābā.

The key figure behind the production of Ḥāji Bābā was Parviz Ḵaṭibi-Nuri (b. Tehran, 1302 Š./1903, d. Los Angeles, 1372 Š./1993), who served as its director, editor and main author; he published his own satirical articles and poetry under the name “Ḥāji Bābā,” as well as a few other pseudonyms. Due to Ḥāji Bābā’s support for Dr. Moḥammad Moṣaddeq’s government, after the coup d’état of 1332 Š./1953 Parviz Ḵaṭibi-Nuri was imprisoned for many years and banned from any further involvement in publishing; the office of the newspaper and his house were also confiscated.

After the Islamic revolution, Ḵaṭibi published Issues 174 to 186 (5 Ordibehešt-4 Mordād 1358 Š./2 April-26 July 1979), but in view of the political situation he did not consider it possible to continue publication inside Iran. He emigrated to America, and resumed the publication of Ḥāji Bābā in NewYork, from September 1979 until April 1980.

The lengthiest and most important of the three periods during which Ḥāji Bābā was published was the one that ended with the 28 Mordād 1332 Š./1953 coup d’état. During this time it flourished, and could boast a circulation of 50,000 copies (Farajiān and Najafzāda, p. 278). The newspaper was then published in a 35 x 50 cm format and included 4 pages of caricatures by the artist Jamšid Waḥidi. Ḥāji Bābā did not accept subscriptions. The price for a single copy was 3 riyals, increasing to 3 1/2 riyals in the last year of this period.

A complete set of Ḥāji Bābā exists in the Princeton University Library holdings, while incomplete sets are held by the following libraries in Iran: Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Markazi, Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Dānešgāh-e Tehrān, Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Melli-e Irān, Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles 1, Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles 2, and Ketāb-ḵāna-ye ʿAllāma-ye Ṭabāṭabāʾi in Shiraz. The issues published in New York (the third period) are held in the Chicago University Library.



Šahin Esfandiāri et al., Maṭbuʿāt-e Irān: fehrest-e taḥlili-e Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles-e Senā, Tehran, 1358 Š./1979, p. 86.

Mortażā Farajiān and Moḥammad-Bāqer Najafzāda, Ṭanzsarāyān-e Irān az mašruṭa tā enqelāb, Tehran, 1370 Š./1991, I, pp. 275-76.

Kobrā Ḵodāparast, Fāṭema Ḵoršidi and Bižan Sartipzāda, eds., Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Irān, I, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977, no. 1830; II, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974, no. 257.

Rudolph Mach and Robert D. McChesney, eds., “A List of Persian Serials in the Princeton University Library,” Unpubl. handlist, Princeton, 1971.

Manučehr Mahbubi, “Kārekātur dar Irān,” Taḥqiqāt-e ruz-nāma-negāri 9, 1346 Š./1967, p. 12.

Esmāʿil Purvāli, “Fawt-e Par-viz Ḵaṭib,” Ruzgār-e now 139, Šahrivar 1372 Š./August-September 1993, p. 33.

Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Ṣāleḥ-yār, Čehra-ye maṭbuʿāt-e moʿāṣer, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972, p. 17.

(Nasseredin Parvin)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: March 1, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, p. 550