DONYĀ (lit., “The world”), name of several Persian journals and newspapers.

1. The earliest Donyā was a Marxist monthly journal published in Tehran from Bahman 1312 Š./February 1933 until Ḵordād 1314 Š./June 1935. Its founder and editor was Taqī Arānī, a chemist who had become a Marxist while studying in Berlin. Donyā was the first theoretically oriented Marxist journal in Persia. Because of official and popular opposition, however, communism was never openly promoted in its pages. In the first issue the editorial aims were explained in detail, particularly adherence to dialectical materialism and rejection of “idealism.” “It attempts to make the reader’s thinking familiar with the level of civilization of mankind today; its style and orthography will not conform to any restrictions of conservatism.”

The journal was divided into four main sections, devoted to science, industry, philosophy, and society respectively, with commentary on political and economic events overseas under the heading “Manẓara-ye donyā” (World view). In fact, much of the space in Donyā was devoted to scientific reports. Because Persian politics were not covered, the journal was never suppressed. Although contributors alluded to dialectical materialism in obscure academic language, they avoided controversy. The major writers were Arānī, who sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Aḥmad Qāżī; Īraj Eskandarī, who wrote under the name A. Jamšīd; and Bozorg ʿAlawī, who wrote under the name Ferīdūn Nāḵodā.

Donyā was usually printed at the Eṭṭelāʿāt printing house in Tehran, in issues of thirty-two double-column pages, measuring 14 by 21 cm; the normal print run was 200 copies (Amīr Ḵosravī and Āḏarnūr, p. 34). The journalwas illustrated, and advertising was restricted to books. An annual subscription cost 25 rials, a single issue 2 rials.

Publication of Donyā was suspended after twelve issues, perhaps owing to lack of funds (Ḵāmaʾī, p. 83), or Arānī’s appointment to a government position (Amīr Ḵosravī and Āḏarnūr, p. 48). When Arānī and his colleagues were put on trial in 1317 Š./1938 the publication of Donyā was cited against them in court.

Collections of Donyā are preserved in the Malek Library, Tehran, and in the Central Library of Fārs in Shiraz; the works of Arānī, including his writings for Donyā, were published under the title Āṯār o maqālāt in Florence in 1975.

Donyā was revived as the theoretical organ of the Tudeh party in exile (see COMMUNISM iii) in 1960 and was published in Europe until 1974; the contributors were anonymous. The journal began as a quarterly of 96-120 pages, measuring 15 by 22 cm, but later it was reduced to appearing twice a year, with 140-60 pages, measuring 11 by 15.5 cm and in smaller print. The price of a single copy was 40 rials in Persia and 50 cents or the equivalent elsewhere. A third series was launched in the summer of 1975, also in Europe; it was published in Stassfurt, near Magdeburg, in former East Germany, and carried an address in Stockholm. In this series Donyā became a political, rather than a theoretical, research-oriented publication. It appeared monthly, in the same format as the previous series but with 56-64 pages. Each issue cost 15 rials.

The fourth series was initiated in Tehran in March 1979; the journal appeared monthly, with 156-224 pages in approximately the same dimensions as those of the third series. Donyā was distributed as a supplement to the newspaper Nāma-ye mardom, the organ of the Tudeh party. Each issue cost 150 rials. During this period the owner of the franchise was Manūčehr Behzādī and as before the names of other contributors were not listed.

After the Tudeh party was banned in Persia a fifth series of Donyā began irregular publication in Germany in 1984 but also carried an address in Stockholm.

In addition to political articles all these series of Donyā, especially the fourth, included poetry and brief historical and literary notices. They carried no advertisements and few illustrations. Complete runs exist in some European and American libraries, but, because the Tudeh party and its publications were usually banned in Persia, only the fourth series, which was published in Tehran, can be found in Persian libraries.

2. A weekly newspaper including political commentary was published in Tehran by ʿAbd-al-Karīm Ṭabāṭabāʾī from Mehr 1324 Š./September 1945. In the autumn of 1328 Š./1949, publication was suspended, and Kāẓem Etteḥād Sarkešīkzāda issued the newspaper Etteḥād, edited by Ṭabāṭabāʾī in its place. Two months later its editors returned to the name Donyā. In the summer of 1352 Š./1973 the government closed Donyā, along with 134 other publications. In the winter of 1357 Š./1978 the newspaper resumed publication, but, with the success of the revolution in Persia, it was once again suppressed. From 1327 Š./1948 the newspaper also issued a yearbook.

Donyā normally consisted of four six-column pages, with many advertisements but few illustrations. During most of its run the price of a single issue was 2 rials.

There are only incomplete collections of this Donyā in major Persian libraries.

3. The British published a monthly propaganda magazine in Persian and English in Delhi from December 1945 to May 1946. It consisted mainly of news photographs from India and occasionally neighboring countries, with bilingual captions. The names of contributors were not listed. The publisher of record was United Publications, and the magazine was printed in twenty-four double-column pages. Although the price for a single issue was 4 annas, the magazine was distributed free to the British embassies in Persia and Afghanistan. Issues can be found in the Persian National Library and the India Office in London.



(For abbreviations found here, see “Short References.”) P. Abu’l-Żīāʾ and N. Morādī, Rāhnemāhā-ye rūz-nāmahā-ye Īrān. 1352, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, p. 5.

ʿA. Āgāhī, “Rastāḵīz-e Donyā,” Donyā, 2nd ser., 1, Ordībehešt 1339 Š./April 1960, pp. 1-5.

Idem, “Doktor Taqī Arānī. Čehra-ī tābān dar tārīḵ-e jonbeš-e kārgarī wa komūnīstī-e Īrān,” Donyā, 4th ser., 1/5, 1979, pp. 150–56.

B. Amīr Ḵosravī and F. Āḏarnūr, Ḵāṭerāt-e sīāsī-e Īraj Eskandarī, Saint Cloud, France, 1366 Š./1987, pp. 18-23, 26-31, 34-51.

Idem, “Rowšan bād ḵāṭera-ye Doktor Taqī Arānī be monāsabat-e haftād o panjomīn sāl-e zādrūz,” Donyā 4/5, 1979,pp. 28-30.

W. Behn, Islamic Revolution or Revolutionary Islam in Iran, Berlin, 1980, p. 49.

Idem and W. M. Floor, Twenty Years of Iranian Power Struggle, Berlin, 1982, p. 33.

A. Ḵāmaʾī Panjāh nafar . . . wa seh nafar, 4th ed., I, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, pp. 73-83.

E. Pūrqūčānī, Fehrest-e rūz-nāmahā-ye mawjūd dar ketāb-ḵānahā-ye markazī-e Āstān-e qods-e rażawī, Mašhad, 1364 Š./1985, pp. 153-54.

W.-M. Ṣādeqī-nasab, Fehrest-e rūz-nāmahā-ye fārsī-e sāl-e 1320-1332 šamsī, Tehran, 1360 Š./1981, p. 88.

Ṣadr Hāšemī, Jarāyed o majallāt, pp. 293-96.

B. Sartīpzāda and K. Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e rūz-nāmahā-ye mawjūd dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye mellī-e Īrān, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977, pp. 100-01 no. 212; 130 no. 241.

U. Sims-Williams, Union Catalogue of Persian Serials and Newspapers in British Libraries, London, 1985, p. 126, no. 124.

L. Sūdbakš, Fehrest-e našrīyāt-e adwārī dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazī-e Fārs, Shiraz, 1368 Š./1989, p. 375.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

Originally Published: December 15, 1995

Last Updated: November 29, 2011

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Vol. VII, Fasc. 5, pp. 498-499