Learn Persian Through Golestan of Saadi – Summer 2024

Online From August 2, 2024 to September 20, 2024

Deadline: July 19, 2024

Price: €360

Early bird discount price: €320

Early bird discount deadline: June 14, 2024

Apply Now!

Original price was: €360,00.Current price is: €320,00.

Availability: Total tickets available: 12


Join “Joy of Persian” on a captivating journey through Saadi’s timeless masterpiece, the Gulestan. Through this 4-week online workshop, you’ll delve into the heart of classical Persian poetry, refining your language skills and gaining deeper cultural insights.

Transform Language Learning:

Traditional courses, even online, can feel isolated and passive. You learn, you memorize, but true fluency requires connection and practice. Our workshops flip the script!

  • Learn key concepts independently: Access our high-quality online courses to master the fundamentals at your own pace.
  • Practice and apply: Join live, interactive Zoom sessions to put your learning into action. Ask questions, engage in discussions, and receive personalized feedback from our experienced teachers.

This flipped classroom approach maximizes your learning potential. These live sessions follow a set schedule and duration, focusing on specific topics or general conversation practice.

Saadi and his rose garden “The Golestan”

Saadi Shirazi is one of the most important poets and storytellers of the 13th century. He left an indelible mark on Persian literature with his profound works. Among his many compositions, the Bustan and the Golestan stand as his most celebrated masterpieces, displaying his mastery of language and profound insights into human nature.
The Golestan (sometimes transliterated as Gulistan) is one of the three pillars of Persian literature, alongside Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh and Rumi’s Masnavi. It was completed in 656 AH and is known as Saadi’s intellectual journey across the Middle East and beyond. The journey began in Shiraz, where he diligently pursued his education. Upon completing his studies, he embarked on a series of extensive travels. His accounts of these journeys, woven into his works, paint vivid pictures of diverse cultures and customs. Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a desire to broaden his horizons, Saadi’s travels extended beyond mere exploration. Each journey served as a spiritual odyssey, deepening his understanding of the world and his place within it.
The fruits of Saadi’s travels and intellectual pursuits are manifested in a rich tapestry of stories, anecdotes, and observations rooted in the realities of life. Each tale in the Golestan serves as a window into the human experience, offering timeless lessons in morality, social conduct, and the pursuit of knowledge.
Saadi’s wisdom and wit resonated with the common people, and many of his sayings from the Golestan have become ingrained in Persian folklore and proverbs.
The Golestan’s influence extended beyond Persia’s borders, reaching audiences across the globe. In 1634, the first translation of the Golestan into a European language emerged, with André du Ryer rendering the work into French. Since then, countless translations have been made, bringing Saadi’s timeless wisdom to readers worldwide.

Saadi language in Golestan
Saadi’s Golestan is famous for its rhythmic structure. The rhymed prose of Golestan is pleasing to the ear and easy to remember. In Saadi’s hands, the Persian language transforms into a pliable medium, effortlessly molded to convey his profound messages. His masterful use of carefully chosen words and polished phrases not only delivers his intended meaning but also preserves the beauty and harmony of his prose.

Why you should read Golestan?

1. Fascinating stories: Golestan isn’t a boring history textbook. It’s packed with engaging fables, funny anecdotes, and poems about love, loss, and the beauty of life.
2. A Brain Workout: Reading Golestan isn’t just fun, it’s a mental workout. You’ll encounter thought-provoking proverbs, groan-worthy puns (in a good way), and stories that challenge your assumptions.
3. A literary masterpiece: “Golestan” is a classic for a reason. Its elegant prose, engaging stories, and profound insights have captivated readers for centuries. Join the legacy that inspired great minds like Rumi, Goethe, and Emerson!
4. Not as hard as you think:  “Golestan” is written in a beautiful, accessible style, with short stories and sayings you can easily pick up and read between classes or late-night study sessions. It’s a light and engaging read, promising quick bursts of wisdom.

[Saadi] finds room on his narrow canvas for the extremes of lot, the play of motives, the rule of destiny, the lessons of morals, and the portraits of great men. He has furnished the originals of a multitude of tales and proverbs which are current in our mouths, and attributed by us to recent writers.


Leila Seyedghasem, PhD.

Leila brings a deep passion for Persian culture and language to her role as Course Developer & Instructor. With a PhD from The University of Tehran and 9 years of teaching experience at italki, she is an expert in crafting engaging and effective learning experiences.

Driven by a belief in Persian’s rich literary heritage and global beauty, Leila authored textbooks now used in teaching centers worldwide. Her research background in linguistics further cements her expertise. She finds immense joy in fostering connections through language, welcoming you to embark on a captivating journey into the world of Persian.

Delve into the rich world of classical Persian poetry with this comprehensive course! Under the guidance of Dr. Leila Seyedghasem, you’ll unlock the meaning and nuances of Gulestan’s verses through interactive discussions, thought-provoking questions, and connections with fellow learners from around the globe. By the end, you’ll have gained a deep understanding of reading, interpreting, and analyzing this captivating genre.



She is a very good teacher! I learned basic Persian in college, but I continue to study Iranian literature with her. She teaches with full-fledged literary knowledge, from classical poetry such as Saadi and Rumi to contemporary novels.


Leila is amazing. Reading with her, I finally feel like I am getting to a place of more deeply understanding and engaging with classical Persian literature, after years of studying the language elsewhere. She always takes the time to work through anything I don’t understand, and explains the larger context behind our readings. I can’t recommend her enough.


Leila is very good at explaining Classical Persian literature and how it differs from Modern Persian. She helped bring out the humor and wit in Saadi’s Gulistan, at the same time as helping my speaking and understanding of modern Persian by rephrasing and translating the expressions in the text into modern Persian.

Workshop Details:

  • Target Audience: This near-advanced workshop is ideal for individuals with a solid foundation in Persian (intermediate reading comprehension required). Whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate student, researcher, professor, or simply passionate about the language, this program offers valuable learning opportunities for all.
  • Dates: August 2 – September 20, 2024 (4 weeks)
  • Schedule: Fridays (8 sessions total)
  • Time: 8:30 PM Istanbul Time (flexible based on applicant locations)
  • Duration: 16 hours of intensive Persian teaching (2 hours per session)
  • Structure:
    • Introduction
    • “Gulestan” reading and analysis
    • Interactive discussions and Q&A
  • Platform: All live sessions will be conducted on Zoom, ensuring a seamless and interactive learning experience.


Selected stories
Chapters and selected stories
Chapter 1: The Conduct of Kings
Story 11, 12, 19, 29, 36, and 41
Chapter 2: The Character of Dervishes
Story 1, 6, 12, 21, 22, and 42
Chapter 3: The Superiority of Contentment
Story 1, 2, 7, 11, and 18
Chapter 4: The Benefits of Silence
Story 2, 5, 7, and 13
Chapter 5: Love and Youth
Story 6, 8, and 19
Chapter 6: Feebleness and Old Age
Story 3, and 4
Chapter 7: The Effects of Education
Story 1, 12, 14, and 18
Chapter 8: The Art of Conversation
Maxims: 1, 3, 5, 19, 27, 34, 35, 55, 65, 72, 96, 107


Registered participants in this workshop will receive complimentary access to the following online course two weeks prior to the workshop start date.

Placement: Crafting a personalized learning experience

To ensure the workshop provides the best possible learning experience for everyone, we conduct a brief assessment to place you in the right group for your current skill level. This personalized approach allows you to:

  • Maximize your learning: You’ll be surrounded by peers at your level, enabling deeper discussions and more focused practice.
  • Progress with confidence: Tailored learning ensures you grasp key concepts before moving on, boosting your confidence and motivation.
  • Connect with passion: Sharing your journey with like-minded individuals fosters a supportive community and keeps you excited about learning.

Here’s how the assessment works:

  1. Apply online: Simply fill out the application form on our website.
  2. Complete a personalized quiz: The instructor will send you a short quiz to gauge your current comprehension.
  3. Optional video conversation: This brief chat allows the instructor to understand your individual needs and learning goals better.

Based on these assessments, you’ll be placed in the most suitable group for your skill level. We may even create two separate groups to best cater to specific needs.

Once your evaluations are complete:

If you’re a good fit for the workshop, you’ll receive an acceptance email with instructions for finalizing your registration by paying the course fee.

What if I don’t qualify for this workshop?

No worries! We offer other options to start your Persian language journey:

Apply Now!

    We're thrilled you're interested in learning Persian with Joy of Persian! To help us tailor our workshops to your needs and create a supportive learning environment, kindly fill out this form completely. The information you provide will help us get to know you better and serve you more effectively.

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