Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center and its partner organizations will be hosting a forum via Zoom, "The State of Social and Economic Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran," on 19 May 2022, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm, Philippine Standard Time. The forum is free and open to the public, but signing in to a Zoom account is required.


When talking about the Middle East and North Africa, the general perspective lies on the fluidity of its regional security and political environment where conflict and rivalry among state and non-state actors dominated much of the media. However, a close examination of the region exposes us to some of their most urgent socio-economic challenges, particularly affecting their youth.
This forum will examine the social and economic development in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Specifically, it seeks to address the following questions:
      • What is the state of socio-economic development in the contemporary Islamic Republic of Iran?
      • How does Iran’s Islamic government address the issues of their youth specially on unemployment, and brain drain?
      • How did international political and economic sanctions affect Iran’s ability to provide social and economic services to its young population?


H.E. Alireza Tootoonchian is currently the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Manila. Prior to his new assignment to Manila, His Excellency was the Deputy Director-General of the Department for International Environment and Sustainable Development Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tehran. In 1991, he was employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served in the Permanent Missions of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations (UN) in Vienna, New York, and Geneva. He has a Master's in Political Science and Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. 


  • Mindanao State University, General Santos City
  • Mindanao State University
  • Bukidnon State University
  • Philippine-Middle East Studies Association (PMESA)

The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.