Lina Molkemian was born in Isfahan, Jolfa at 1939. She studied at Shahrbanu School and then continued her high school at Behesht-e Aein which was a famous high school. About her life she says: "When studying at the first class, I could read books of the third year easily. I was born in a 6-child family in which I was the fourth child and I was curious about the others’ books and read them. When I was in the fourth class I read political and detective footnotes carefully and explained them to others. So I was interested in reading and research. I owe whole of my educational and cultural life to my mother and my aunt. My aunt had not been married and as a tradition she lived with us. She was good in math and helped me. When I came to Tehran to continue my education, she accompanied me as well. My mother was tough in cleanliness and studying and checked all her children, I thank God because of this. My father earned well so I passed my youth nice and comfortable. After finishing high school in Isfahan, I entered the medicine field of Beirut’s American University. But whatever I tried I could not continue studying medicine, because I always loved to be a teacher.
My aunt helped the unsighted in a welfare institute and sometimes I used to accompany her. Once when I was there, a teacher who read story for children was absent, my aunt asked me to read a story. Although I was young, I could read professionally. I stood on a stair and started reading and since I was a child and had a childish voice they loved my reading more than their own teacher. When they shook their heads and they laughed, a firm foundation was made in my heart and I decided to be a teacher, I remained on my decision, still I am a teacher and I hope to die as a teacher. Any way I did not continue medicine and returned to Isfahan, after a while I came to Tehran to study the field I was interested in. Those days Tehran High Training College gave me two M.A. degrees. One in education and the other in subsidiary fields and since I had studied natural sciences in high school, I could not continue my education in maths, on the other hand I loved mathematics and I attended subsidiary classes of the university. So when I studied education, I also studied lessons which I was interested in. Then I studied my B.A. in the Social Sciences studying and research institute. I studied demography and sociology in the institute, I was not contended to these two so I entered the advanced statistics and I could get the diploma from the Academy of Social Sciences of Tehran University. Immediately I was employed there as tuition fee but since I was graduated from High Training College, I had to work 5 years in The Education Ministry and I couldn’t be employed there officially. After 5 years, I was transferred to the Academy of Social Sciences and worked there until 1983. In 1983 I immigrated to USA but I couldn’t tolerate being separated from home so I returned to Iran. At the beginning my husband disagreed my return but then he returned to Iran as well.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and Armenia’s independence in 1991, I went to Armenia State University indirectly so I became a PhD. Student there. I became a candidate of PhD. Degree. Armenia sent the documents to Moscow; I had to live in Moscow for 2 years which was impossible for me. Finally I graduated from Armenia. During 6 years in Academy of Sciences I did a research which was related to both history and mathematics. The research was written based on logic and mathematics which resulted in a 7-volume book in Farsi and a 7-volume book in English. I taught research methods and statistics whole my life and rarely demography. It should be mentioned, I have attended all math and demography congresses; from South Africa to Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland and Europe….. When I was teaching at the Academy of Social Sciences, I was also working as the deputy of student's affairs of Tehran University, in that time Gol Naraghi suggested to me to work in a dentistry academy. It was the beginning of my statistic consultation; it is not exaggeration to say I have done more than 1000 PhD. Thesis. In statistic thesis, proposal is so important as well as sample and tests which I am profession in all these subjects. I still work at the academy. Also I do other side activities such as management of statistic and population unit of Cultural Research Office, cooperating with Great Islamic Encyclopedia, professor and research colleague of Science Academy of Yerevan state university and Yerevan Aria University and supervisor of B.A. and PhD. Thesis.
Tell us about your books.
My first book is Usage of sampling in social sciences. I have a 7-volume book, titled “Historic review of cultural interactions and similarities between Iran and Armenia”, selections of the book has been published in one volume.
Is the book in Farsi or Armenian?
It has been published in Armenian language and has been translated in English in Armenia. I have also written in Farsi.
I have another book “Iran-Armenians’ churches” which was published in 2001 in “What we know about Iran”. The book was published in the cultural research office in Armenia by the cooperation of International center of Dialogue among Civilizations.
How standard is the research method and survey in Iran?
We follow the academy of Health which adopts its annual programs with WHO. Every where spss is used for statistic tests and the work is indeed scientific. For example in a PhD. thesis we try to have a scientific, precise and practicable proposal which can be used in other similar studying.
I mean Iran's statistics in comparison to global standards?
Fortunately many of up-to-date statistic books in the world are translated by Iranian publishers. I have translated a book written by John Harrway and I have also published its key to solutions which has been done for the first time. There are people in University of Tehran, University of Shahid Beheshti and University of Allameh Tabatabaei who work well in the field.
And what are the usages of these activities in Iran?
Of course the big defect of statistics is that it can easily be changed. For example in pathology increasing is impossible and when we sample a patient, it shows in which degree of illness is s/he, or s/he is ill at all or not. But unfortunately statistics can be changed from base. For example in census for calculating growth, we need base population as well as origin population, if both base and origin populations are true, growth is true, but if base population has been registered less or more, statistics of growth will be less or more and illusive. That is too bad, specially using statistics in issues related to population that needs too much time.
In Iran should those who do the job pass related academic courses?
Yes, now University of Shahid Beheshti is the most important center in Iran which gives PhD. Degree as well as University of Tarbiat Modarres. Without having PhD. no one is employed in the statistics group, even for promotion, written articles are read by key professors of the world.
Who is the founder of statistic researches in Iran?
Academy of Health has founded it and prominent scientific ones have done the work, all have been proved by WHO (World Health Organization) or UNFP, like Doctor Habibollah Zanjani who is one of the most distinguished demographers of the world.
Statistics is related with what other fields?
There is nowhere in a society in which statistics is not used. Even in cooking statistics is necessary. There is no scientific activity in which there is not statistic data.
How much are statistics correct and applied in our country?
There are two phases and steps in basic issues of scientific ways; one step obeys the goals and the other is applied. In the first phase 75percent statistics plays a role but not in applied phase. In fact statistics is a document to prove in different sciences.
How is the authenticity of our organizations and institutes in using statistics? Are they reliable?
No, because we don’t have specialists who know applied statistics in different units. Sometimes I receive reports that have made me cry. Even if they know applied statistics, as I told, statistics can be manipulated easily. For example if we want to evaluate the rate of life hope, it has a modeling and if one who does the job makes a mistake in one phase and chooses a model which does not fit our country, then rate of life hope will change easily.
So there is no certainty?
No and for this reason one of the basic subjects of statistics is probabilities. For example if we test tetracycline which is a kind of antibiotic and perceive results with P.value, it means what is the probability; if P.value is 83 percent, the test is not correct. Now the probability rate of every statistic activity is indicated by it.
Is there any place to supervise the situation of statistics in organizations?
I don’t know if there is such a place.
According to your proficiency in statistics, do you have thought about launching such a center to supervise statistic activities?
In my own field when I doubt about an issue, I inform those who are responsible and ask them to help for checking the process. For example samples in many of researches are not optimized so they are considered as a case study and are applied only in those cases. If the case is optimum, we can generalize the results to similar cases. There are codified scientific principles but I don’t know a place which checks the statistics.
Tell us about one of your published articles titled “Pilgrimage days of Christians” which has been published in IUAES.
A congress was hold in the House of Artists and I was asked to prepare statistic about pilgrimage days of Christians and offer it and I gave a speech those days, it has been published as an article in IUAES.
Among your works there is a subject about the relation between Iran and Armenia. Why do you have written about Iran and Armenia?
Because Armenia is a country that has had a distinguished civilization in the Soviet Unions’ era, Armenia is good at cultural resources, books and research articles. I gave a speech during the Book Week about the protocols and treaties between Iran and Armenia. All these are preserved in the National Library of Armenia, I have categorized all protocols; date of protocols, their subjects, results…. I have written a book about demography of religious minorities in Iran (Armenia, Assyrians, Jewish and Zoroastrian) which was the first book published by Academy publication.
Tell us about the book's demography.
Demography is in two types; one is moving in time and the other is moving in place. Moving in time deals with birth and death and moving in place deals with migration and marriage. The book is about the statistics of these movements.
How much the culture of Iran and Armenia are similar to each other?
Armenia has a historic antiquity as well as a historic base, relation between Iran and Armenia is like ebb and flow; once Armenia was dependent on Iran and other time Iran obeyed Armenia, these two countries have a good historic relations. In the Soviet Unions’ era, Russians investigated and understood Armenia is the best place to develop culture in. Unlike other republics like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan… in which Russian was the formal language, Armenia preserved Armenian language. Moscow also provided scholarships for cultural classed and now many of Armenian professors have studied at Soviet. It is good to say that the national library of Armenia has books which are unique in the Middle East.
Since Armenia is a Christian country and Iran has been Muslim since far past and Iran’s culture is an Islamic culture, how these two cultures are in harmony?
During the Communist era, religious did not play an important role. But Armenia had an office in Iran during the era. Of course the relation between Iran and Armenia was not good till Mohammad Reza Pahlavi went to the Soviet with his second wife Sorayya and visited Armenia. Before the visit, there was neither trade nor other relations between these two countries. The relation boosted after communist. Culture of Iran and Armenia has been linked from the historic viewpoint and it is not affected by religious faith.
One of your researches is about immigration of Iran’s Armenians to Armenia in 1946 and you have also published a book at the same subject, tell us about it.
There were beautiful villages in Chaharmahalo Bakhtiari as well as villages environs Golpaigan, their habitants were Armenian also they lived around Arak, East and West Azerbaijan. Those days a caliph as a bishop worked in Isfahan, Jolfa who encouraged people to immigrate to Armenia. About 27 thousand people immigrated that time; documents of these immigrations were archived in the Soviet embassy in Armenia. Based on Russian rules, each confidential document will open after 50 years; the rule was established in the Soviet in Stalin era because of massacre. In 1996, 50 years finished and documents were sent to National Archive Office. When these immigrations happened, I was a child and related memoirs still remains in my mind and I think about it. The first time I went to Armenia for I asked Iran’s ambassador to Armenia, Mohammad Farhad Koleini to help. I accessed the documents via Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I paid 6 thousand dollars for copying and brought the information to Iran and concluded them by spss.
Are your books welcomed more in Iran or Armenia?
In Armenia, especially in the Academy of Yerevan.
Because it was important for them and they interpreted interim relations clearly.
Why did you decide to prepare a selection of 7-volume book?
Because it was impossible to publish these 7 volumes, so I decided to select subjects of these 7 volumes in one Farsi book, Iran embassy in Armenia has written a preface for the book and Iran’s cultural attaché paid the cost of publishing. This selected book won golden award in Armenia.
Do you read poems and if your answer is yes which poets are you interested in?
I am not interested in literature at all. Of course sometimes I read poems. My students have gifted me about 20 kinds of Khayyam poems and I know all the poets. I also know literary styles, but I am not interested in poems and poesy. In fact I don’t like subjects which don’t have math in.
So certainly you are interested in philosophical subjects?
Yes. Philosophy is one of fields that I read .
Which Islamic philosophers do you like and read more?
I like some Iranian philosophers, Imam Ali is the greatest Islamic philosopher in my idea and I don’t think there is a book higher than Nahj al-Balagha in philosophy, literary and wisdom aspects.
Have you read Nahj al-Balagha?
Yes. In Nahj al-Balagha there are themes which may not seem philosophical but their roots are. I always cite words of Imam Ali to Malek Ashtar, I believe Imam Ali is an Islamic philosopher. Recently Darriz dedicated a Farsi translation of Nahj al-Balagha to me which contains many interesting and informative content. I love Imam Ali very much. Among Iranian philosophers I like Abu Ali Sina.
What about European philosophers?
No. I only know modern philosophers who have philosophical researches because I am a supervisor and we face theorization in academic and research thesis. So I have to read and know theories of philosophers.
During the last years a viewpoint has been posed in which statistics has a significant role and it has affected many modern philosophers; quantum physics, what do you know about it?
I haven't read quantum physics completely, yet. Shamshiri has dedicated me a book in this subject, but I didn’t have time to read it yet. I have read something on the web, but not completely.
If you feel tired of statistics and math, what subjects do you choose to read?
Different subjects, I read whatever conforms time.
You already said you write entries for the great Islamic encyclopedia?
Yes I wrote an entry about biography of Sadighi, because he was my professor and I worked 6months for adjusting the work. Now it is supposed about churches; date of establishing churches and their changes in Iran for example we had a church 1600 years ago in Khark.
You also said you have written a book about forming populations in election, would you talk about it?
This book is about forming population in the 6th round of Majlis election, it has been chosen as the best research. It contains statistics of voters as well as their constituencies; voters in Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and during transitive era, those who voted for the first time as well as those who have voted before. Four electronic soft wares have been used for preparing the book.
Would you explain about your book titled “Population”?
An important research about developing villages of Hamadan was done during the imposed war. It has 8 volumes and I have written one volume related to population.
Which book are you working on?
I am translating a book titled “Qualitative research method” which has been published 5 times in USA.
Don’t you face problems in publishing your works?
According to my husband’s will, all benefits of publishing the books are related to Armenia and I don’t have any right to take any profit. So I don’t know what the consultant talk with the publisher and how books are published.
What did you like to do but you didn't?
I have done whatever I wanted. I am interested in charity works and I help “Mahak” children and council of kidney patients. Where help is need, I will help.
Are you interested in sport?
Very much. I was a runner and I was given lifetime international refereeing card in academic Olympiads of Bulgaria. I have attended many competitions in Turkey and China.
What about music?
I love it very much. When I was a child I wanted my parents to let me play violin or harmonica. My mother always behaved based on justice and said if I buy you a music instruments, what should I do with the other children? I love Iranian music, I have written about Iranian music and sonnets which are famous in Armenia as well as music of Armenia that is well-known through the world. The main part of Armenia’s income is from musical instruments and songs. I listen more to Armenian music by “Sayat Nova” with fiddle; he sang among Georgia, Iran and Armenia, he was singer, composer and poet. His poems are mixed with Farsi.
Are you familiar with art and painting?
I have unique handcrafts, because the base of handcrafts is math. My house is full of tableaus of needlework. I don’t like painting and in technical works my grade is below zero! I am also skilful in cooking and make food regarding their quality and beauty.
List of published books:
1. Preface of population book on the occasion of Population Global Year (1995)/ translation
2. Reviewing demography of religious minorities in Iran (the first work published in Academic publication center after the revolution)
3. Usage of sampling methods in social sciences
4. Feature of Isfahan population
5. Armenians’ churches in Iran (second publication)
6. Biological statistics of usage of data analysis in dentistry/ translation
7. An introduction to statistic methods, usage of statistics in research (second publication)
8. A guidance to exercises of statistic methods
9. Interactions and similarities between Iran and Armenia in 7voluems:
(1) The first volume:
-the first chapter: preface, methods and goals of research, explaining operational variables
-the second chapter: theoretic framework- culture- cultural interactions- genesis backgrounds of International relations- communication and media- dialogue among civilizations.
(2) The second volume:
- the second third: identical variables: date- race- religion- language
(3) the third volume:
-the forth chapter: customs and traditions.
- The fifth chapter: tourism.
(4) the forth volume:
- the sixth chapter: art: architecture- sculpture- theater- painting-graphic- music- cinema.
(5) the fifth volume:
- the seventh chapter: sport
- the eighth chapter: immigration
- the ninth chapter: self-sacrifice and martyrdom
- the tenth chapter: the role of cultural institutes of Iran and Armenia
(6) the sixth volume:
- the eleventh chapter: exchanges and interactions between Islamic Republic of Iran and Armenia.
- the twelfth chapter: Armenian Iranians. Conclusion- bibliography- appendixes
(7) the seventh volume:
Abstract (in Farsi, Armenian and English languages)
Totally 1610 pages (84 colored pages and 25 tables).
10- historic-cultural relations between Iran and Armenia (published in Yerevan)
11- A selection of cultural similarities and interactions between Iran and Armenia since old past till now
12- The book “Qualitative Researching” is under translation.
List of applied researches in execution of state projects which have been published in various ministries from 1964 till 2002
1- Reviewing multilateral situation of summer camps of children of oil industry workers in two rounds
2- Reviewing population of Dezful, applied in building art center
3- Reviewing population of Tabriz, applied in building art center
4- Reviewing population of Rudbar, applied in building art center
5- Research for developing villages of Hamadan province (population and human force)
6- Reviewing population of Babol, applied in building art center
7- Monography of Armenian churches in Iran
8- Social-economical research and creating data-base of dialysis patients related to assembly of supporting kidney parionts
9- A research about cancer patients (MAHAK)
10-Reviewing current situation of population in Tehran, region 7, backgrounds and basis of social-rural crisis
11-Reviewing population of comprehensive project of Kish
12-Internal evaluating of students of academy of dentistry (6 volumes)
13-breif reviewing of vital statistic of religious minorities in Tehran
14-feature of population of Qom province
15-population predictions in forming the 6th round of Islamic Majlis
16-planning payment and profit system for state employees (field study)
17-the House of nation and public culture (20years-statistic report)
18-reviewing health situation of private and state dentistry clinics in Tehran
Some articles and speeches from 1991 till 2010
1-report of researches about children suffering from cancer for WHO in two Farsi and English languages/ office of cultural researches
2-brief review of vital statistic of religious minorities in Tehran (won prize)/ scientific-research quarterly periodical of national organization for civil registration, No 21, 22
3-collection of articles of Yerevan orientalism academy
4-basis of Armenian architecture/ magazine of architecture and culture, No. 20
5-comparing the effect of chlorhexidine with antibiotic in decreasing gam phenomena after surgery (the magazine of academy of dentistry in University of Shahid Beheshti)
6- The Mass Repatration of the Armenians from Iran in 1946 – 1974 -Some Statical Data
7- Pilignimge Days of Armenians
8-reviewing social factors effective in female prisoners’ guilt/ scientific-research quarterly periodical of Social Research
9-reviewing process of professors’ research activities and effective factors in Azad University of Ali Abad Katul/ scientific-research quarterly periodical of Social Research