eliza ennis '19 the shah's advisers in the safavid empire, 1588-1618

eliza ennis '19
the shah's advisers in the safavid empire, 1588-1618


Eliza Ennis is a sophomore in Pforzheimer House at Harvard, contemplating studying Social Studies and/or Government with a potential secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She hails from the small town of Cedar Crest, New Mexico, where she enjoys hiking, rafting, and backpacking. Though she initially pursued her love for international relations by writing articles and op-eds for her high school newspaper, she joined the world of Model UN as soon as she arrived at Harvard. With experience as a delegate on Harvard's competitive traveling team, a senior staff member for both of Harvard's domestic conferences (HMUN & HNMUN), and co-president of Harvard's freshman conference, Eliza looks forward to WorldMUN 2017 and all the memories it is sure to bring!

Topic: Rise of First Shia Empire of Iran

With Ottomans invading the empire in the west and Uzbeks gaining control over territory in the east, the Safavids are under full attack. The empire's top officials are not even sure who the real leader of the empire is: 16-year-old Shah Abbas I or Murshid Quli Kan, Abbas' former mentor. Baghdad is being ruled by the Ottomans, and Georgia is calling for independence. The empire is at the brink of falling apart, as the military is disjointed, sectarian tension is high, and cities on both sides of the empire are being plundered. 

Shah Abbas' advisers will need to lay the path for the future of the empire by defending the land from foreign invasion, keeping the empire together through numerous sectarian uprisings, and determining the Safavid's role in the increasingly global economy. Will Isfahan rival Istanbul to become the new center of Islamic thought? How will the Safavids take part in increasingly global trade? Will the Empire survive?

As a delegate, you will be faced with these challenges and need to set the course of the first Shia Empire of Iran, integrating the beliefs of your many peoples with the history of Persia and the new ideas brought by European envoys and traders from India and beyond. At the same time, you will have to constantly be wary of losing the Shah’s trust, as he will take extreme measures to wipe out deceit and treason.