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November 29, 2005

Maadar-e foulad-zereh

I was talking to Deev yesterday. In a sentence about a woman, he mentioned the expression "Maadar-e foulad-zereh" (Steel-armored mother). I became curious and asked if he knew where the popular expression comes from. He didn't. Do you? What is its origins and perhaps first use? Is there one particular person who is often referred to as "Maadar-e foulad-zereh"? And anything else that may be of interest...

Arjang Hassibi writes: "Maadar-e Foulad-Zereh" is actually the name of one the evil characters in Amir-Arsalan Namdar's Qajar-era novel. It tells the adventures of Amir-Asalan, the Muslim prince, who has fallen in love with Farrokh-Laghah the princess of "Farang".

I am not going to get into the details of the story (google it if you like), but in this story Amir-Arsalan has an arch-nemesis called "Foulad-Zereh". This evil character is essentially an efreet (demon) with a nice set of horns, bulky and steel-like body (where the name "Foulad Zereh" perhaps comes from) and not surprisingly very bad temper. Foulad Zereh has a mom which is a very very very ugly and crooked witch called "Maadar-e Foulad-Zereh" (mother of Foulad Zereh). She always tries to screw things up for Amir-Arsalan, and occasionally tries to seduce him.

Anyway, as you can expect Maadar-e Foulad-Zereh and Foulad-Zereh are both killed by our beloved Muslim prince in the story. He marries Farrokh-Laghah and they also conquer "Farang" and all become Muslims too!

Winners: Simin Habibian (Sad Afarin!) and Arjang Hassibi (Sad Afarin!)

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