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Iranian of the century

 Write for The Iranian

Internet survey

January 7, 2000
The Iranian

The following (in alphabetical order) are all other Iranians nominated by our readers as the Iranian of the century. All received less than one percent of the vote, but none can be ignored for their impact on Iran and Iranians in the 20th century -- even individuals we may never have heard of.

Back to the Iranian of the century main index.

Bahai leader

* I look now at the accomplishments of all the great Iranians in the 20th century. But which Iranian's words, deeds and position will in the future end up being Iran's greatest contribution to the evolution of humankind? As lovers of Iran, we should not restrict ourselves to the impact made simply within Iran's cultural borders, nor base our decisions on the here-and-now. As I contemplate the future of a rapidly-changing world, I see Abdul-Baha, son and chosen successor of the founder of the Bahai faith, who presumably does not garner any mention in Iranian history books as a part of an "outlawed sect" at this time -- ultimately becoming the most influential Iranian from the 20th century, an incredible period which Abdul-Baha labeled as the "Century of Light." Shahbaz Sabeti

Also see
Abdul-Baha's biography

Azizi, Khodadad
Scored goal which qualified Iran for World Cup 98

Also see
"Mersi hamshahri"
"We were there"
World Cup 98 features

Bakhtiar, Shapour
Assassinated former prime minister

* I believe he was our last hope and he never got a real chance to save his beloved country. He was the only politician of the time who didn't sell himself out and he didn't offer his country to the enemy. And because he lost his precious life in the most hideous way by even more hideous people. He was a true martyr of our generation. Moji

Also see
National Movement of Iranian Resistance
"Dinner in Paris"

Baniahmad, Dr.

* For his approach to child development and education. His motto"Together we build a new world" focused mainly on children and their development. Sherrie Etemadi

Daei, Ali
Named best Asian soccer player in German league

* Ali Daei is the first Iranian footballer to represent the country in the champions league. He has been a great ambassador for the sport. Nima Sobhi

Also see
World Cup 98 features

Damghani, Mohammed Mehdi Rajab

* He attended undergraduate school in the US (Alabama) and went back to Iran to the University of Tehran Medical School and became a doctor. Upon graduation from medical school he was drafted into the Iranian army where he was placed in a hospital near the Iran/Iraq border. Twelve years ago, during the Iran/Iraq War, while working in the hospital as a doctor (which is all he ever wanted to be) the Iraqis dropped a bomb on the hospital and Mehdi was killed. He was only 35-years old, a wonderful and caring doctor and a wonderful person. He will always be missed. Pat Ebrahimi

Dehkhoda, Allameh
Persian scholar, satirist

* I don't know of anyone who has made a greater contribution to Iranian culture. I wish we were selecting the worst Iranian of the century as well. J. Namazi

Erani, Taqi
Socialist thinker, activist

* Philosopher, scientist, political leader, progressive democrat who was imprisoned and killed by Reza Shah Pahlavi. Yusef Jalali

Etessami, Parvin

Also see
Nahaal-e aarezu

Farrokhzad, Forough

Farrokhzad along with Googoosh received the most votes of any woman in the survey.

Also see
Poems (1) (2) (3) (4)
"The women we wanted to be"
"To live or to be alive?"

Forouhar, Daryoush and Parvaneh
Murdered dissidents

* Parvaneh and her husband Daryoush fought and sacrificed their life. She believed that to enhance freedom and dignity, an Iranian must experience a full range of civil liberties in the society. This includes freedom of speech and the press, political democracy, the legal right of opposition to governmental policies, fair judicial process, religious liberty, freedom of association, and artistic, scientific, an cultural freedom. She opposed the increasing invasion of privacy, by whatever means. Amir Rahimi

Also see
In the name of the pen
Interview with Arash Forouhar

Ghajar, Jamshid Ghahremani

* Jamshid Ghajar, chief of neurosurgery at New York's Jamaica Hospital. He spoke at Stanford University for the students association in December 1999. This man has dedicated his professional life to advancing and teaching the best ways to treat severe head injuries. While a resident at New York Hospital, he actually invented surgical devices to help with his aggressive treatments of severe head injuries. The incredibly important thing to note is that this is actually the number one cause of death in the U.S. (severe head injury) from car accidents, kids hitting their heads and people just falling down! Dr. Ghajar's treatment involves teaching doctors, hospitals, trauma centers etc. how to prevent this from happening, allowing for an almost full recovery. Please see the following website for a more complete bio. -- CK

Also see
The New Yorker feature on Dr. Ghajar


Googoosh along with Forough Farrokhzad received the most votes of any woman in the survey.

* She touched people's hearts like no one else and her music has survived the test of time. She's the best. Ali Hafezi

* Because she brought a lot of joy and happiness to all and created a united Iranian community through her music. Ladan Homayoon

Also listen
Also see

Hedayat, Sadegh

* It has to be Sadegh Hedayat. He was the first person who thought our country should modernize, even before this word was the mouth-piece of all those "motejaddedin." His impact on Iranian literature is of course too obvious. If Iran produced one person that can be presented to the world and be held in the same level as Kafka or Camus, it is him. Khodadad Rezakhani

Also see
"Dast-e bar ghazaa"
"Tanz-e Hedayat"

Hesabi, Mahmood

Karbaschi, Gholam-Hossein
Former mayor of Tehran

* For his high quality of management skill, his avoidance of abusing the resources in his hand, his greatness of spirituality and courage in court when he took responsibility, for all his assistant managers wrong doing, his intelligence in directing his case as a win for himself, his effort to support Khatami in presidential election in spite of predicted unpleasant result for himself, his integrity in life when he could live easily by allying with those who are his enemy now. Amir Hossein Sepasi

Maroofi, Javad

* Because of the fact that he composed classical Persian piano pieces without any precedence or tradition to follow. Because of his lyrical pieces and advancement of Iranian culture. Kaveh Pahlevan

Also listen

Mojtahedi, Mohammad Ali
Headmaster of Alborz High School

* He was not a politician, he was a teacher, mentor, visionary and a dedicated man. His contributions to Iranian students specially those of Alborz High School, Aryamehr and Polytechnic Universities and others have left thousands of proud Iranians around the globe, contributing to the society in all fields of science, technology and humanity. Ravaanash paak! Bob Mani

Also see
1944-45 Alborz High School Year Book
"Paying our debt"
Alborz High School website

Mother and father

* They instilled in me all of the positive things a person could have, such as good morals and values and the ability to make correct judgments by myself and without the influence of others. They also put in me, pride and recognition of my culture. I was born in the U.S., but still they taught me about Iran and taught me how to read, speak and write the language. The immortal queen of Babylon

Nouri, Abdollah
Outspoken cleric

* Standing up against the Islamic regime in a constructive fashion. Ezat T. Sanii

Also see
"It's over"

Omidyar, Parviz
Founder and Chairman, ebay

* Parviz Omidyar created ebay, the online auction powerhouse, and has continued to support charities and other Iranians in pursuit of internet riches. Bravo Parviz, bravo! Oraee

Also see
Omidyar's biography

Pessian, Colonel Mohammad Taghi
Dissident military man

People: students, victims, ...

* The Iranians of the century are those women and men who dedicated their mind, soul, and life to make a better Iran for all of us, and left no name behind for us to commemorate them. Dariush Asfari

* Our families In Iran who have gone through a war, nightly bombings and now uncertain future, inflation, high price of living and on top of these being away from their children and loved ones. They get my vote and my gratitude. Siros Hozhabri

* All those Iranians who died during the revolution and after the revolution, thinking that because of their deaths Iran will finally be a peaceful place where everyone from all creeds, languages and religions can live in harmony and safety, under a democratic elected government. Oh, what an illusion and what a big waste of precious human life. Alexander Yazdani

* Rather than choose a single person such as Mossadegh, I choose all Iranian victims of repression and terrorism (somewhat like the 'unknown soldier' concept in the West). This includes those people murdered by the Shah, by the Hezbollah, and by all other groups believing that violence, torture and murder are a reasonable means to an end. Farzin Farzin

* All those Iranians who stayed in their country after 1979, despite the adversity they faced, despite the opportunity they had to leave, and didn't abandon their home like the rest. Nounou Taleghani

* Iranian people are the Iranians of the century. There is no country in the world which is dealing with such a situation. They are really brave. What I hear from Iran and my family is that all the dreams and hopes are gone. They are living in the shadow of the past without any joy in the present and lots of fears for the future, and still they try to hold on to their pride and culture and tradition. How long do we have to go on like this? The STUDENTS, the young generation of Iran, they brought some hope and light, the movement that none of us had the guts (jorat) to create. THE STUDENTS are the Iranians of the century. Fariba

* My choice is the Iranian students who managed to overcome force and overwhelming planned propaganda to rise and stand up for democratic principals and essentially light the candle for what will inevitably become a new and democratic Iran for the first time in centuries if not millenniums. Amir Ryan Lahuti

* College students who participated in the last demonstration for the freedom of press & speech and basic rights in Iran. Homayoun T.

* I can't name a particular person. But my Iranians of the century are all those innocent civilians who lost their lives in cities all over Iran in eight years of war with Iraq. R. Sahragard

* All the poor bastards that died in the fruitless war between Iran and Iraq. Siamak Mirnezami

Also see
Revolution photos
War photos & music

Student protests

Parviz Sayyad's fictional peasant character

* None of the real personalities in our recent history deserve recognition. Triumph

Also see
Website dedicated to Parviz Sayyad

Sattar Khan
Leading figure in the 1906 Constitutional Revolution

* He was one of the first fighters for a constitutional democracy in Iran. I believe he is a hero not only to the Azari people, but to the whole of Iran, as well. Zarvan

* My Iranians of the century are those thousands of innocent children died in defense of their country while, the rich & educated sought the comfort of the West! My Iranians of the century are those who fought for the constitutional revolution. They fought with humility and never tried to impose their values on the nation! Long Live Sattar Khan & Bagher Khan! Sharifi

Also see
"Iran's American martyr"

Seihoun, Farideh

Dr. Farideh Seihoun who has trained thousands of teachers all over the world & has won the title of outstanding educator of the century by Oxford University. Farideh Seihoun

Sepehri, Sohrab

Also see
"New York va jeek jeek"
Poetry narration

Shajarian, Mohammad Reza

Also listen
Biography and links

Shariati, Ali

* Because Shariati knew that a country, and a civilization, must stand on its own feet. He dared to challenge the establishment, he dared to challenge Muslims, Islam, Iranians and the Shah. He forced us all to confront what Iran had become, and what Iran had to be. His influence reverberates throughout Iran, and indeed, the Islamic world. Haroon S Moghul

* He revived the Islamic ideology in the Persian society, and articulated the means for people to change as a nation. Abbas Ahrabi

* I would have to say that my choice for the Iranian of the century is definitely Dr. Ali Shariati. With his wonderful writing he has given our culture a meaning that will live on for years to come. His point of view is not only Islamic but also is very open minded, which true Islam is. He's given us a lot to read and think about and I wished he'd be more publicized than he is now. Marjan

Also see

Siassi, Ali Akbar
Chancellor of Tehran University, Minister of Education

Soccer team
World cup 98

* With their win over the U.S. in World Cup 98, they did more to increase the self-worth of Iranian-Americans than anybody else in the 20th century. Rameen Zahed

Also see
World Cup 98 features

Soheili, Mehdi

Soroush, Abdolkarim

Also see
Interview with Soroush

Tonekaboni, Sepahsalar Vali

* Freed Iran from civil disorder and foreign influences. He showed greatness in not accepting the crown the Majlis wanted to give him. A true nationalist. Tasva

Yushij, Nima

* My choice for Iranian of the century is Nima Yushij, who revolutionized Persian literature and opened the way for the likes of Forough Farrokhzad, Naderpour and others. Karim Pakravan

* His new way of poetry changed contemporary literature in Iran. Seyed Gharabety

Also see
100th anniversary
"Father and fatherland"

Zarrinkoub, Abdol-Hossein

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