queen of mine
Let's not move back; let's look to the future
to establish a real democracy
By Laleh Larijani
April 13, 2004
Let me say first and foremost that I enjoyed reading Mr. Bahmani's article, "My
dream coffee with Farah Pahlavi".
enjoyed the humor and the honesty. To be fair, I respect that what Mr. Bahmani
wrote was an excerpt of his encounter with someone who is clearly very special
to him and I am sure many in his generation. Mr. Bahmani, as all of us, is entitled
to his opinion.
What I want to voice is a concern over
what Farah and the Shah have meant for my generation... the ones
who were born during
or after the revolution. For us
she is neither a Queen nor a majestic figure. We are witness to let's say
For Iran, the revolution meant and
end to oppression and a move towards democracy. It went wrong and largely due
to the overwhelming backlash of an effort to avoid anything "Monarch like,"
and the deep resentment of the clergy towards the Shah. That sentiment has
manifested itself in Iran and unfortunately we -- the youth -- are paying
So while I am sure it is a sad feeling for Mr. Bahmani
and many others who share his sentiments over the end of that era,
it has been a lifetime of sadness
hardship for us "forgotten people."
When Farah and her family left
Iran, they took what they wanted to with them. Sure, I have seen the interviews
where both Farah and Reza deny this but let's get real. She isn't still
living off the "nothing" is she? And the Gucci, and Yves Saint
Laurent Couture doesn't come for free.
I don't mean to sound sarcastic
but do I not have
the right to ask her and her family about the wealth they took out of
Iran? I certainly feel that I do. Call me a Ghandi-lover, but a
real king and
queen should be the slaves of the people. But what history has proven
is that the majority of kings and queens are first and foremost
kings and queens and not the welfare of their people.
And finally I want to make a comment on the question
raised on whether or not Farah may have tried to positively influence
her husband. Surly
But what I can say is that if she didn't stand up to his injustice
and brutality and protect the interests of the people, then she might
as well have had
a hand in everything herself.
I am and advocate in comprehending the lessons that
history will inevitably teach all of us. But what can be dangerous
with history, is the sense
of wanting to
return to the past; wanting to make things the way they used to be.
I wish that the Iranian community in exile understood the urgency
to moving back. We collectively put an end to monarchy and chose
That so-called democracy failed us. But let's resist
the urge to move
back; let's instead
look to the future and try and I mean really try to establish a
real democracy. Yeah it's easier said than done, but if even a
fraction of the talent of
Iranians abroad, whether it be doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs,
or students were to be dedicated to this cause and to improving
social justice system in Iran then all of us would have a renewed
sense of hope. Lets not forget the hopeless youth of Iran. Lets
not put them
when we flip through the pictures of our homeland.
As for Farah, she was who she was…but she
is certainly no Queen to my generation. And Reza, will surely never
be king, certainly not by the hands of Iranians themselves.
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