Gheyrat? I'll Show You Gheyrat

Attention armchair critics


Gheyrat? I'll Show You Gheyrat
by Cyrus Khorasani

Once again it is with great dismay that I read a posting on this website by a self flagellating Iranian. Evidently our friend has no television to witness the courage of proud Iranians braving untold consequences by proudly taking to the streets in the past two days. The contributor fittingly sings the praises of Egyptians, but then questions the “gheyrat” of Iranians to do like wise. I have heard such complaints one time too many. Convinced our gadfly friend has no access to visual media outlets, I thought it best to put pen to paper.

Perhaps the following will steady our armchair critic’s jittery nerves and may assist to put our far too often inclination for collective self loathing to rest. Tremors have been with us for a century and there is a little bit of the conscience and high-mindedness of numerous pioneers in every one of us. Defining gheyrat is a tall order, where to begin:

You want entrepreneurial gheyrat visit Amin ol Zarb’s electrical power plants established in Mashad at the turn of the century;

You want poetic gheyrat opposing the Anglo-Russian carving up of Iranian sovereignty lend your ear to Mohammad Taqi Bahar’s poem “Bear this my message to Sir Edward Grey” of 1907;

You want soaring gheyrat read Malek ol Motakellemin's speeches during the tumult of the Constitutional Revolution in 1908;

You want patriotic gheyrat consider Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan and 2,000 of their supporters who took the arduous route from Tabriz to Tehran to support a smoldering Constitutional Revolution in the capital in 1909;

You want engineering gheyrat visit Hajj Bushehri’s sawmills in Mazandaran and bridges constructed over the Karun river in the second decade of this century;

You want high-brow gheyrat fathom the yearnings published between the covers of Kaveh by numerous inspired Iranian writers who converged on Berlin during the First World War;

You want diplomatic gheyrat review foreign newspaper clippings mentioning the eminent envoys extraordinaire, Aliqoli Massoud Ansari and Hossein Ala, demanding Iran a seat at the League of Nations in Paris in 1919;

You want dignified gheyrat against the Anglo-Iranian Agreement of 1919 read Mirzadeh Eshqi’s trope against “Curzon’s concubine” or articles produced in Sediqhe Dowlatabadi’s Zaban Zanan;

You want literary gheyrat read Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh’s Yeki Bood Yeki Nabood produced in 1921;

You want territorial gheyrat consider Brigadier Fazlollah Zahedi's bold landing in Khuzestan to counter Sheikh Khazal and his irredentist troops and save the province from being severed from the rest of the country in 1924;

You want courageous gheyrat read Hassan Moddaress’ speeches in the Parliamentary Hansards of 1924;

You want sovereign gheyrat consider Abdolhossein Teymourtash’s abrogation of capitulation agreements shackling Iran for over a century in 1928;

You want research gheyrat cast your attention to thousands upon thousands of pages of history drafted in old age by Hassan Pirnia (“Moshir ol Dowleh”) while he suffered from deteriorating vision;

You want scholarly gheyrat study Ebrahim Pour Davoud’s Gathas and Avesta produced after several jaunts to India;

You want pedagogical gheyrat consider Issa Saddiq's pioneering efforts spanning five tireless decades to expand educational opportunities for all Iranians;

You want legal gheyrat read Ali Akbar Davar's oral submissions defending Iran against the Anglo-Persian Oil Company at the League of Nations in 1933;

You want largesse gheyrat consider Hajj Hossein Agha Malek's decision to donate all his considerable wealth to worthy causes in the 1930s;

You want erudite gheyrat follow Allameh Mohammad Qazvini’s shuffling through libraries in Cairo, Paris, London and St-Petersburg to dust off ancient Persian manuscripts and relay copies to Iran;

You want institutional gheyrat witness Keikhosro Shahrokh’s establishment of a Parliamentary library in the late 1930s;

You want military gheyrat read of Daryadar Bayandor’s heroics in 1941;

You want insightful gheyrat witness Ahmad Kasravi’s face off against the zealous riff raff in the 1930s and 1940s;

You want humanitarian gheyrat consider Iranian diplomats who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by shepherding them out of Europe and to safety during the Second World War;

You want sophisticated gheyrat review Hassan Taghizadeh's submissions to the United Nations demanding the Soviets to withdraw their troops from Iran in 1946;

You want individual gheyrat consider Pahlevan Gholamreza Takhti’s dignified marches in the early 1950’s;

You want philanthropic gheyrat fathom Mohammad Namazi's decision to endow a hospital in Shiraz with his own resources in the 1950s;

You want yearning gheyrat look to Forough Farokhzad;

You want brilliant gheyrat review Abolhassan Ebtehaj and Khodadad Farmanfarmaian’s development blueprints sketched at the Plan Organization in the 1950s and 1960s;

You want erudite gheyrat listen to Fouad Rouhani’s gavel and representations as the chairman of OPEC at proceedings in the 1960s;

You want noblesse oblige gheyrat consider Mahrangiz Manouchehrian, Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi, Farokhro Parsa and Ozra Ziai’s tending to women's causes in the 1950s;

You want selfless gheyrat trace Jabbar Baghcheban's ongoing efforts to assist deaf children in Iran;

You want commercial gheyrat wonder at the Arjomand, Elghanian, Iravani, Khayami, Khosroshahi, and Ladjevardi family’s manufacturing prowess in the 1960’s and 1970s;

You want border-line gheyrat watch Ramzi Atai steer a naval vessel or Nader Jahanbani fly a fighter plane when Iranian suzerainty was challenged in the early 1970s;

You want social gheyrat consider Mahnaz Afkhami and Haleh Esfandiary steering legislation through parliament concerning women's welfare rights in the 1970s;

You want diplomatic finesse gheyrat listen to Fereidoun Hoveyda at the United Nations in New York or Ardeshir Zahedi working the phones in Washington during the 1970s;

You want dignified gheyrat read Karim Lahiji's open letter to the Government demanding legal safeguards and individual rights in 1977;

You want prescient gheyrat listen to Shapour Bakhtiar in 1979;

You want collective gheyrat consider how limited the public looting that attended the chaos and social tumult of the 1979 revolution was;

You want titular gheyrat consider Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari’s stand off against Khomeini in 1980;

You want patriotic gheyrat consider the hundreds of thousands who gave their lives during the Iran-Iraq war;

You want mandelaesque gheyrat consider the plight of Abbas Amir Entezam;

You want Olympian gheyrat praise Dr. Ehsan Yarshater for devoting decades of his learned life to producing the Encyclopaedia Iranica;

You want academic-endowment gheyrat meet Christina & Hamid Moghadam or Massoumeh & Fereydoun Soudavar;

You want picturesque gheyrat witness Ahmad Batebi during the student uprising of 1999;

You want herculian gheyrat praise the world's strongest man, the weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh, for refusing to don another country’s national jersey or accept commercial endorsements in 2001;

You want defiant gheyrat consider Shirin Ebadi’s marches into legal proceedings knowing full well after stepping off the court house steps she could be the target of a stray bullet fired from a motorbike;

You want communitarian gheyrat read Roya Hakkakian’s Journey from the Land of No;

You want iconoclastic gheyrat deny yourself food as long as Akbar Ganji;

You want jounalistic gheyrat count the number of times Mohsen Sazegara’s printing presses were shuttered to be followed up by more applications for a publishing permit shortly thereafter;

You want life of the mind gheyrat quandar Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran;

You want grieving gheyrat trace Fariborz Raisdana’s humanitarian footprints in Bam in 2003;

You want philosophical gheyrat listen to Ramin Jahanbegloo’s lectures in Tehran before the curtain came down on his lectern;

You want artistic gheyrat feast your eyes to Nikahang Kowsar’s caricatures produced in Iran in the shadow of the scissors of the censors;

You want chutzpah gheyrat listen to what Omid Memarian told government colleagues in Tehran during a huddle;

You want laborious gheyrat follow the dramatic vicissitudes in the life of Mansoor Osanloo;

You want graphic gheyrat marvel at Marjan Satrapi’s Perspolis;

You want collective gheyrat witness 3 million march shoulder to shoulder during the Green Movement, knowing full well they faced assassins perched on rooftops and thugs and hooligans before them;

You want zinging gheyrat youtube Majid Tavakoli and stand witness to his fearless indictment of the Islamic Republic;

You want ageless gheyrat listen to Simin Behbahani’s majestic poetry or dulcet voice in protest;

You want regaling gheyrat hear the soft lyrics of Homay and Mastan performing in Iran, the blast of Pasho Pasho by anonymous sinners, or the Abjeez revolutionary serenades;

You want athletic gheyrat notice the green wristbands sported by the Iranian national football squad in Korea in 2009;

You want written gheyrat google articles by Nazila Fathi and Maziar Bahari filed from Tehran;

You want scripted gheyrat read Jafar Panahi's sentiments expressed in a letter to the Berlin Film Festival a few days ago; and

And if you want to ache with heart-breaking gheyrat pay homage to beloved Neda & Sohrab, and more belatedly Sane & Mohammad.


Recently by Cyrus KhorasaniCommentsDate
Time to Meet
Jan 11, 2012
more from Cyrus Khorasani
Soosan Khanoom

Cyrus this one in your list

by Soosan Khanoom on

Cyrus this one in your list is enough to shut the mouth of anyone who says otherwise 

You want patriotic gheyrat consider the hundreds of thousands who gave their lives during the Iran-Iraq war;"



Not courage but proper

by alimostofi on

Not courage but proper humilty is what we all need.  But think of all the humilty the Iranians have gone through for Islam, and still nothing has happened. They still have not learnt that the proper form of humilty is the one we need.

I personally will be extremely humble for the sake of Iran, but just cannot be humble for any religion, let alone I SLAM.  I will be humble to the Ayatollahs once they accept Iran first. How many of you will not spit at an Ayatollah if he passes you in a place outside Iran right now? 

We will see a change in Iran, when we are not ghey-RATS.  Heros are Zeros. Accept all and create a society based on azkhodgozashtegi or to put it correctly espandarmarzi.

Wake up all of you! 


Ali Mostofi



Anonymous Observer

Mr. Khorsandi: It's quite telling

by Anonymous Observer on

that in a country of 80 million people, you have to travel back in time for decades, and in several cases, more than a century, to find more than half of the people on your "Gheyrati" list.  Indeed, a sad state of affairs....

G. Rahmanian

Self-Righteous & Itrusive!

by G. Rahmanian on

Mr. Cyrus Khorasani's article demonstrates that, indeed, Iran has had more than its fair share of courageous, proud and patriotic people. I originally wrote the following as a comment for the blog that treated the same issue. Watching how the whole "debate" unfolded, I decided not to post it. Contrary to what some comments suggest, I found such blogs or articles to be inappropriate and intrusive. The intrusive attitude displayed by the blogger reminds me of the culture I left behind about three decades ago. Such attitudes are simply based on the self-righteous and misconceived notions that we need to think and behave in unfailingly similar manners and espouse the exact same principles when it comes to dealing with the more serious issues such as politics. This is more in line with what the IR's "Morality Police" are doing with Iranians back home; forcing them to conform to the 1400-years-old backward laws of Islam. Attitudes of this kind are precisely what we don't need at this juncture in the people's struggle against a ruthless regime which has deprived tens of millions of Iranians of the most basic rights. We are only accountable for our actions and not the actions of others, as long as they are not in support of the regime. Also asking others what they have done for Iran or Iranians is tantamount to mere self-aggrandizement. To delude oneself into believing what one does is more important than what others are doing is as irrelevant as it is infantile. It is irrelevant simply because, as I have mentioned earlier, what others do with regards to the regime or politics in general is personal and cannot be dictated from above or by others who assume what they're doing is the best thing for Iran. I believe many Iranians who have traveled back home during the past three decades have been partly influential in shaping the anti-regime sentiments by merely telling their friends, neighbors and relatives about the free world. Attacking the imaginary and abstract "Iranians" for their lack of courage or patriotism is not such a difficult thing to do. Offering ideas which could help people in their struggle against the regime is what is, in fact, needed. And even then, one can only hope others are listening. 

Esfand Aashena

Pool-e digaran ro ham kharj nakonim!

by Esfand Aashena on

JJJ I believe the discussion here is between someone who calls Iranians bi-gheyrat as a whole and the author of this article saying Iranians "by far" are baa-gheyrat.

Your point is a 3rd point and actually many Iranians always ask other Iranians (outside Iran) to "do something".  Well what can we do?  What can we do in the context that you're talking about that actually matters.

The only thing that I think we can do is at least "acknowledge" what is going on, something that Islamic Republic leaders deny, instead of writing a blog to seek attention and dish Iranians in general!  Although, I suppose the author of that blog meant to "shake" Iranians out of their sleep so they can do something!

I think at the end of the day JJJ your comment is in the air and there isn't anything that you can offer that we can do and be tangible. 

Everything is sacred

Jahanshah Javid

Az digaran kharj nakonim

by Jahanshah Javid on

Esfand Aashena, I am saying other people's gheyrat has nothing to do with me and you.

Yes, there are many ba gheyrat Iranians. But so what? That show's THEIR courage NOT mine or yours.

It's very nice to list all the ba gheyrat people. But that does not make ME ba gheyrat just because there are ba gheyrat Iranians.

Each of us has to DO something instead of boasting about how ba gheyrat OTHERS are.

Esfand Aashena

JJJ your post is confusing. What do you mean?

by Esfand Aashena on

Our personal responsibility is our own.  What does it have to do with the Iranians who have gheyrat?  There are bi-gheyrats and baa-gheyraats and that's how it is always going to be.  So what if some people don't want to follow the leads? 

BTW I consider you a very baa-gheyrat person and you're doing a lot more than most of us on this website!  So I'd add you to the list in this article and actually that's what I thought when I read your comment's subject line!  I just don't understand the rest of your comment.

Everything is sacred

Jahanshah Javid

What about me?

by Jahanshah Javid on

There are many courageous people you have not listed. But even if you list a million gheyrati people, it would not make any difference unless I, me, khodam, follow their lead and show some guts.


Mash Ghasem

اگر مردان ایرانی نصف غیرت زنان ایرانی را هم داشتند

Mash Ghasem

مسلما کار ما به این جا ها نمیکشد. غیرت "تاریخی" میخوای، نگاه کن از قره العین
تا فروغ. غیرت "جغرافیای " میخوای : نگاه کن به ایران از ۲۳ خرداد تا ۲۵ بهمن، این
همه شیر زن, پیر و جوان، سنگ بدست و مبارز . نابینایی هم واقعا بد دردیه.

Darius Kadivar

Last but not least ...

by Darius Kadivar on

You are yearning for genuine gheyrat listen to Forough Farokhzad's brother's words:


Farrokhzad Harfe Tarikhi.wmv


Mash Ghasem

Cy.Kh., what you're referring to is a bunch of burned-out, jaded

by Mash Ghasem on

cynical expats. Don't waste your time with them. There's also a lot of positive, forward looking, constructive voices in here. Thank you for your observations.

P.S. alimostofi, you could always make it as complicated as you wish. The Truth remains very simple: People in Iran are in a Life and Death struggle. It should be easy for each of us to see how we are helping them ( ourselves) or just...

Darius Kadivar


by Darius Kadivar on



Thank you but it is more

by alimostofi on

Thank you but it is more complicated than that read this and the links therein //

Ali Mostofi