I published this cartoon when it was rumoured that Khamenei is preparing his son as an heir apparent.
Mojtaba was responsible for leading the crack down on the Green movement protesters after the rigged election.
In response to BBC Persian‘s 6 greatest Iranians, I have made a list of 10 most influential Iranians as well as depict them in my Art work.
I was happy with the panel’s chosen list and apart from one or two parallel universe moments when Mr Masoud Behnoud was trying to shove-in the despicable and insignificant Mr Khatami into the list the result was in my opinion a respectable choice of 6 great Iranians.
I made the list bigger so that I could allow 4 more and changed it to most influential rather than greatest. I will explain why I added these four.
Khayyam laid the foundation of pragmatist philosophy in our culture. What is more, he expressed this philosophy in beautiful and comprehensible verse.
For the scientific minded, he is a significant mentor.
Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Fārābī os simply known as Farabi
Just as prominent as Avicenna but before him, he was another multimath but I have included him for his contribution towards Persian musical theory. His writing was in Arabic so he is mistakenly recognized as an Arab. He was born in Farab which was then part of Iran and the Greater Khorasan, and he is also claimed by Tajiks who were once Iranians.
Forough’s poetry has laid the foundation of modern Iranian feminism. There have been many prominent Iranian women and I can’t believe that for millenniums old nation a single woman was not chosen. She represents the modern Iranian woman and the Iranian woman is the most significant Iranian cultural phenomena at any time but more so in today’s Iran. Our women have become the significant force against Islamic tyranny and opposition both in and outside Iran.
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi
I have always protested that I prefer the system of republic to monarchy and by the very fact that he was the last king over a nation that was always ruled by kings he should be included.
Non-monarchists have become historically kinder to the late shah ( or at least I have!). To a great extend this is because Iranians paid a heavy price for the Islamic revolution and after 33 years many consider it as one of the worst afflictions to be bestowed on our nation and the nation could had prospered by pushing for reforms rather than bringing a regime that burns everything it touches to the ground.
Does that make Shah better? Well yes, when you review his portfolio without prejudice it does!
Shah was really a custodian rather than a king of an independent nation. The reality is that after WW2 after the allies removed his father he became a western ally that helped to keep the Russians out. He had great significance during the cold war. He was blamed for his part in the 1953 Coup against the popular prime minister Mossadegh and ironically when he rebelled against the Western leaders in OPEC and (thanks to oil wealth) he genuinely set the nation towards prosperity he no longer had the support of people.
Losing popularity from both sides and secretly being ill with cancer allowed a counter revolution to take place in an Iran that was ready to burst. Iranians forget that in his own private corner he was trying to hold a nation together, inch by inch make them more prosperous and through his last prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar let them have democracy.
About the Art work
Cyrus the great – The first Persian King. Made from his declaration of human rights on the famous Cyrus cylinder
Mohhamad Reza Shah Pahlavi – The last Persian king. Made from his speech at Cyrus the great’s tomb.
Ferdowsi – Made from the end poem of Shahnameh were he states he has spread the seeds of persian speech.
Forough – Made from her poem “Another Birth” were she openly professes her love and binding it to all that there is.
Avicenna – Made from a summary of his achievements in various fields of philosophy, medicine etc.
Mossadegh – Made from his speech at the Internation court of Justice defending the nationalisation of oil.
Zarathushtra – Made from Avesta words.
Hafiz – Made from his poem.
Omar Khayyam – Made from his poem.
Farabi – Made from the 12 musical main modal system.
Farabi the great Iranian Multimath. I chose him for his contribution towards musical theory and the foundation of musical Dastgah (Persian 12 musical main modal system) so his image is made from the list.
He was many things including a philosopher, chemist, logician, psychologist, and physicist.
Iran’s first feminist poet and one of the greatest.
Made from words of her most popular poem “another birth”.
My whole being is a dark chant
which will carry you
to the dawn of eternal growths and blossoming
in this chant I sighed you sighed
in this chant
I grafted you to the tree to the water to the fire.
Life is perhaps
a long street through which a woman holding
a basket passes every day
Life is perhaps
a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch
life is perhaps a child returning home from school.
Life is perhaps lighting up a cigarette
in the narcotic repose between two love-makings
or the absent gaze of a passerby
who takes off his hat to another passerby
with a meaningless smile and a good morning .
Life is perhaps that enclosed moment
when my gaze destroys itself in the pupil of your eyes
and it is in the feeling
which I will put into the Moon’s impression
and the Night’s perception.
In a room as big as loneliness
which is as big as love
looks at the simple pretexts of its happiness
at the beautiful decay of flowers in the vase
at the sapling you planted in our garden
and the song of canaries
which sing to the size of a window.
this is my lot
this is my lot
my lot is
a sky which is taken away at the drop of a curtain
my lot is going down a flight of disused stairs
a regain something amid putrefaction and nostalgia
my lot is a sad promenade in the garden of memories
and dying in the grief of a voice which tells me
I will plant my hands in the garden
I will grow I know I know I know
and swallows will lay eggs
in the hollow of my ink-stained hands.
I shall wear
a pair of twin cherries as ear-rings
and I shall put dahlia petals on my finger-nails
there is an alley
where the boys who were in love with me
still loiter with the same unkempt hair
thin necks and bony legs
and think of the innocent smiles of a little girl
who was blown away by the wind one night.
There is an alley
which my heart has stolen
from the streets of my childhood.
The journey of a form along the line of time
inseminating the line of time with the form
a form conscious of an image
coming back from a feast in a mirror
And it is in this way
that someone dies
and someone lives on.
No fisherman shall ever find a pearl in a small brook
which empties into a pool.
I know a sad little fairy
who lives in an ocean
and ever so softly
plays her heart into a magic flute
a sad little fairy
who dies with one kiss each night
and is reborn with one kiss each dawn.
همهء هستي من آيهء تاريکيست
که ترا در خود تکرار کنان
به سحرگاهان شکفتن ها و رستن هاي ابدي آه کشيدم ، آه
من در اين آيه ترا
به درخت و آب و آتش پيوند زدم
يک خيابان درازست که هر روز زني با زنبيلي از آن ميگذرد
ريسمانيست که مردي با آن خود را از شاخه مياويزد
زندگي شايد طفليست که از مدرسه بر ميگردد
زندگي شايد افروختن سيگاري باشد ، در فاصلهء رخوتناک دو
يا عبور گيج رهگذري باشد
که کلاه از سر بر ميدارد
و به يک رهگذر ديگر با لبخندي بي معني ميگويد ” صبح بخير “
زندگي شايد آن لحظه مسدوديست
که نگاه من ، در ني ني چشمان تو خود را ويران ميسازد
ودر اين حسي است
که من آن را با ادراک ماه و با دريافت ظلمت خواهم آميخت
در اتاقي که به اندازهء يک تنهاييست
که به اندازهء يک عشقست
به بهانه هاي سادهء خوشبختي خود مينگرد
به زوال زيباي گل ها در گلدان
به نهالي که تو در باغچهء خانه مان کاشته اي
و به آواز قناري ها
که به اندازهء يک پنجره ميخوانند
سهم من اينست
سهم من اينست
سهم من ،
آسمانيست که آويختن پرده اي آنرا از من ميگيرد
سهم من پايين رفتن از يک پله مترو کست
و به چيزي در پوسيدگي و غربت و اصل گشتن
سهم من گردش حزن آلودي در باغ خاطره هاست
و در اندوه صدايي ان دادن که به من بگويد :
” دستهايت را
دوست ميدارم “
دستهايم را در باغچه ميکارم
سبز خواهم شد ، ميدانم ، ميدانم ، ميدانم
و پرستوها در گودي انگشتان جوهريم
تخم خواهند گذاشت
گوشواري به دو گوشم ميآويزم
از دو گيلاس سرخ همزاد
و به ناخن هايم برگ گل کوکب ميچسبانم
کوچه اي هست که در آنجا
پسراني که به من عاشق بودند ، هنوز
با همان موهاي درهم و گردن هاي باريک و پاهاي لاغر
به تبسم هاي معصوم دخترکي ميانديشند که يک شب او را
باد با خود برد
کوچه اي هست که قلب من آن را
از محل کودکيم دزديده ست
سفر حجمي در خط زمان
و به حجمي خط خشک زمان را آبستن کردن
حجمي از تصويري آگاه
که ز مهماني يک آينه بر ميگردد
که کسي ميميرد
و کسي ميماند
هيچ صيادي در جوي حقيري که به گودالي ميريزد ، مرواريدي
صيد نخواهد کرد .
پري کوچک غمگيني را
ميشناسم که در اقيانوسي مسکن دارد
و دلش را در يک ني لبک چوبين
مينوازد آرام ، آرام
پري کوچک غمگيني
که شب از يک بوسه ميميرد
و سحرگاه از يک بوسه به دنيا خواهد آمد
I saw so many from the generation of revolutionaries, bow down and regret the mad frenzy of their youth. The fever that left them blindly hand the golden keys of power to the most corrupt, backward elements of our society. These men and women living in diaspora, watched as their families transformed and scattered. Many living lonely lives, many wondering where their lives went.