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Wednesday , October 27 2021

Ferdowsi poetry and the words of the ‘Shahbanu’

I have never respected or admired the rule of the Shah of Iran, as he was unjust and corrupt, and was directly responsible for the massive popular revolution that took place in Iran at the end of the seventies, which led to the clergy taking over the rule.

The Shah did not learn anything from the lessons of history nor from his experiences. He had previously lost the rule of his country in the 1950s and fled from the revolutionaries. However the English and Americans reinstated him to his throne, he fled again in 1979 and died in humiliation outside his homeland.

The Shah Muhammad Reza is the eldest son of Reza Abbas Quli Khan, a former officer who was born in 1878 and rose to high military and political ranks before he overthrew in 1925 the last Qajar king, and forced Parliament to install him as a shah, to then carry out, with the support of the army wide reforms, imitating Kamal Ataturk of Turkey amid strong opposition from the clergy and feudalism.

Reza Khan’s rule was characterized by brutality, and he lived in conflict with the Shiite authorities, especially after he ordered the removal of the veil and the imposition of Western dress.

He founded the University of Tehran, which was once the best in the region, and changed his country’s name from Persia to Iran after annexing the provinces of Arabistan, Baluchistan and Lorestan to Iran and changed his family surname from Khan to “Pahlavi”, which is the name of the ancient Persian language.

Reza Shah made a fatal mistake in his alliance in World War II with Hitler, perhaps because the two believed in the superiority of the Aryan race, to which they belong.

British and Soviet forces intervened in his country in 1941 and he died three years later in Johannesburg.

Among some Arab nationalists and their Iranian counterparts, Persian verses are spread in satire and mockery of Arabs, and this is something similar among the majority of peoples, especially those who have fought wars between them and resulted in enmities that spanned for hundreds of years. Of course, there are similar verses that are worse on the other side.

Some believe that these verses, offensive to the Arabs appeared in the famous ‘Shahnameh’ in the history of Iranian literature, a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi and their presence is evidence of the extent of the Persians’ contempt for Arabs.

It was found by research and question that the following verses despite their great fame, and some popular editions included in the Shahnameh were not mentioned in the old editions of the Shahnameh.

Abu al-Fadl Khatibi, one of the most authoritative and senior researchers in the Shahnameh, had previously stated that the word “etfou” (spit) is not among Ferdowsi’s words, and his huge collection did not include verses related to the conflict of the Persians with other races and peoples, particularly on ethnic issues. Most important of all, the two verses appeared in different ways in other popular versions, which confirms the issue of manipulation or insertion.

And the two line in the verses are:

Whoever drinks camel milk (in another narration: its urine) and eats a lizard

They have reached such an extent that they aspire to the king’s crown

So damn you, time (and in another narration: etfou), damn it.

In an interview with the former Empress of Iran, Farah Diba, she stated that she entered a shopping mall in an American city, and a number of shoppers welcomed her and took pictures with her (and when a young man asked her) if she is a famous personality, she replied in the affirmative. When asked again ‘where from’ and she replied ‘from Iran’! The young man replied happily: Are you Googoosh?

The former empress comments show she was not saddened by the fact that the young man did not know her, but rather rejoiced about the character from her homeland, that Googoosh, had acquired such fame.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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