Shahbanou Farah with her 4th granddaughter Princess Iryana

Shahbanou Farah with her 4th granddaughter Iryana, daughter of the late Prince Alireza Pahlavi

Introduction In French 

Heureusement, il y a aussi des moments de bonheur et d’émotion dans la vie d’une impératrice en exil. Le jour où Farah a tenu dans ses bras pour la première fois sa quatrième petite-fille fille est l’un de ceux-ci. Iryana est née le 26 juillet 2011 aux États-Unis. Hélas, elle est arrivée sept mois après la mort de son papa. C’était il y a presque un an, le 4 janvier 2011. Un homme de quarante-cinq ans était retrouvé mort dans sa maison de Boston, en Nouvelle-Angleterre. «Le prince Ali Reza Pahlavi s’est suicidé », devait confirmer la police américaine durant la journée du 5 janvier. Un nouveau drame pour la famille impériale après la révolution, l’exil, la mort du shah, au Caire en 1980, celle de Leila, sa plus jeune fille, en 2001. Il est des destins qui n’en finissent pas de rebondir, agités par l’histoire ou les hasards d’un sort qui semble souvent contraire. Tel est celui de Farah Pahlavi. Et pourtant, après la douleur et le deuil, est arrivé l’espoir.

Princess Iryana, The daughter of the late Prince Ali Reza and Miss Raha Didevar, was born on July 26th. A few days ago, Shahbanou Farah was able to see her fourth granddaughter. She shared with us her emotional encounter. By Vincent Meylan (Translated from French)

Fortunately life offers moments of great joy and emotion as has been the case for Iran’s Shahbanou. The day Farah held in her arms for the very first time her fourth granddaughter was indeed one of those memorable days. Iryana born on July 26th 2011 in the United States. Unfortunately the child’s birth took place 7 months after the death of her father’s tragic death. On the fatal day of January 4th, 2011 a 45 years old man was found dead in his Boston house. The local police confirmed the news on January 5th :« Prince Ali Reza committed suicide ».

A new tragedy was added to the long list of personal and collective challenges faced by the Imperial family ranging from the revolution, exile, to the shah’s death in Cairo in 1980 and the youngest daughter of the Royal Couple Princess Leila in 2001.

It seems that some fates simply rebound against all odds. This truly applies to Shahbanou Farah.

After months of shared grief and pain it seems that hope has knocked at the door of destiny once again.

Who could have imagined such a turn of events. Raha Didevar the Young Iranian woman who shared the prince’s life was expecting a child. A few days ago the Empress was to meet the child and accepted to share the photos with PDV and share her feelings of that memorable day with us.

Q :You didn’t expect this birth. What did you feel when you took Iryana in your arms for the first time ?

FP : A great deal of emotion of course and joy. I was naturally overwhelmed. I was not in the US at the time of the child’s birth and I only got to see the child last week and obviously I thought about her father who is no more with us to recognize the child. The baby is Very VERY Cute. I especially hope that she will be happy despite her father’s absence.

Q : I suppose like all grandmas you tried to find similarities with your son ?

FP : It is funny that you ask me this question cause the day Iryana was born the first to rush to see the child on the 26th of July was my eldest son Reza. His reaction was « EXACTLY » in Persian « EYNAN ». Which meant that he immediately recognized the child and her similarities with his young brother. I have to admit I have the same impression.

Q :Who else in the Family has seen the Mother ?

FP : My eldest daughter Farahnaz saw the child first. She insisted to be present at the time of the birth given the absence of her brother. It was important that someone of the father’s family be present for Iryana’s birth. Reza and his wife Yasmine joined them a few days later and it was naturally Reza who officially announced the news.

Q :Your Son Ali Reza and Raha Didevar were not married. What is the name and the title of the Young child ?

FP : She has the same name and title as her cousins Noor, Iman and Farah the daughters of my eldest son Reza. Her name is Iryana Pahlavi and she is a Princess.

Q : The year 2011 started dramatically with your son’s death but ends with the joyful and unexpected birth …

FP : I cannot speak on my son’s death for it is still too painful. But I simply think that this birth is a happy event. Something has survived of my son after all …
She is so cute and already noisy and turbulent just like her father at the same age. I just want to share with your readers that I have created a foundation in my son’s Memory in association with Harvard University (where Prince Ali Reza Studied) aimed at helping students pursuing studies in the field of ancient Persian culture. We have created the foundation’s status and are gathering the funds to subsidize it.

Q :You will be funding it ?

FP : Partly yes but we need to reach a million $ and we still need to complete the funding. That is why I have painted 5 paintings representing the Sunset which will be auctioned soon on Ebay in a few weeks.

Translation courtesy Darius Kadivar - Paris


Related Website:

Foundation For the Establishment of Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi’s Fellowship In Ancient Iranian Studies