Once there was a legend…

Takhti’s legacy stirs our deepest sense of individuality and national pride


Once there was a legend…
by Siamack Baniameri

My sixteen-year-old cousin Shawn has no notion or understanding of his father’s culture. Born to an American mother and Iranian father, Shawn is an all-American boy with an all-American girlfriend and an all-American lifestyle. Shawn is his high school’s star quarterback, plays a mean guitar, he is the Capitan of the debate team, listens to rap, shaves his head and wears baggy pants.  He gets good grades and collage football recruiters are falling all over each other to get their hands on him.

Shawn does not speak a word of Parsi. Like many American teenagers born to an Iranian parent, Shawn has no interest in his father’s background. Shawn shies away from anything that might link him to his Middle Eastern roots.

While visiting my uncle the other day, I walked into Shawn’s bedroom and noticed a picture on the wall that seemed oddly out of place next to posters of Tupac, Rage Against the Machine, Tom Brady and the stars of the movie Ocean Eleven. The picture belonged to Gholamreza Takhti.

I asked Shawn if he knew who Takhti was. Shawn replied, “Yup, he was a cool dude.”

I told him that Takhti was a legendary Iranian wrestler. Shawn shrugged and replied, “Wrestling ain’t my thing.”

That encounter with Shawn made me understand the magic of Takhti. Takhti’s greatness in the eyes of Iranians had nothing to do with wrestling.

In a nation filled with hopelessness, undesirable characters, drug addicts, corrupt profiteers, insincerity, mediocrity, hypocrisy and unfulfilled craving for heroes, Takhti represents everything that we Iranians are longing for: clean-shaven, strong, gentle, calm, pleasant, trustworthy, handsome, athletic, with a smile that went on forever.

Takhti’s effortless coolness, restrained ego, grace and dignity made him our favorite son. What stood him out from the rest of the pack was not so much the size of his biceps or the way he wrestled his opponents, but the size of his character and his uncompromising discipline—which are things that lack greatly in our culture.

As the children of a defeated nation who experience daily humiliations, Takhti’s legacy stirs our deepest sense of individuality and national pride. And as we Iranians practice our god-given talent for playing the victim, Takhti’s glories and defeats, virtues and shortcomings and most importantly, his self-confidence inspires us.

Now, get your hairy-monkey-ass to the gym...


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Nice piece

by Azadeh on

It's great to see people working hard to show the positive aspects of being Iranian because I know we can all agree they outweigh the negatives bestowed on us by the IRI.

We should strive to be like Takhti. 

Thanks for the nice piece.


Agha Takhti vah Agha Tehran

by Bacheh Isfahan (not verified) on

Siamack jan

I think many of us can relate to your story about the new generation. The new generation is losing their culture and heritage. We need people like Takhti who can bridge the culture gap. This is why my family and myself love that Tehran guy so much. Because he is american and Iranian but very pride of his both self. He is a good influence on the young generation to show what it is to be proud of heritage and Iranian culture. You should introduce your cousin to Tehran and his video.

Khodah pedareh Takhti vah Tehran rah beeyomorzeh. Vaghan bah eseh eftekhareh mah hastan.


My thoughts

by Hooshyar F. Naraghi (not verified) on

Also, an old article on the Iranian.com about Takhti:

My view in 12 years of reading about Jahan Pahlavan Takhti is that he was more an ordinary person than the legend wants us to believe. An ordinary person who achieved so much in sports and his personal life through hard work and exercise. In the process he became a refiner person. So my use of ordinary is to indicate his success was, therefore, unprecedented.

He never disrespected the Shah. In fact, he participated in Pahlavani finals that from Qajar era was customary to be held in front of the Shah. Shah gave him a medal of honor I think when the wresting team returned from 1961 World Wrestling Championships in Yokohama, Japan. Iran won her first world championship in that year. I have the picture of the Shah and Takhti and Takhti is respectful. This is a picture that was printed in Keyhan Varzeshi's special edition commemorating the his death in January 1968.

I feel we were cheated out of history, when Ali Hatami passed away in the middle of making the movie about Takhti. His successor did not follow Hatami's intentions. How could he? Only Hatami knew what he wanted to film. He researched the subject for many years and practically spoke to hundreds of people.

One of the legends about Takhti is his entrance into the wrestling complex where Shah's brother was also attending. This is the time Takhti was in the middle of his first retirement. The story goes the crowd started cheering for Takhti and Shahpour Gholamreza did not like the attention and he left the venue in disgust. It is a fact that that night Takhti was cheered by the fans in the sports complex. There is an interesting story. Ali Hatami put an ad in several newspapers asking people who were present that night to write to him so he could interview them for his movie. He later said he received several thousands of letters more than the total capacity of the sport complex! He would say how can you make a documentary about an event, when the number of eyewitnesses are by far more than the seating capacity of the venue!?

It is true, and I fully recognize, that Takhti is the subject of legend-telling some of which bear little to no validity in the historical investigation, but at the same time it is true tons of stories of the people who did spend time with him or shared a moment of their lives around him. I personally spoke to many of these people and their stories back in 1996-98. My measure was how dramatic the stories were. I usually classified the legendary one to the category of legend, but I found out the more ordinary stories were not appealing, because, well, I could relate to them. It is this personal experience that led me to believe we Iranian can learn so much about who Takhti really is trough what historians refer to as "oral history" and content of such oral history that is "digestible." Legend-telling indeed is self-assuring, but it won't shake us. In my article 12 years in this very Iranian.com I explained one reason why the ordinary people of Iran gave the title of Jahan Pahlavan to Takhti. Recall, this is Rostam's title in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (the Book of Kings). Legends like Takhti said "The hell with the Shah" is more of a fallacy. OK, what's wrong with this? Nothing, as long as it makes some people happy. But it doesn't move you. You cannot apply it in your life. You cannot confront your boss at work tomorrow and tell him go to hell and stand up tall before him and say 'yeah, my heroe Takhyti said that the his dictator Shah.

As an ordinary person Takhti shared many characteristics like many of us. We know he was weak in some ways, and wrestling and sports was his remedy to overcome his fears and some of his inadequanies. He was a self-taught human being. He did something about his shortcomings. I find this much more educating and roll-model like to our children than saying he was a hero. You have to personalize the story. Every teenager has and feels weaknesses. How can you tell your child to work at it? Takhti did it. Takhti's self-education is an interesting tell. He says "I did not go to univeristy, but I learned so much about life in the streets and by engaging myself with all kinds of pelple that I think no university education could have given to me." He connected himself to the people. He needed the people more than they needed him. He said that many times. He loved to be loved. He needed love. It is so humbling to me to learn that the ordinary people of Iran noticed that thirst and gladly gave it to Takhti. This is a revered love relationship.

Or, there is one story Takhti shares with readers of Keyhan Varzeshi in 1959 just days before start of World Wrestling Championships in Tehran. Among many things he said about his life, he added that there was one thing Hitler used to do that inspired him to copy during early years of his serious wrestling. His reason was he was frightened of those wrestling giants in the West every time he imagined appearing before them on the mat. He had developed this notion in his head that they were the greatest and he was nothing. This is 1950's era. By 1959 he was no longer fearful of his opponents on the mat, but personal fears always chased him. He had a hard time to spell them away.

Takhti was a sensitive human being. He cared so much for the poor, because he himself was traumatized in childhood when his family was literally thrown out of the house and spent the night on the street after his father failed to make the rent and the landlord forced them out at night. He says so in his short life story in Keyhan Varzeshi.

As I said, we can enjoy legend-telling. In fact, legends are usually good, but if you want to know who the real Takhti is, you should personalize him and examine his life like an ordinary person. You should connect to him. You should find common things. As I said fear of life uncertainties is something all of us struggle with on a daily basis. We have to internalize Takhti. Well, at least I feel this is how he would have wanted us to remember him.

For some time I looked for an adjective to define Takhti. One word. I could not. One night at a friend's house his father who had met Takhti solved my problem. He said "takhti mard-e bozorgvari bood." Now, somebody please translate "bozorgvar" for me!

Oh, one other historical event is quite unique. Takhti went back to zoorkhaneh and occupied himself for a while through humble exercises in those venues after he won his Olympic gold medal in 1956 Melbourne. It was customary at the time that Iranian athletes used to use their Olympic success as a platform to launch their material well-being in the society. It was not so with Takhti. In the words of one of my old friends, "Takhti became an Olympic champion and when he stood up there higher than anyone else, he realized this was not such a great achievement. So he came back to Iran and pursued simple practices in zoorkhaneh." What my friend was trying to say is that Takhti would achieve a goal but he rather spend his time with the people that mattered to him. This is one reason he always had financial difficulties. Material wealth did not drive him.

I thought to share some of my thoughts here. Thank you for the post that compelled me to say few things. I am happy to know Takhti is a subject still cared for on the Iranian.com web site.


Pahlevan Takhti...

by Ali - (not verified) on

Thanks for this essay, but it is not necessary to disparage Iran in order to honor Takhti. For one thing, Iranians have no divine claim to victimhood. Ever heard of the "Russian soul", described by Dostoevsky as their "need for suffering, ever-present and unquenchable, everywhere and in everything"... Have a look at the victimhood that saturates Korean culture, or in Israel, where it's virtually a prerequisite for citizenship.

Takhti is not only an Iranian national hero, but is recognized as a true sportsman by many all over the world. This is why his legend endures.

Facebook group dedicated to Takhti:


Dear Siamack,

by Killjoy (not verified) on

Reading the first paragraph, I must tell you yor cousin, Shawn, has got his act together. He already seems to be on his way to stardom with huge bank account which would be the envy of many in the near future.

As for his father's culture, you haven't filled us in as much as you could have about his father's background. For instance, did he come to the U.S. as a very young man or how much of his culture has he been able to preserve.

As far as I know Shawn's father is an Arab-Iranian and he speaks Arabic as his first language, so Shawn needs to learn two languages, Arabic and Persian, if he really wants to be true to his roots.

With all his engagements I imagine it would be kind of hard for him to, suddenly, start learning two different languages, especially since these languages may never have any impact on his career or his future. And being as an all-American as you have described him, he may not even come into very much contact with the Iranian culture.

And I'm saying this as a person who speaks some languges other than Persian and has studied more than seven of them. For me, the incentive for learning a language was either a necessity or the love of a different culture.

If similar incentives are non-exitent in Shawn's life, I don't see how anyone could encourage him to learn the two languages he is supposed to learn. Moreover, I don't see how learning the Persian language or "Persian culture" has any relevance to his life as a young man in Arizona.

In almost three decades since I left Iran, I have spoken about three months worth of Persian and I have never felt any use for it. Culturally, I'm still struggling with some residues of my brand of Iranian culture, but if I went back to Iran tomorrow, I don't think I would be able to avoid a very embarrassing "culture shock."

Of course, I'm not absolutely clear about the Iranian "culture" many Iranians on this site are talking about. Are they talking about the dominant culture of the past thirty years, or the culture that existed before that or even the one before your Arab ancestors imposed their culture on Iranians 1,400 years ago?

But again, as the proverb goes, "Different strokes for different folks."

If you ever get a chance, listen to a song by Toby Keith called, "I Love This Bar." Watch the video, too. Without the video it's not as interesting. I call it, "I Love this Barn."

Welcome back, Siamck.

One of your many fans,




by Anonymouszzzzz (not verified) on

There is an unwritten rule and an indescribable element of regard that becomes the guiding principle for great wrestlers, especially ones in our culture.

An imposing symbol designed to instill humility is planted at a mats entrance in every single zoorkhoneeh to remind an athlete of the guiding principles of a genuine pahlevan.

Also, if I'm not mistaken I believe wrestling still represents the highest percentage of athletes holding advanced degrees among any other sport world wide, and Iran has certainly produced its own share of PhD's among its star wrestlers.

Formal schooling measures aside, Takhti's way of life and accomplishments in the sport made him an ambassador that polarized the pahlevans principals for the "true" students of the mat. That is most likely the reason why there are good coaches and wrestlers here in the United States that know more about Takhti than Iranian/Americans themselves. (...and if Siamak's star athlete cousin is any indication, the value system is on march to other sports)

For you to say "I see a correlation between this great emphasis in our culture on physical strength and zoor (power?) in its most negative political sense." is unkind to the athletes to begin with, but more importantly it's parallel to the indirect habitual racial profiling that sets shape in western societies, and thus very much discrediting to a person of your stature.

If you follow the family tree of the guy profiled in the link below, I believe you may find a gene pool containing a wrestler or two.



More about Takhti

by Jamshid Niavarani (not verified) on

More about Takhti can be found on the following site:


The site clearly states that Takhti was opposed to the Shah.

That being said, I leave the rest for the objective reader.

It boils down to this, by 1979, 30 million were opposed to the Monarchy. And the beat goes on.


To: Jamshid Niavarani

by Aboli (not verified) on

On this site, what does not have any limits, is BS!

They asked Takhti, "Wrestle in front of the Shah!"
(As if, it is somehow a dedication to someone, if they wrestle in front of him!) Where did you read that? Or is this one of those "someone's cousin, told my neighbor's sister-in-law, who heard it herself?"

There are hundreds sitting, watching the match. Shah ham rooshoon! It is like one of the athletes in the last Olympics, refuse to march in the opening ceremony, because George Bush was there!!

Won't it be idiotic to refuse to engage in an athletic event, because there's is someone in the crowd, you don't approve of? Takhti, the great athlete, was not that educated, but dumb, he was not!
Shah had seen him wrestle many times. Why did Takhti refuse this one time??

Ignorance boils when we hear " Takhti was a member of the Nationalist Front many years after Dr. Mossadegh (Takhti dies less than a year after Dr. Mossadegh!). By that time the Nationalist Front had moved from backing a Constitutional Monarchy in Iran to being a supporter of a Republic in Iran."

By what time? Mossadegh was a constitutional monarchist all his life. There is no mention of any desire by any members of the "Nationalist Front" to change monarchy until at least 1978.

I am not a monarchist, but I don't like to see the truth distrted, just to fit your illusion of history.


Regarding Takhti and the Shah

by Jamshid Niavarani (not verified) on

Takhti was a big opponent of the Shah. Once Takhti was asked to wrestle infront of the Shah. Takhti's response was, "To hell with the Shah and the monarchy". Takhti was a member of the Nationalist Front many years after Dr. Mossadegh. By that time the Nationalist Front had moved from backing a Constitutional Monarchy in Iran to being a supporter of a Republic in Iran. Mr. Mehdi Bazargan, who backed the Great Iranian Revolution was one of the supporters of the idea of a Republic. In 1979, the monarchy was abolished once and for all in Iran.

Maryam Hojjat

Thank you Ms. Nemati

by Maryam Hojjat on

 You said what I wanted to say in much profound way.  I hope all Iranians who marry a forgien man or woman realize their responsibility to teach their children Persian language and Persian cultures.   


Hi Siamack!

by Miny (not verified) on

Keep showing up here..

but like some other readers say it seems you are proud of shawn being the way he is ..like away from his culture..and thankful too to an all american shawn when he acknowledges a big hero like Takhti.....

Is american and european endorsement so important to be sure of ones own choices!

shunning ones own culture is not a sign of advancement.....sometimes its appeasement..

but you keep writing...you write real good!


Tkhati is Rostam of our time

by Abadani (not verified) on

Takhti is a legend. Reading about him, after all these years, makes me to remeber the day that the news of his death spread all over Iran. I was in high school in Abadan. Once learned about his death, me and a couple of friend, with the silent aid of our litrature teacher, organized a memorial for Takhti in our high school Auditorium. The program consisted of a bio of Jahan Pahlevan with a spice of his social activism. The program ended with recital of the following poem by late Siavosh Kasraii, written in honor of Takhti, upon his arrival from Tokyo world wrestling games (1961?)
Did pahlavi regime had anything to do with his death? I can't say for sure; I was called to priniciple's office the next day and was given warning about the memorial in presence of two other individual whom I had not seen in our high school; I later learnd that they were SAVAK agents.
It is noteworthy that Iranian official broadcasting network never mentioned his name until after the revolution. following is the poem in honor of Takhti that I recited in the memorial.

سیاوش کسرایی

جهان پهلوانا، صفای تو باد
دل مهرورزان سرای تو باد
بماناد نیرو بجان و تنت
رسا باد صافی سخن گفتنت
مرنجاد آن روی آذرمگین
مماناد آن خوی پاکی غمین
بتو آفرین کسان پایدار
دعای عزیزان ترا یادگار
روانت پرستنده راستی
زبانت گریزنده از کاستی
دلت پر امید وتنت بی شکست
بماناد ای مرد پولاد دست
که از پشت بسیار سال دراز
که این در بامید بوده است باز
هلا رستم از راه باز آمدی
شکوفا جوان سرفراز آمدی
ورود ترا خلق آئین گرفت
ز مهر تو این شهر آذین گرفت
چو خورشید در شب درخشیده
دل گرم بر سنگ بخشیده ای
نبودی تو و هیچ امیدی نبود
شبان سیه را سپیدی نبود
نه سو روی اختر نه چشم چراغ
نه از چشم آفتابی سراغ
فرو برده سر در گریبان همه
بگلسایهی شمع، پیچان همه
بیاد تو، بس عشق می باختند
همه قصه ی درد می ساختند

که رستم بافسون ز شهنامه رفت
" نماند آتشی، درد بر خامه رفت
" جهان تیره شد رنگ پروا گرفت
" بدل تخمه ی نیستی پا گرفت
" برخسار گل خون چو شبنم نشست
" چه گلها که بر شاخه ی تر شکست تر شکست
" بدی آمد و نیکی از یاد برد
" درخت گل سرخ را باد برد
" هیاهوی مردانه کاهش گرفت
" سرا پرده ی عشق آتش گرفت
" گه آوا درین شهر آرام بود
" سرود شهیدان ناکام بود
" سمند بسی گرد از راه ماند
" بسی بیژن مهر در چاه ماند
" بسی خون بطشت طلا رنگ خورد
" بسی شیشه ی عمر بر سنگ خورد
" سیاووش ها کشت افراسیاب
" ولیکن تکانی نخورد آب از آب
" دریغا ز رستم که در جوش نیست
" مگر یاد خون سیاووش نیست؟?"

عزیزا، نه من مرد رزم آورم
یکی شاعر دوستی پرورم
ز تو دل فروغ جوانی گرفت
سرودم ره پهلوانی گرفت
ببخشا سخن گر درازا کشید
که مهرت عنان از کفم واکشید

درودم ترا باد و بدرود هم درودم
یکی مانده بشنو تو از بیش و کم

که مردی نه در تندی تیشه است
که در پاکی جان و اندیشه استت


he was great man

by hajiagha on

I like this man, he one for ever in are heart of all Iranian


Would it be a cliché if I say…

by Khar on

Welcome back? Long time no hear! Koja boodi babba? Well, all that plus you've left us high and dry for too long, I was addicted to your blogs buddy. Good to have you back bro!

PS. Siamack jaan, when Tara posts comments on the Takhti's Blog, or other blogs for that matter that means there's still hope for the world and the humanity, thank you Tara!


Takhti was killed by Shah

by XerXes (not verified) on

Because Shah was so good and westernized and had made Iran like America, so he had to kill him and make all of us happy and proud but Hezbolahees in this site don't understand how great Shah was.
Weight lifting and wresteling is the traditional Iranian sport, that's why those who follow those sports are truthful to the Iranian culture and people like them. Takhti was one of them and of course Shah did not like whoever was more popular than him. That's why today under the Islamic Republic those individuals who are familiar with the traditional Iranian culture and norms are OK with the system and weren't OK under Shah.
Shah killed them all. If the movies or papers that are being publish today was published then, or even today under Shah, forget about it.


How did he die? Was he

by Frank... (not verified) on

How did he die? Was he killed or suicide??


If takhti was alive

by XerXes (not verified) on

He would be called a Hezbollahi by bacheh susuls in this site



by kamran tehrani (not verified) on

Great Iranian hero was a personal friend of my father ..my father used to live in Kuwait and takhti visit him one time i have some personal pics of both of them including one with his hand writing autographs. if anyone like me to share these pics with let me know .email me madmoon1968@yahoo.com


I'm with Anonymous77 on this

by Asghar_Massombagi on

Man, talk about a bleak picture of Iran!  Things are not rosy but your description is right of Dante's account of lower depth of hell.  Things must be really good in Arizona but perhaps you should pay a visit to South Central LA, dude.  People still live in Iran, strive for great things in their daily lives in every Iranian city.  Your regard for all things Iranian is pretty much zilch.  As to coolness of Takhtim, it all goes to concept of a pahlavan in Iranian culture.  Fardin was also an Olympic medal winner in wrestling (silver medal in 1954?) but no one regarded him in the same way as Takhti.  A pahlavan is like a Judo sensi in the Japanses culture, it's both physical and spiritual.  He was a decent man who adhered to the code of honour of Iranian masculinity, to be kind to the poor and the weak, not to raise your hand to a woman, not lust after your neighbour's wife, ...  Old-fashioned stuff.  Is that cool?  Not sure.



by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

"In a nation filled with hopelessness, undesirable characters, drug addicts, corrupt profiteers, insincerity, mediocrity, hypocrisy and unfulfilled craving for heroes, Takhti represents everything that we Iranians are longing for:

Get away with it and still pretend and appear to be:

"clean-shaven, strong, gentle, calm, pleasant, trustworthy, handsome, athletic, with a smile that went on forever."



by Monda on

was a mystery to me while growing up in Iran. In hig school I learned of his "mardomi" and "looti" characters aside his superior sportsmanship. My pedar bozorg was also a Takhti fan so I heard few stories about his acts of kindness and generosity during his competitions, or towards the poor in south Tehran, etc. 

I could not make sense of his being a threat to the ruling class until much later during my college years in the States. Sad but inspiring story. I hear there's a movie on his life, made in Iran, haven't seen it yet but reading this piece reminds me to look for it.

Isn't Shawn perceptive though to pick up on Takhti's internal strength. I hope his dad uses Shawn's interest in Takhti as a bonding topic with his son. Teens these days crave any bit of inspiration they can connect with.

Mr. Baniameri, it's been ages since I read you here. And I hope you're here to write for awhile? 


Not all Iranian kids are ignorant

by Azam (not verified) on

Mr. Baniameri, if I am not mistaken you live in Arizona which probably has a very small Iranian population so you are basing the entire teen-age population born in the US based on your ignorant cousin (whom you seem to be very proud of).

Well, my son is one of those kids who is born in this country to an Iranian mother (we chose not to have anything to do with his Iranian father who is anti-Iranian) and is a handsome all Abadani boy. He won Japan Bowl (you need to know the language, the culture and everything in between). He graduated IB high school with 4.5 averages and among the top 10% (among 3,500). Despite those accolades, he knows Iran’s history better than most Iranian professors of history knows Iranian music and knows Iranian heroes.

If you think I had something to do with it, the answer is initially yes. I only spoke to him in Farsi (even though he was with American sitters since the age of 5 weeks) and played Iranian music, read him Anjavi Shirazi books and sent him to Farsi school for two years. After that he chose on his own to cultivate information about Iran, its culture and people. He finds videos of Iran and asks me about people I sometime have to think to remember. I watch a foreign movie a week and my son only watched the Iranian ones with me and often asks me for more. He even wants to go to Iran when I retire.

For your information the majority of the children of my friends know Farsi and know very much about their parents culture and are proud because they understand and read a lot more than their parents (except in my case since I constantly read books on Iran’s history to know my homeland’s past).

The younger (smart ones) generation of Iranian born abroad (we know that the new generation in Iran are very advanced because I have met some very humble young ones getting PhD on full scholarships and invitation from Iran. If you listen to these twenty something year old men and women, you will be amazed at how advance their command of English language is) are compute literate so they know about many of Iran’s great role models who were not just “cool” but actually fought for Iranian people.

I loved Takhti because he was a true human being (and there are many like him who were not famous) and by no means I want to take away form his greatness. But, it royally pisses me off when someone like you puts my son in equal place as your cousin who is clueless about his father’s culture (like father like son) and undoubtedly his mother probably thinks she did her husband a favor by marrying him (she does not know that you have to be a hell of man to get an Iranian woman!). Next time, please just point of your own relative and their shortcomings and do not put all Iranians and their parents in the same pool. All educated non-Iranians married to Iranian men have made sure their kids speak the language and are taught about the Iranian culture. Of course, I am not taking about the average American woman who thinks Mrs. Palin was good for women movement! For the record, it is cool to be Iranian if you are surrounded by world traveled, sophisticated Americans who would tell you they love Iran, its fascinating people and rich history (the food is off the chart of course).

Azam Nemati


In Memory Of Jahan-Pahlevan Takhti

by Agha Mostafa (not verified) on



by Kablammad (not verified) on

Tara who would you say is an ordinary, middle class role models to whom American youth would aspire to?
Don't say Obama ;-)

As for Iranian youth in America, well they'll subscribe to the same kind of people American youth would. As for Iranians inside Iran, there are actually a lot of role models, both male and female, such as athlethes or actors if celebrity is the motto. They are as much celebrity oriented as Americans these days.

I think the best role models are our parents, friends and families. Icons happen every once in a blue moon and are rare. One recent example similar to Takhti would be RezaZadeh the 2 time world heavy weight olympic champion who retired this year. He had so many lucrative offers which he turned down and continues his life in Iran and respected by everyone inside and outside of Iran.


Heroes and role models

by Tara on

You are right.  Takhti was one of the few Iranian heroes my father ever told me about with conviction about his “hero status.”  He has been someone to look up to over the years without any tarnish on his image.  I always think Iranians never had enough role models and heroes to look up to.  Everyone either reaches the status of an icon or the status of devil incarnate; there seem to be no ordinary, middle class role models to whom Iranian youth would aspire.  Why do you think that is?  We have Cyrus, Mossadegh, Babak Khorramdin, and Takhti about whom most (and definitely not all) people agree.  Did I leave anybody out?

My father also told me that the reason Takhti committed suicide had nothing to do with politics.  He was in an unhappy marriage, where he, without much education, had married a highly educated wife, a lawyer, and the conflicts were affecting their relationship.  He may have felt strange being Jahan Pahlavan to the outside world and somehow inadequate in his own home.  Who knows?  Certainly the suicide bit takes something away from the hero, but that’s O.K.  He is still one of my role models.


Well if the father wants to

by Kablammad (not verified) on

Well if the father wants to brag about Iran or how awful IRI is or how much toothache is caused by yelling IIRRRIII then I can imagine Shawn not wanting anything to do with it.

On the other hand if Shawn "notices" the Iranian girls around, she may show some interest in things Iranian, just like he showed interest in Takhti who is a "cool" guy!

Good luck Shawn!


Mr Baniameri,

by Princess on

Welcome back!!

I enjoyed reading this and agree with you on the legend of Takhti. Of course, like the majority of people of my generation I have only heard about him from my dad and uncles, but then again that's how legends are made.

It's so good to have you back!

Jahanshah Javid

Welcome back!

by Jahanshah Javid on

Koja boodi baba?! A lot of fans missed you, no one more than me!

As for Takhti... how can you not have respect for him. But isn't it odd that we are among the top nations of the world when it comes to muscle sports? Freestyle wrestling, weightlifting, taekwando? And just yesterday I saw an email from someone that said an Iranian had won a major international bodybuilding competition? I see a correlation between this great emphasis in our culture on physical strength and zoor (power?) in its most negative political sense. What makes Takhti stand out though is that at least according to popular belief, he was on the side of the people, not the government. That's why some believe his death was in fact an assassination.

Darius Kadivar

Hey Siamack Welcome Back ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Long Tiime no hear. Good to have you back ! ;0)

Cheers from the French Poodle in Paris