1966 Women's Quarter (Qaleh)

Documentary about prostitution in Iran

Film was suspended and finished later in 1981:

Part 1:

Part 2:


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more from Ghormeh Sabzi

Call the Number & see for yourself....

by Atessa1 on

Dear Midwesty, 


I grown up under Islamic Republic ... If you ever thought that these guys give a damn about the true Islam ...You were wrong. The only thing they care about is their (Payin Taneh). FYI, My link is correct and the info stated in the blog has been verified. 




The IRI has been very

by vildemose on

The IRI has been very profitable for the  prostitution industry or vice versa... and it's almost an epidemic in Iran in the form of sigheh: 

Jihadis and whores/must read article:


hamsade ghadimi

this was a powerful

by hamsade ghadimi on

this was a powerful documentary and advanced for 1960s middle east standards. as far as prostitution, i think iri even exports women to serve that profession in arab gulf states.  the film showed the sadness of lives of women (and their children) who are caught up in crimes and drugs. the same stories can be said now.




اگر برای یک اشتباه هزار دلیل بیاورید، در واقع هزار و یک اشتباه از شما سرزده است / ~ ابن سینا


Worse today under Islam

by mahmoudg on

Now they call it "seegheh".  Prostitution in Iran and under the guise of Islam is worse than it ever was.  During the Shah's regime, this was a social ill, like any other society.  The country and its organs, like the women's organization were working towards correcting it.  Today after 30 years Islam has failed, (as we knew it would from its inception).  Prostitution, murders, terrorism, theft, graft, etc. etc. is on such large scale that even the leaders of this dreaded regime are involved.  Our only salvation is to remove this regime, by force if necessary, and lead iran into a path of social democracy.  This democracy must not have any inclinings of religion in particular Islam in it.


Let's rehash this shall we:

by Midwesty on

DK jan,

Great response regarding the intention of the director and the grounds influenced his motivation.


You are wrong, you should study the temp-wed shariah. A once wedded bride can not marry unless she observes two of her periods. So the fastest she can get married is every other month.So your link is not possibly true.


I didn't know you were that old. Your F-14 knowledge looked fresher.


Why do we all fight?

We all agree that prostitution is bad. It existed before and it exists now and will be there in the future. Geez! It's the oldest profession as they claimed.

The difference in the view is how to approach it to minimize the damages onto the society.

European approach....transparent, much controlled and much safer for women who often fall victim to violence.

American approach.... the statistics about rape in this country talks for itself. 

So Shah and Khomeini's approaches can not possibly be beyond what is defined already by the limits that liberals in Europe and conservatives in the US have drawn.

So get along...Your intentions are same, it's the method we should argue about.

So what is the best approach for a unique society like Iran to deal with this problem? Any suggestions?


As for the "documentary" itself

by pas-e-pardeh on

This film should've been shelved, not because of its content, but because of the amateurish way in which it takes a compelling, social topic and turns it into a boring, melodramatic opinion piece.

Very "aab-doogh-kheeyari" even by 1966 standards.   



by choghok on

maybe your silencing methods work in Iran but in the free world every one has the right to opinion, if you do not like it get back to your sandis and stop coming to Iranian.com

As for prostitution not be present in Iran. It is like Ahmaghinejad saying homosexuality does not exist in Iran. Me and my brother in law were approached by them when taking train in Tehran for example, talking to other friends I have heard similar stories, if you look at the movie by nahid persson that Darish Kadivar send links to you will see that it exists. Mullahs and government people are big customers of them. Well maybe not mullahs, since they pray on small boys in "hoziye elmiye".


The Shah is to blame?

by pas-e-pardeh on

moment! Now the late shah is responsible for the Oldest Profession on Earth?  Give me a break!

Whenever so many of these otherwise good, patriotic Iranians stop blaming the Shah and start feeling ashamed for what was done to him and his family, then is the beginning of the end of our national nightmare. Even if you don't want monarchy, after all these years, you must've come to realize the Pahlavis were/are decent, patriotic Iranians who did a lot for Iran. Take a look at yourself and ask what you have done for your country in your life that you've come to  expect so much from one man? 

As for Darius Kadivar, it is easy for him to make sense and be rational.  He has many advantages.  On the one hand, he opposes a government who are liars, thieves, rapists and murderers from top to bottom.  On the other hand, it is clear how much he loves our country and realizes what a big mistake we made in 1979. 
It doesn't hurt either that he is an "asil" irooni and obviousely comes from a good family.  



On Darius Kadivar

by Raoul1955 on

I have been reading the posted material here off and on, and I can attest that material posted by screen name ‘Darius Kadivar’ have been the most rational, informative, and interesting to those who are unbiased.

Anyone who wishes to become informed can benefit from Darius Kadivar's postings.

I assume that most so-called 'Iranians' may not like his writings, but that is due to their own approach to issues, since the most prominent cultural aspect of the Middle Easterners is their irrationality, impulsiveness, and outright exaggerations.

Darius Kadivar

On Alzheimers, Indifference, Dickens and jasonrobardas

by Darius Kadivar on

If I had Alzheimer's or was indifferent to these people's misery or even felt that the Pahlavi's had No Accountability in their predicament I wouldn't have blogged on this director's other film in the first place:

MES CAHIERS: "Teheran is the capital of Iran" by Kamran Shirdel (1966)

As for the horrendous living conditions of miners and children workers described by Charles Dickens during the Industrial Revolution, which cannot be compared in magnitude and large number of people concerned to the situation in Iran under the Pahlavis has it striked you why the British did not topple their Monarchy despite a thriving and educated Middle Class ?

In fact contrary to ever Revolutionary France that revolted once again in 1848 like many other European nations on that particular year against their very establishments, Britain remained unchanged by the Winds of Change that blew over Europe in the 19th Century ...

As for Jason Robards who claims to have seen it all ... How the devil did you end up marrying Lauren Bacall if you were living in the Tehran Slums in the First place ?

I doubt you have ANY Credibility to speak on behalf of that unfortunate population unlike Mansour Bahrami who precisely came from that milieu and climbed the social ladder despite all the difficulties and who contrary to YOU NAMAK NASHNAS IRANICANS remains loyal and Grateful to the Pahlavis:

Mansour Bahrami and Farah Pahlavi

If you can read French I highly Recommend You to read his excellent autobiography ( alas only available in French for the time being):

Le Court des Miracles  

And see from what kind of background he came from and against all odds and discouragements managed to find his place in the Sun !

Enjoy Your Hollywood Movies Jason While Your in Heaven and hope that God Up there is not censoring you too much. I've heard he is an Absolute and Undisputed Ruler too !





Choghok, whatever

by yahoo_yabo on

there is no prostitution in Iran.  stop bull shitting. tired of has beens if you ever were a  "been".


tahgerd fioz

by choghok on

I would think that since implying your "jewish" friends it means that muslims never went there then. And it would imply that you even had jewish friends. Well enough with innuendos. At least back there prostitutes in Iran were almost all gathered in one neighbourhood in Tehran, now thanks to the islam they are spread everywhere in Iran. It is much worse than before since there is hush hush and no control over it. And in islamic fashion they are even used to pray with, have your own friday prayer. But then you will need at least 6 of them.

Sargord Pirouz

I distinctly remember the

by Sargord Pirouz on

I distinctly remember the prostitutes in Tehran during the 1970's. They were quite brazen. I even remember them sitting in the theater at the bowling alley (anyone from Tehran at the time would remember such things). My Jewish-Iranian classmates used to brag about buying them just about every weekend (no lie). It was out of hand. But hey, so was the abject poverty.

Yes, there's prostitution today in Tehran, like every large metro in the world. But it sure isn't like it was back in the 1970's.  


Mr. Kadivar a Pahlavi apologist

by jasonrobardas on

      I have never met you  Mr. Kadivar , but I bet you are too young to have experienced first hand the situation in iran during the Shah ( censorship , repression and the abject poverty that existed during the Shah's regime .)

      Poor Kids during the shah's time were like the children in Charls Dickens novels . They were on the streets working day after day to suopport their family . Reza Pahlavi has not had to work one single day in his life to pay for his rent . Just like his dad , he has a huge nose and abundance of stolen money from Iran .

      Sir , this is not left wing jargon . this is the truth . You monarchists have fabricated a dream world of that era that only exists in your own minds . Time to stop being gullible . Time to stop giving ride to Sheikh or Shah .

                                With due respect from an old fellow who was in the thick and the thin of it all .


@Kadivar My dear Shahollahi Friend

by spatima on

"Iranian nationalism was invented with the First Pahlavi King and
pursued by Mohamed Mossadegh and Not Khomeiny nor the Left Wing

I am just going to ignore this comment as it fails to take into consideration Iran;s constitutional movement, Amir Kabir, Abu Muslim, numerous Great Poets, Babak, Achamanids and so on... These values were evident in the early Mashrooteh government of 1906 and were unfortunately supressed by that villager from Savad-kooh.  


Moreover there are different variations on the definition of nationalism. I believe you are suffering from a problem of sementics there. I think you confuse modern western style nationalism which has  shaped the political cultures of the Arab work with that of the ancient Iranian creed.(When we look at places like Iran and China we are examining civilizations not nation-states. Therefore when the term nationalism is implemented we are referring to processes that existed in these countries centuries prior to the Wilsonian decree.

"The difference between me and You sir, is that I am not afraid to say what I am and that is : A Monarchist !"

No I think our difference is that I am young, western educated and in persuit of a  free Iran under the terms of a Liberal nationalist government (similar to that of great mossadegh) while on the other hand you are old and severely suffering from alzhiemers.

Lastly, I dont see the correlation between the current currupt regime and the prostitution trends of  Pahlavi era.I think denying that the earth is round is as outragous as claiming that there were no brothels in Tehran during the 60s.

In response to your question of whether I confuse myself with Cyrus the Great , I must dissapoint you! Unlike you my good Shaholahi friend, not everyone thinks that he is a Shah;) But not to worry, if you keep up the good work, the pretender Reza may appoint you as his heir (I hear that his douchency is in need of one). 

I dont understand why you support the Pahlavis so much? maybe you can write a blog piece  on this? Id be interested to read (seriously).


Dorood Bar Shoma

Sharmoondeh agar tease haye mano personal gereftid



In hope of a Free, Independent and Secular Iran


Thank you....

by Atessa1 on

Kadivar jan....thanks for pointing at the problems our country is facing today ....1000s of innocent women are victims of Islamic Republic of shame plot against Iranian honor and dignity.

Just wondering why some Patriots don't give a damn about Iranians' real problems!!!!

Darius Kadivar

FYI/Prostitution in Iran by The director of "The Queen and I"

by Darius Kadivar on

By the Award wInning Director Nahid Persson Sarvestani of the Queen and I:

In the Islamic Republic It also remains the Oldest Profession in the World ...


Part I:


Part II


Part III


Part IV:


Part V:




by Atessa1 on



اگر شرف دارید ازآنچه امروزمیگذرد سخن بگوئید


روسپیگری شرعی و حلال!؟


خانه عشرت رسمي امام رضا به راه افتاده است . در زير اعلاميه رسمي آستان قدس رضوي


Darius Kadivar

Indian Republic Of Slumdog Millionaires ...

by Darius Kadivar on

The Worlds Largest Democracy  and Oldest Democracy in Asia since it's indepandance in 1948 and One of the Fastest Growing Economies in the World today.

Yet ...

Poverty in India:


Slumdog millionnaire Official Trailer:


Father of Slumdog Millionaire Child Star Accused of Trying to Sell Daughter

Should We conclude for that matter that Indian Leaders are indifferent to their people's misery and that they were better off under British Colonial Rule ?

Maybe I should also shout :



ardeshir keivan

Dariush Kadiver

by ardeshir keivan on

Well said as always. By the way shortly after the " TEHRAN PAYTAKHTE IRAN AST"  KHAZANEH's neighborhood completely transformed. They built a huge gorgeous park in that place (FARH ABAD) and a lot of apartments ...

I was very young when Khomeini came to power.The new regime confiscated some lands and built some cheap houses for poors(MOSTAZAFIN). Mostly peasants, to be honest with you they were richer than a lot of people. In summer time they used to go to their villages and a lot of them even use to bring fruits from their gardens and sell it. However they were culturally MOSTAZAF for sure!


Another jewel in IC

by benross on

Thank you Ghormeh and thank you Darius for your thoughtful comment.

I'm less judgmental about the narrative of this documentary than you Darius. I know you also put it in the context and tried to be graciously understanding but should I say it doesn't hurt me as much as it hurts you and I put it instantly in its historic context... maybe because I've been there.

As for its lack of in depth analogy of this social phenomenon, it is quite obvious, borderline propagandist. There was no attempt in looking into socio-cultural complexity of the situation.

To put it in perspective, I give you one.

I know a woman who was raped in her childhood (not young, child) in her village. This incident was learned by villagers. Instead of doing anything about the perpetrator, the child was crucified, they wanted to sell her to anybody who takes her out of the village. She could easily end-up in Ghal'é if it wasn't for other people in the big city who learned about this story and took her home to work at home as a help.

Now, try to blame Pahlavi for this.

Darius Kadivar

spatima Who thinks he's Cyrus The Great ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Thank you for your interest in my comment.

Kamran Shirdel like most Revolutionaries of his generation was left wing and his staunch commentary in his re edited film "Tehran is the Capital of Iran" clearly follows the ideological path of many of his own contemporary colleagues in Post Revolution Iran: 

Art during Iranian revolution

Many of whom were eaten up by the Revolution they so eagerly followed and helped succeed. 

I personally don't believe that the role of an artist be it a filmmaker is to Judge but try and raise or ask questions on a given subject. That is even more true if you aim at making an objective documentary as a journalist.

My Problem is more with his narration than the subject at hand !

I feel this documentary on Prostitution is Far Less a Manifesto than the one he did on the Tehran Suburbs Below (where the narration and comments serve as counterpoints to the images):


MES CAHIERS: "Teheran is the capital of Iran" by Kamran Shirdel (1966)

I have nothing to say against his two documentaries They are Precious documents on society at that time other than they appear in their narration at times as manifesto's rather than objective depictions of two realities being respectively: Prostitution and Social Misery in IRan for a given category of people.

One can put any comment on images to influence one's opinion. I truly don't think that in the case of "Tehran Is the Capital of Iran" he was objective in his narration.

It was an Opinion piece not a documentary that would please the likes of Hamid Dabashi in their Staunch Stance against Anything the Pahlavi Represent in their mindsets as corrupt and indifferent to the masses.

This type of reasoning against the Pahlavis has been the  common denominator of the left wing intelligenstia of the 1960's and 70's and Kamran Shirdel's narration perfectly fits in this category.

The Bot Parasts against the People. The Pharaoh Shah exploiting the masses in favor of the priviledged few and Blah, Blah, Blah ...

Now You want to sell us Kamran Shirdel for a Liberal Nationalist just as You may want to tell us that Moussavi and the Green Movement leaders are actually secular ...

Iranian nationalism was invented with the First Pahlavi King and pursued by Mohamed Mossadegh and Not Khomeiny nor the Left Wing Demagogues.

The difference between me and You sir, is that I am not afraid to say what I am and that is : A Monarchist !

Am I an Apologist ? Yes of course !

I apologize for the shortcomings of the Pahlavis not in my name but in the name of the regime and institution I grew up with to which I am grateful to because I benefited from the schools and education I received like many other lucky middle class families to which no doubt You yourself or your parents belonged too.

So don't expect me to spit in the hand that fed us like most Namak Nashnas IRANICANS !

Does that make me any more objective than you or Less Objective than you or the Left Wing Intelligenstia for that matter ? NO ! 

I have always believe that the Pahlavi Dynasty is accountable for it's mistakes, crimes ( when commited and not invented) and shortcomings such as lack of political freedom the uneven distribution of wealth or mismanagements that existed because no regime ( including under democratic governments is perfect).

But I don't believe that they are necessarily Guilty !

As one French Minister caught in the scandal of Aids contaminated blood during the French Socialist President's term used to say: "Je suis Responsable Mais Pas Coupable" aka " I am Responsible but Not Guilty" of what happened due to her mistakes.

I was personally saddened and shocked by the images in this documentary for instance :

MES CAHIERS: "Teheran is the capital of Iran" by Kamran Shirdel (1966)

The living conditions of the people depicted is horrendous ! Who can be indifferent to such misery ?

But I did not see the documentary on Tehran as an Objective Report but an Opinion piece. I don't claim he should not have done it nor that the Pahlavi censors were right to ban his movie or undermine it from being completed.

The director does not try to investigate seriously on what has led to this situation but simply observes the condition and is judgmental about those in charge of their education ( for instance by filming the dictee or course on their System of government: The Shah is the Nations Father etc ...) which contrasts in futility with their more immediate and urgent needs.

He makes no attempt to understand where stems the roots of their predicament. No explanation that these people left their villiages to come to town and find work.

Being Judgmental as he has been in his narration is not a criteria of objective reporting and certainly not what those in the government who commissioned the film expected to hear as a call for Revolution.  

In  this particular documentary which I blogged about the outcasts of the White Revolution he was not offering a solution to the miserable condition of these people but simply calling for Revolution by directly blaming the sovereign.

Such an Attitude however noble in it's intentions was clumsy and suicidal for a film commissioned by the State.

Given a country like Iran at the time he could have been more subtle in his narration very much like the Iranian filmmakers under the Islamic Republic from Kiarostami to Makhmalbaf who were able to be subversive without dooming their own movie from ever being released.


French Filmakers Beaten Up and censored During May 68 Revolution (English):


At least Have the courage of your opinion but don't sell me Your Fake Avatar or your discovery of the virtues of secularism now that the Islamic Experience of Your Joon Joony Revolution has failed !

Halah Berayeh Shoma Aghayeh Hesabi Mod Shodeh Keh beghed Estaghlal Azadi va Secularism ? ...

Key Shoma Enghelabihayeh Sabegh Tarafdareh Kourosheh Kabir Boodeed ?

Key Shoma Reformist ha Secular Boodeeh ?

And You have the nerve to demand accountability from us Constitutional Monarchists ?

Why didn't you say precisely this back in 1979 instead of rushing to support the most backward Ayatollah ?

The Real Answer is that people at that time did not even understand what democracy was. The Iranian intelligenstia who could have educated the masses were themselves like many of their own generation in the West were drawn by the ideals of their times which paradoxically were often anti western and Anti American because of the Vietnam War and saw in the Maoist and Stalinist Revolution's an alternative to their own establishments.

France which is itself a democracy was faced with Revolutionary Zeal in 1968 and they too seeked to overthrow at all costs even their own Republic.

National French TV the ORTF censored many journalists and subjects deemed subversive were submitted to revisions and even censored. And that was in the late 1960s France. And yet the documentaries we see here date from the 1960's in a country where democracy was a new idea.

This filmmaker complains that his film on prostitutes and the one of the poor suburbs of Tehran was censored. It is unfortunate but many filmmakers and avant garde artists were at odds with society and probably in advance on their times.

But Society is not always ready or mature to be confronted with certain realities due to cultural and social inhibitions.

In a country where in 1963 Khomeiny blasted the Shah for Westernizing the Society with the White Revolution I suppose that the censors felt that To speak openly about Prostitutes and prostitution could have also sparked more controversy in society.

Besides by the 1970's films like Mehrjui's GAV were selected to be screened at The International Film Festival thanks to the Empress Farah's intervention who was deeply touched by the movie and despite initial attempts to ban the movie :

MON CINEMA: Dariush Mehrjui discusses "THE COW"

I know it's a trend amongst all filmmakers to claim they were censored to appear even more great in the eyes of the public but that is often an exageration because the biggest liars are often the movie directors themselves because they know that contoversy generates interest.

You don't believe me ask Orson Welles :

F For Fake (co-produced by Iranian producers) :


You cannot always judge an era from the comfortable seat of our times and with our knowledge and values acquired painstakingly after all these years. One has also to project oneself in the social, cultural and political context of the time.

In addition The "Cinema Verite" Approach is very convenient in carrying a moral and moralistic approach in filmmaking and in influencing the viewers judgment because it allows approximity with the subject at hand and it is one of the reasons why it has since been abandoned by most documentary makers since. Even Michael Moore known for his "engage" films doesn't use the Cinema Verite Approach anymore than other documentary filmmakers.

This tradition was born with the French Nouvelle Vague but showed it's limits and was often parodied since :


Because far from reflecting the "Verite" aka "Truth" but instead it tended to distort it due to the fact that the director would ask the protagonists ( who are not actors) to recite a text and repeat it for the camera.

This is what Kamran Shirdel does in the following documentary with the people he interviews in the prison:

1965 Women's Prison (Nedamatgah) 

This explains why the commentary and the people interviewed appear at times to be less spontaneous as would be the case in reality and as it is often the case in modern documentaries today.

And Yet this documentary by the same filmmaker on the Women Prisons shed a favorable light on the Shah's Regime to such an extent that the current IRI prisons pale in comparison. 

So Before Jumping at me and my assessments learn one or two things about filmmaking and then we can debate between adults.

Also I suggest you to use "Robespierre" as an Avatar and Not THE GREATEST OF ALL SHAH's : Cyrus the Great !

And in the mean time Take Care Republicanollahi !





@ Kadivar, you are a funny apologist

by spatima on

its ironic how MR. Kadivar is trying to point the finger at the current corrupt regime when it comes to the dirty baggage of the Pahlavis.

I dont know why every liberal nationalist attempt in portraying the truth face of the Pahlavis always gets labeled as a leftist conspiracy by the Shaholahhis.


Akheh adameh hesabi een ham shod estedlal.




In hope of a Free, Independent and Secular Iran

Darius Kadivar

Here is his other film mentioned in the intro

by Darius Kadivar on

I wonder if Kamran Shirdel's own Glorious Islamic Revolution achieved it's goals in the areas mentioned any better than the "corrupt" Pahlavi Regime ...

MES CAHIERS: "Teheran is the capital of Iran" by Kamran Shirdel (1966)

Interesting director Nevertheless despite his clearly biaised "Far-Left" Wing Political Stance ...