My old stomping ground

Photo essay: School in downtown Tehran

by Bianca Zahrai
During a recent trip to Iran, I went back to my old school, Jeanne D'Arc (or "JanDark" according to the IRI) off Manouchehri Avenue in downtown Tehran. As the pictures depict, the school's buildings are dilapidated and not well-maintained. I couldn't move about freely since the school is now segregated into different parts run by different administrators, and I needed, but wasn't able to procure the permission of each one to explore the school freely and take pictures of its "koodakestan/amadegi" kidergarten, or "dabestan" elementary school to see my old stomping ground. I hope I haven't destroyed the memories of my fellow "Jeanne D' Arc-ies", as mine were.

Niloufar Youh Monfared Nejad

So many Memories!

by Niloufar Youh Monfared Nejad on

I don't know how  I came accross these pictures. I graduated in 1978. The last class before the revolution. These pictures brought back so many memories. I too remember Badri Khanoom and Mari Khanoom, and Nosrat khanoom, etc...For a moment I could see myself laughing in the hallways and getting into trouble with soeur Cecil as I always did:) Thank you so much for sharing these.


Use of the pictures

by Mehnoush (not verified) on

I have created the Jeanne d'Arc group on the Facebook. May I use some of your pictures to post it there?
Here is the link to that page and please join this group if you are in facebook. //

Thanks in advance
Mehnoush M.


La vielle ecole

by Neshat Mirbabai (Sanei) (not verified) on

Merci beaucoup pour avoir partagé ces photos qui m’ont tellement émue. J’étais totalement perdue dans mes rêves pour une courte période de temps mais la rage et la colère de voir cette acrimonie et rancune envers notre école me rendent triste. Je me rappelle de l’école Jeanne d’Arc il y a 53 ans quand j’y ai commencé ma première année et y a passé 9 ans jusqu'au brevet. Ça fait pas mal de temps….Je me rappelle de Badri Khanoom la directrice de l’école et de Marie Khanoom, la Nazem ; je me rappelle de Sœur Marie, Soeur Jean-Gabrielle, Sœur Vincent et Sœur Claire. Je me rappelle des programmes périscolaires avec Sœur Claire (le film de West Side Story et les théâtres à l’institut Français et le Tchahare Aban a Amdjadyeh). Pensez-vous que j’oublierai la Mère Supérieure, jamais de la vie ! et les sandwichs de chez Madame…et le Zoghal Akhteh et Tokhmeh Aftab Gardooun qu’on achetait à Yek Gheroune par Estekan du Monsieur sur le Kocheh Jeanne d’Arc ? Enfin, bref, je vous laisse....c’est la vie….mais merci encore une fois pour ces photos.



To sad MollaLoghati

by - (not verified) on

You really make me laugh hard ...... thinking YOU stick to the topic?

Thanks for the laugh - you must be an angel from the back door ;-)


Notre Propre Ecole!

by Rudy (not verified) on

Hey Bianca, thanks ever so much for these pics ...! I hardly ever log into this site, and the link was sent to me by a friend (non-Jaandaarki!) who knew me as a proud Jaandaarki. The pics brought back so much memories; happy and sad (the saaloneh Emtaahaani - LOL) .... khanom Jalaali's face, Victoria Khanom's face and of course who could forget Nosrat khanom selling us those lovely tidily Coka Cola bottles! Our Préo, which was all covered up :-( and perhaps turned into another school altogether!!! I also read Nazy Safavi's comments, we were ham-doreh and in the same class for a while with Niloufar M who left school at a vey young age. It is such a shame your access was restricted to share more pics with us, which doesn’t surprise me; the sheer size of the school, if no more Jeanne D'Arc at present, then HAD to be divided into separate administrations. Yaadeh baabaa pireh be kheyr who was guarding us not to escape from the back door :=) and I wonder SO MUCH what happened to our lovely church - I hope they have not demolished it – as churches should never be unless they are rebuilt …

Thanks EVER so much again for sharing these pics :-)
Rudy: a very proud Jaandaarki, right from the kindergarten through last year of my diplom!


How nostalgic

by Marjaneh (not verified) on

Oh my God ! it was so moving ! I could still feel it ! how nostalgic ! I can't describe my feeling ! I feel joy and anger at the same time. How awful that we lost what we had and there soon be no one left to tell about it.....

Bianca thank you for your SOGATI ...


school days

by naz (not verified) on

i was just playing on the computer,searching,not sure for what! and i came accross your photos,and there i was being transported back to days gone by, i crossed the road and entered my lovely old school,i heard my footsteps down long corridors running as i was always late! thank you so very much,be happy in life,merci xnazy safavi



by Reza- San Diego (not verified) on

Bianca, est-ce que tu as gardé des souvenirs de quand tu étais au lycée ? Tu connais Negar ?

Parce que,son souvenir est toujours parmi nous...

Thanks for sharing these nostalgic photos with us... It would probably bring tears to my sister's eyes! Unfortunately, goes to show you how backward we have gone through time...
My sister had the same privelige of attending your school (such high caliber school in Tehran back in the days).

I had a dream of one day learning a little French too and she inspired me about the language & the culture...And as a result I feel like I too became a more educated man in my life...

I remember when I went there with my parents to pick up my sister from her (your) school, Jeanne D'Arc...

Merci beaucoup...


Stick to the topic, please

by TheReal MollaLoghati (not verified) on Unabridged (v 1.1)

al·ma ma·ter /ˈɑlmə ˈmɑtər, ˈæl-; ˈælmə ˈmeɪtər/[ahl-muh mah-ter, al-; al-muh mey-ter]-noun

1. a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated.
2. the official anthem of a school, college, or university.
[Origin: < L: nourishing (i.e., dear) mother]


To "iri"

by Anonymoose (not verified) on

Molla Loghati, first of all, alma mater refers to a school, college or university one has attended. Second, the point Nazy was trying to make was that the same thing happened to Kharazmi. STOP being so petty!


Alma mater ...

by iri (not verified) on

... refers to institute of higher education not the kindergarten.

Nazy Kaviani

Thank You

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your "soghati" from Tehran. I can understand your disappointment in finding what should now be a historical monument in Tehran, and is kept in such poor maintenance, oblivious to its importance in having trained thousands of young women who went on to become accomplished professionals, artists, and writers, fluent in French and very well-educated.

My own Alma Mater, Kharazmi High School, did not fare much better than this and was divided likewise into separate schools and left neglected. Not too long ago there was talk about doing something similar to Alborz High School, too.

Your pictures are sweet and telling of the nostalgia you felt when you visited Jeanne D'Arc. Thank you.