October 3 marks a milestone in the history of post Islam Iran’s scientific accomplishments. It was on this date in 1877 when Iran’s most significant invention, the Aftabeh, was introduced to the world. 1877 is of course a significant year for inventions. It is the year in which Italian inventor, Enrico Forlanini’s helicopter, powered by a steam engine, took flight and rose the height of 13 meters, introducing the world to the concept of vertical flight.
Aftabeh’s inventor is the genius engineer / rozeh khoon Haj Seyyed Gholamhossein Hasani Nejad of Mashhad. The idea for Aftabeh’s design came to Haj Gholmhossein one night after using the squatting toilet in the outhouse located in his humble abode in the vicinity of Imam Reza’s shrine in Mashhad. It was late at night, and Haj Gholamhossein had just finished a healthy meal of chelo kabob, piaz and torshi, and felt the urgent need to use the facilities. He ran to the outhouse, pulled up his robes, squatted on the toilet and started to “zoor.” That is when he experienced the most explosive diarrhea of his entire life. The stuff came out of him at speeds reaching mach 1, hitting the ceramic toilet and then ricocheting back onto much of his bottom, robe and even the surrounding walls. After first cursing his fate--and the butcher who sold him the meat—Haj Gholamhossein contemplated his next step(s). He then reached for the bowl that he had laid next to the toilet for “taharat.” But much to his dismay, he noticed that pieces of his discharge had also fallen into the “tahrat” bowl. He was helpless. The only option left to him was to use his "amameh", which had remained clean, wipe himself-and the walls-with the turban and leave the bathroom, which he did. Perturbed by the fact that he couldn’t “ghosl” himself properly, and could not even stick one knuckle—let alone the requisite two--inside his rectum for the necessary “taharat,” Haj Gholamhossin immediately went to work on what would become our most significant contribution to human technology in the past 1400 years.
The endeavor, however, was not without intrigue. Weeks later, and more than a thousand miles away, in a cave in northern France, the annual meeting of the Elders of Zion was taking place. Obsessed with keeping Iran down at any cost, the chief rabbi (and fulltime accountant) Mordechai Goldenberg asked his minions for a report on Iran’s scientific progress. He was shocked when his chief Iran spy, Mahmoud Siborchian, I, presented him with evidence of Iran’s work on this groundbreaking invention. Goldenberg then ordered the immediate assassination of Haj Gholamhossin, on account of his invention paving the way in the future for the liberation of what in less than a hundred years would become the first ever Jewish state. The meeting was then adjourned by the attendees drinking the blood of the Gentile child that they had just boiled.
Undeterred by intelligence reports that he had received about a possible assassination attempt against his life, Haj Gholamhossin went full speed ahead with his design. He thought long and hard. How could he build a device that can clean the anus and the “crack,” achieve “taharat,” and dissolve away the occasional stubborn dingleberry? How can one clean those areas without water pouring down on one’s scrotum--or vagina, as the case may be? The answer was the ingenious 45 degree angle of the spout. The other marvel of engineering was the small, round top, as opposed to the rest of the body of the Aftabeh. This, of course, was designed to prevent the occasional contamination of the “taharat” water by the ricocheting pieces of explosive diarrhea, as had happened to Haj Gholamhossin himself on that fateful night.
A few days prior to the unveiling his final design, and as haj Gholamhossein was walking home from a Rozeh session while carrying a bowl full of “halva nazri,” a few spears was thrown at him by two individuals on horseback. Hesitantly dropping the bowl of halva, Haj Gholamhossin quickly took cover behind a mosque. Fortunately, the two assassins, who were surely dispatched by Goldenberg, could not dare get anywhere near the alert citizens who were sleeping in the mosque--and ran away, thereby clearing the way for the introduction of one of the most advanced pieces of technology on this planet, and the most significant Iranian invention in fourteen centuries.
The Germans have Wernher Von Braun, the Americans have Thomas Edison, the Scotts have Alexander Fleming, and we have Haj Seyyed Gholamhossein Hasani Nejad. His versatile invention has withstood the test of time, and has revolutionized our way of life. It has uses in aviation and in admiralty. It has been built from various materials, the next one of which will be the virtually indestructible carbon composite fiber. And if history is any indication, this incredible marvel of engineering design will serve us, and the rest of humanity, for centuries to come.
So, I ask everyone to join me today in remembering Haj Seyyed Gholamhossein Hasani Nejad and his timeless invention. Let us be proud of being Iranians in memory of this great man.
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