The man behind Tehran's Freedom Monument

The man behind Tehran's Freedom Monument
by faryarm

One of the most iconic sights of the past few weeks in Iran has
been the Freedom Monument - the focal point of many of the protests
against the Iranian government. 







more from faryarm

Reza, give it a break & stop imagining things that aren't there

by Zulfiqar110 on

There is no Star of David potentially or actually in the Shahyad monument. The monument was designed to represent in architecture the royal crown. If you think you see a hexagram in this monument, then show us both your computer and geometric skills and demonstrate it visually.

Now as to your typically knee-jerk reaction about this symbol of the Star of David, if you knew anything about the history of this symbol you would know that it is only a recent symbol the Jewish people have been using. In fact the earliest explicit usage of the hexagram (or magen Daveed) as a specifically Jewish symbol goes no earlier than the 12th century of the common era. The earliest archeological evidence for this symbol goes back to Mesopotamia in Sumero-Babylonia (and these people were not Jews). The Abbasid armies under Abu Muslim apparently had used the hexagram as well on black standards, as did the Qarmatians later on upon red or green standards.

In India, where such symbols have been used as sacred images for centuries (and known as yantras), both the swastika and the hexagram are used and worn regularly. The hexagram in India represents the male-female, yin-yang or shiva-shakti energies of God united. The swastika there is one of the symbols of life. I have a yantra of a hexagram with a swastika inside of it, and its meaning is completely different than what either paranoid Jews or paranoid Muslims attribute to either one.

In any case, there is absolutely no hexagram/Star of David either within or forming the Shahyad monument. You are simply imagining this. Sorry... 

Reza 41

seagull ,

by Reza 41 on

you wrote : There is no significance in seeing a resemblance of the star of David in Shahyad.
(rather shayyad square)

there is not resemblance, it is literally there , I would suggest you watch the mr. amanat interview one more time and be careful when he explaining the roof top ,than you see the star is there. look ,than you find it 2 stars on top of one on another. look again, is there.


The true Divinity has no human intermediaries.

by Zulfiqar110 on

I understand Baha'i doctrine quite well, in fact probably better than most of you here who don't comprehend a word of Arabic. Your position however is contradictory and politically dangerous in the same manner as Khomeini's vilayat-i-faqih. Both the Baha'i theory of the Administrative Order and that of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent of Khomeini seek to erect boundaries and parametres that lead to precisely the same effective fundamental conclusions.

Servitude can only ever be to the Spirit qua spirit, not Spirit qua claimed human representation thereof, let alone a lifeless political institution. The suggestion made whether by Baha'u'llah in his trickle down theory of institutionalised divinity within houses of justice in the Kitab-i-Aqdas or the Ayatollah Khomeini's Guardianship of the Jurisprudent in his Hukumat-i-Islami suffer from the same argumentative fallacies of reasoning that lead to exactly the same totalitarian dead ends and the same forms of ontological (wujudikufr and shirk.

Baha'u'llah was no more a manifestation of the Spirit than Khomeini was vali and Imam. Both Baha'u'llah and Khomeni are in essence heretics to the true  Spirit and infidels to the true Divinity. As such the Baha'i administrative order is no more divine than the Khomeinist guardianship of the jurisprudent is. Both are dangerous, totalitarian systems as well as being dangerous heresies that will needs be discarded on the trash heap of history as fundamental affronts to the universal reality and dignity of the Spirit itself.

And with that, I say,



Biradar Zuofeghar

by Mona-19 (not verified) on

Our servitude is only to the GOD almighty. Baha'u'llah was the God Manifested and in this time the UHJ is divinely Guided and their decisions are equal to the decisions of the Guardian which are again equal to the decisions of Manifestation which is equal to GOD Himself.
I hope this is now clear for you. Very Simple. So servitude to UHJ is service of the GOD Himself.


Seagull, you don't get it! Servitude to any system = idolatry

by Zulfiqar110 on


Servitude to any system, even one claiming to be from the Almighty, is shirk, associationism, i.e. joining partners to God, pure and simple. Besides the God who is beyond all forms and created them while permeating all things does not require systems or governments to represent Him/Her/It. This is where not only Muslims, Christians and Jews have gotten it all wrong, but more especially you Baha'is who are totally out to lunch on all this committing all the same mistakes as the aforementioned.

As such Khomeini's vilayat-i-faqih is outright shirk, not to mention kufr (infidelity) and ilhad (heresy), as likewise is the Baha'i administrative order and the infallibility claimed by the UHJ (or the assorted Guardians).

There is service and there is servitude. These two are completely different things. You can be of service to a polity without being its servant in servitude to it. Looked at theologically, if the human being is made in the Imago Dei (the image of God) than by definition it must never fall into servitude and become a servant to any other human being. Unless you all figure out the difference and distinction here, guaranteed, there are going to be a lot more Sahel Kazemis haunting you Bahais from here on out.

Servitude (marbubiyat) is due to the One and Only Lord (rabb). Service (khidmat) is made (not due) to humans, however without one becoming a servant (khadim) in the course of such services (khadamat). 


loose associations

by Seagull (not verified) on

being able to make associations is a bliss and a curse at the same time.
There is no significance in seeing a resemblance of the star of David in Shahyad.
The kings of Persia have given us much to appreciate and one monument in their memory amidst thousands of musks is not asking for much.
Bahais believe in the legitimacy of Mohammad as a divine manifestion whereas Jewis dont. And they can complain much more than you can but they dont. They stick to the facts not fantasy. These conspiracy theories only contribute to paranoia and mental illness not real tangible progress. There is no benefit for anyone of seeing things in your terms. We all need to learn to steak to what is good, not mental associations that have ziro value and are loaded with negative consequences.

Zulfiqar, you havent figured it out yet but you will. yours maybe a simplistic view of servitude. Because someones ex wife told him that she loved him and then she left him is not a fault of love itself. It just means she had a very selfish understanding of love and the next person may or may not act the same. They must be examined on their own merit.

Servitude to whom, what God, and what principles, in what manner and in whose expense... is the matter of discussion not servitude itself.
We are all here in that same spirit of servitude to our own views and beliefs. So it is our set of belief that defines th quality and reality of our service not our claim.
This is not servitude to oppression and control,
violence and imposing ones will on others.
This isa servitude of plain of understanding, not of rage...
We must reclaim what has been soiled thru its association with
selfish ignorant principles by redefining it
in the light of worthy principles and universal values.



The cadre of the Islamic Republic call themselves "servants" too

by Zulfiqar110 on

Baradar-i-Basiji Faryar,

Maybe you've been away from Iran since the 1970s; maybe you haven't read a single book on the so-called Revolution; maybe your sense of historical irony isn't strong, but the entire Khomeinist ideological cadre have also continuously characterized themselves as servants (khudam) of Islam and the Revolution. In fact the present lame/cholaq, gedda/pauper "rahbar" specifically characterized himself as "khadim-i-enqelab-i-eslami va pishvaye imam-i-rahel an enqelab" in his first speech as president of the IRI. FYI

Even in your specific choice of terminology you mirror the Islamic Republic. 

You people need to get over this feudal "servanthood" nonsense. Besides not meaning it literally, over a period of time such a mindset where such terminology as servanthood is continually drilled into you messes with your critical skills faculties and capability of seeing the bigger picture, turning you into a fascist drone of a collective herd rather than a democratic entity valuable in your own personhood.

Servants to any system = apparatchicks, i.e. a Basij 

Reza 41

Seagul, Farshad,Zolfaghar ...

by Reza 41 on

there is still question stands, Mr. ammanat if you read this ,have you ever done any other major job ? do you have a site we can check your other job? if not, why not?

why your name is not on any major Bahai buildings ? weren't you good enough?

I think Mr. Amanat spelt out the name of real designer, I couldnt get the name... whom basically design and build opera house in sidney,

any way seagull, I'm not visioning some thing is not there , if you flatten the building and look at it from top view ,you get patter of medal with blue strip in it and star of David right in the meddle. something like this with star:



All Bahais are Servants..

by faryarm on

All Bahais are Servants..

From the highest elected body to the local Bahai in New york, Karachi, Cairo, Sanfranciso or the little Village in Kenya or in the Amazon or anywhere on the planet.

You Badi19 should come clean and give the reason why you hold such grudge against thankless individuals who are literally servants without material gain who hold no rank or claim and have nothing to benefit from their contribution except to aid in building a better society.

Yours is undoudebtly a clash of your ego against any kind of authority.

If you cant be honest here; at least be honest with yourself..




To Jeegar Tala!

by farshadjon on

To Dash Zulfiqar,

Jeegar, I am happy to see that at least you have something to do with this business. There are two important points to consider:

1) As I said if somebody has a problem with Bahai’s, I don’t care for what reason, this should not give an ultimate right to that person to discredit the work of all people associated to the religion. Everybody is entitled to have their own opinion but having prejudice against the belief of not just Bahai’s but any freedom seeking individual in the world is wrong, period.

2) When you are analyzing the work of other people, you can not relate the work to his/her religion. Mr. Amanat is a professional person in this field but you may have different idea on how he could have designed that monument and that is perfectly OK. What I have problem with is to discredit him from what he has done on this project considering the time and material availability at that period just because he is a Baha’i!

To finalize everything, this structure is the symbol of modern Iran whether you like it or not. He has scarified a lot and contributed decently to this project hence let’s give him the real credit that he deserve.

Mashti, if you talk to him once, you will realize that he is more than average so please don’t try to twist the fact that he has done a marvellous job on this project.




by Zulfiqar110 on

To Dash Farshadjon:

Dashi, don't assume what knowledge people have and don't have, and also in the future don't insult people's intelligence on a whim when you don't seem to have any yourself. Because my family has been involved in the architectural industry (as you call it), and because the Amanat family are actually distantly related to me through marriage; and also especially because I hold an independent interest in Art History, I've made it my business to learn a little bit more than the average joe about the history, forms and content of architectural styles. 

The problem here is something else, and it has nothing to do with Hossein Amanat, whose overall work I for one have not undermined here (the stupidity of your claim in that regard is self-evident). You Baha'is like to toot your horns on virtually everything under the sun and claim credit for everything. When people either show you or express their sincere opinion that your incessant self-aggrandizement (khod-namaa'i) constitutes a sort of Emperor without any clothes, you get bent out of shape, gang up on such persons like the Basijis in Iran and attack people for expressing their genuine views. This is a consistent pattern of behavior by all of you virtually everywhere on the internet.

Now, unlike Reza, I have actually offered a concrete stylistic criticism of Maydaan-i-Shahyaad/Azaadi, which in any Architectural History class at any Fine Arts college at any bona fide University worth its salt would cut serious mustard with any genuine Fine Arts architectural historian. The counter-arguments offered by you, Tahirih, Faryarm and Adib are (invalid) personal attacks which have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the criticism offered. Why don't you all address those specifically rather than fly off the handle righteously indignant as if this is a turf war in the laalezar. If you think this sort of attitude and behavior is going to win you friends in Iran tomorrow after the mullahs are history, you have another thing coming...

Bottoms up!



by farshadjon on

To Haj Zulfiqar:

Mashti, I kindda noted that to Reza as well but here is reiteration:

When you have no knowledge about the Architectural industry and can’t even assemble a toy, you are not in a position to even comment on this structure.

If you don’t like it, this is OK but to express and discredit a magnificent structure like Shahyad shows only one thing, your superstition about Bahai’s!

Yes, Adib is a young guy so what! What is your point!

You have a problem with Baha’is, that is all right as everybody is entitled to have their own opinion but don’t undermine the work and effort of this man. He has spent the best years of his life on this project if you have a little bit of conscious, which you don’t have!




by Zulfiqar110 on

Dear khatt-i-uhj Masumian-i-koochooloo:

Jeegareto beram! You are so cute and maamaanee!

If our opinions don't matter here, then yours personally are even far more insignificant than ours as you weren't even born in Iran nor have you ever set foot on Iranian soil nor are you now or have you ever been participant in any form or manner with any political aspirations or work that have anything to do with the Iranian youth. So, 'azeez jun, go look at some protest photos yourself, but make sure they don't come from the same place the Guardian Council counted votes or the tellers of the last Baha'i international convention!

Happy 18th of Tir!



by Badi19 (not verified) on

"a spiritual progressive religion with no Mullah or professionmal clergy"

Then who are the Counselors ?
Who are the ABMs ?

These are Basiji kind of religious police and Mullas. Only the dress is different. They serve the UHJ just like the Basijis working for Valiye Fakih.

Adib Masumian

It doesn't particularly matter whether you folks like it...

by Adib Masumian on

...because the youth inside Iran seem to. Look at some protest photos sometime.



by Zulfiqar110 on

The Arc de Triumph in Paris is beautiful. Sadly Shahyad/Azadi is a grotesque architectural display of Pahlavi era extravagance that neither captures traditional Iranian architectural patterns nor modern designs. It is a relic of the cultural and political contraditions during the Pahlavi era, neither authentically Persian nor completely modern/Western, and as such after the current Revolution that ultimately topples the Islamic Republic it should be torn down and a new Freedom monument erected in its stead that accurately reflects and commemorates the Iranian people's struggle for freedom and liberty from the Constitutional Revolution all the way to the end of the Islamic Republic!

As for your language, characterization and demonization of anyone who disagrees with your received sectarian opinions of the world: sadly that is precisely the kind of fascistic attitude, authoritarian temperament and anti-democratic mindset displayed by the Islamic republic that equally typifies you Baha'is in your own context. It is not for nothing I call Faryarm a Baha'i Basiji. You seem to be just another Baha'i chomaq-dar who is going to beat anyone over the head who doesn't immediately agree with your blind-sighted views on things. People should have the right to express their opinions, including saying Shahyad/Azadi is an ugly monument, without having to fear you or your Khomeinist equivalents with your below-the-belt attacks.

Consider that maybe your world is inhabiting the darkness you accuse others of and not those who are expressing their opinions and taste against your herd mentality with its unquenchable quest for incessant self-aggrandizement!


Shoma ham keh darin az ab-e

by used to defend you people (not verified) on

Shoma ham keh darin az ab-e gel alood(dar vagheh, KHOON-ALOOD ) maahi migirin.
Cheghadr tabligh baraye KHODETOON... CHEGHADR???

Ba inhameh koshteh o mardom azab dideh, who the HELL cares -at this time - who was the designer of what!...and that he was a Bahai!!

Khejalat ham khoob chizieh.

Basseh tabligh... basseh.
Shame, shame, shame on you.


zulfaghar110 ..

by Tahirih on

Name is not important , this building was built to celebrate our rich Iranian heritage, even who and whose reign is not important either. I remember listening to Mr Amanat's interview about it and he did explain how he drew different aspects of our historical architect into this design.

What is sad is that your kind are so blind that can not appreciate any beauty. Just like bats you are in infinite darkness.




by Seagull (not verified) on

There is no rationale for your paranoia.
Practice being fair, honest and sincere more often and you will see the monument as a magnificent symbol of pure Iranian talent genius and spirit.

Good practices begets good people and vice versa.



by faryarm on

Exactly how is this monument used as "religious propoganda"?

Perhaps you see it as such because the Architect of the most visible symbol of modern Iran is a Bahai, a spiritual progressive religion with no Mullah or professionmal clergy, that is a major threat to all mullahs' JOB SECURITY.

If you do your research you will find out, that Bahais, without any hoopla as service in their homeland, pioneered the very first and the best In education, health and commerce; setting standards in excellence In Tarbiat schools for both Girls and Boys, as early as 1900; Building state of the art Hospitals (missaghieh) and pioneering the first TV station in the middle east as early as 1956.

how tragic, when prejudice is so blinding; when you are the only people in the world, ready to throw scorn and spread lies and hatred; unable to see the positive .

Is there a place for this kind of animosity in a new Iran?



Sorry people, but I have

by A M (not verified) on

Sorry people, but I have always disliked the design of this building.
It looks like the top has been cut off.
Makes no difference who designed it.
The bottom part is OK but the top is extremely ugly.


The symbolic structure of Azadi is actually of the Royal Crown

by Zulfiqar110 on

Which is why it was initially called Shahyaad (remembrance to/of the King).


Turn Shayaad upside down and there you will see it. The irony here is immense, which was seized on in the early days of the Revolution, as symbolizing an overturned crown. This is probably one of the reasons why the Khomeinists did not destroy this monument, even though Hossein Amanat designed it, because its symbolism also played right into their hands.

As for "Tahirih": this person including Basiji Baha'i brother Faryarm obviously are unaware of the irony here that actually points against their self-aggrandizement to claim this monument as theirs. The "Liberty Square" (maydaan-i-aazaadi) was renamed after the Revolution that toppled the Shah, not before. The Baha'i who built it, built it for the Pahlavi Shah and for the 2500 year heritage of Iranian monarchy that Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi claimed. Hossein Amanat never knew his initial project as Freedom Square, since he designed it as the Shah Remembrance Square

Revolutions, including the one happening right now in Iran, are built on collective symbolisms re-valorized; meaning symbols become inverted and reinvented from their primary meanings from what they were before. The symbolism of a Baha'i designed monument being renamed after the success of the Islamic Revolution is as much a symbolic slight against the "Baha'is" (and its Baha'i designer) as it is to the "tyrant Shah" it overthrew. The French Revolutionaries as well as the Russian Bolsheviks also kept many of the monuments associated with the ancien regime. They just simply re-appropriated them and then re-valorized them with their own toolbox of symbols. The tomb of Lenin and the Red Square being the focus of Soviet Communist power is a classic example here, since the Red Square of the Kremlin (not to mention the Kremlin itself) was for centuries the seat and focus of Romanov Tsarist absolutism. 


Reza 41

by faryarm on

Reza 41

Another Superb display of ignorant intolerance.




You are a complete brainwashed person, Reza!

by farshadjon on

To Reza 41,

First of all, Hossein Amanat is one of the best Architects that I have ever seen. He was/is my inspiration thorough out my school years as I am working in the same industry. The first time that I saw him face to face was one of my most memorable times in life so the bottom line is you are not in a position to discredit this man.

Second of all, the problem with you, dear sir, is that you and your types have not been able to achieve anything in your life, in the past thirty years, and even before that in the Pahlavi era. Talk is cheap and that is what you guys do well plus all the government agents in Iran including DR! Ahmadi nezhad (Iran’s biggest liar of all times).

Biron god neshasti migi lengesh kon? Marde hesabi, you can’t even assemble a toy monument!

Who the heck you think you are to discredit him! The fact is that, he has seen an Ad in Newspaper and he put together his team to design a monument to represent the Iranian culture in modern history. There has been a team of experts who awarded this contract to him when he was 24 years old. That is the whole story!

If you have a problem with Baha’is, it is not a good excuse to undermine a professional man like him just because he is a Baha’i.

Go and get the life, Buddy!


F & T

by AnonymousP (not verified) on

You are full of it!

Reza 41

Azadi or flag web with stare of the David in the middle

by Reza 41 on

I dont want to negate any ones job but is hard to miss .if you noticed dome in the top of the roof is not proportional to building it is made like Jews small hat which also has stare of David in the middle of it and blue strip and line makes on the building it perfectly  makes it blue and white flag of Israel and and star of David in the middle of it.

it is naive to think this 24 year old new graduated young man superior all of the known architect at the time. if that was true his job, he would have made more structure based on his resume , why Mr. Afnan fell short to ask him what else did you do after , couldn't he win any even smaller project??? where are they ? it is hard to believe. any way thanks to our Zionist architect friends made us feel good about ourslelf at the time.


ab111 why don't you ask your boss to.....

by Tahirih on

Demolish the liberty monument ,  since any monument with the name of  liberty is not palatable to you and your way of thinking !!!!



Freedom monument or Bahai symbol?

by ab111 (not verified) on

The design for a monumental structure, Shahyad e Aryamehr or as later renamed Freedom monument was supposed to be selected through a fair contest. I do not know if the winner,just a graduate of Tehran school of architecture was selected through fair examination and evaluation of his design from many others, or here Bahais influenced to designate one of their own men as the winner in charge of the program. I do not have the knowledge of details and the standards by which the winner among many was determined. we however must give the benefit of doubt and suppose the winner was selected through fair process and he truly deserved it. But let us analyze the structural design of this monument to determine if it signifies more than 2500 years of the Iranian culture, stands as a liberty monument or more than all it is a Bahai symbol. The structural design has been entirely based on number nine which is called "the holy number" by Bahais.
After the Islamic revolution and occupation of the Bahai center in Tehran, the Bahai news circular ready for distribution was found in the center. In that last issue the Shahyad monument and its design pertaining to Bahai tenets were comprehensively discussed. Any national monument belongs to all the Iranians. Was it fair for a minority to take advantage and use it for their religious propaganda?