History of Violence - my first day of school


History of Violence - my first day of school
by Shazde Asdola Mirza

First day of school creates a wide range of emotions in kids – in my case, it started with great expectations. A full week before the “First of Mehr” day, I was so happily excited and proud to start the grade-one that I couldn’t even sleep well. Early dawn, I would wake up and run to the commode, in order to admire my brand new gray pants and the accompanying blue blazer, with the golden school emblem shining on its chest pocket.  

There used to be a private and reputable primary school, only 200 yards from our house, named after a famous benevolent educator. The month before, we had all walked to the school for registration – and my parents had taken me right to the office of chief administrator (Modir) who was a distant relative. Modir was a very refined, handsome and immaculately dressed Doctor of one thing or the other. His friendly tone of voice and charming behavior were extremely welcoming and reassuring.  

So when the first day of school came, I absolutely and proudly refused to be walked over there again – especially, now that I had already been introduced and known everyone and everything! I was officially starting to be a grown up, and couldn’t wait another hour to prove it.  

But that day, the short walk to school was very different, as the path was filled with a large herd of roaming students. The crowd included a tall and rude six-grader, who was wrestling with his buddies and almost tripped over my diminutive figure. Ever the assertive type, I clearly voiced my dissatisfaction, to which the big bully replied: “What the fuck is your problem, you little piece of such and … such … and … such?” It took me some years of “schooling” to fully understand the curses, but the nature of verbal attack was all too clear.  

That day, the big school yard was intimidating too. It was now filled with hundreds of kids who were running amok – pushing, shoving and horse playing. We the first graders were like little midgets lost in that chaotic sea of blue and gray.  

When the first bell rang, each class rushed to stand in their distinct lines. Then the second and third bells came with intervals, which gave more time for the lines to organize. All organized rather quickly, except for us first graders, who couldn’t form anything better than an irregular and wobbly curve.  

Suddenly, the frightening specter of a giant ugly troll appeared in the balcony. You could sense a cold shiver going through the spines of all the kids, at the mere sight of Mr. Nazem (the principal). He stood there stout and threatening, with small-pox marks covering his entire face!  

For a full solemn effect, Mr. Nazem paused a moment, observing the lines and waiting for a deadly silence to fall. Then, he loudly proclaimed: “You have been sent to this great school to become human (Adam) – and I am going to make sure that you will become Adam!” He then cleared his throat and scanned the lines with a piercing gaze. “This school is first and foremost about discipline … and discipline starts with hygiene … and hygiene starts with clean hands!”  

At the mention of “hands”, instinctively and automatically, all the 2nd to 6th graders stretched their arms.  Slowly and sternly, Mr. Nazem picked up a long wooden rod (Khatkesh) and climbed down the balcony – for what came to be our first weekly hygiene inspection. Vigilantly, he walked among the lines with the Khatkesh swinging in his giant clutched fist. Starting with the six graders, every 30 seconds, the Khatkesh would suddenly go up and down, followed by a kid’s screech. In exceptionally unhygienic cases, you could hear a couple of curses and the bonus slaps in the face and neck.

Line by line, Nazem was getting closer and closer to my spot, until finally, he was standing between us and the second graders. I was holding my breath and extending my hands as straight as possible. When he looked at our irregular and trembling line, I was both scared and angry. Worst of all, his gaze stopped on me with a fearsome resentment – and I couldn’t help but to shout, “My hands are clean … my hands are clean”! He paused, grinned and replied, “But your pants are wet!”


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Thanks Shazde

by divaneh on

Our Nazems were women and they made sure they didn't fall behind their male colleagues.



by Fatollah on

I tried hard, but oddly I can't remember my first day at school!

suffice to say, I'd my share of encounters with these sadistic pigs in elementary school ... 



Nice blog Shazdeh

by Mehman on


When I was studying at university in Iran, I had not so bad days.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

متاسفانه بدتر هم شده است

Shazde Asdola Mirza

آن موقع تازه خوبش بود.

بعد از تصفیه مدارس از معلمین "غیر مکتبی‌" و گماشتن یک مشت پاسدار و بسیجی‌ بیسواد و عقده ای، بسیار بدتر شده است. آخرین باری که به یکی‌ از مدارس اسلامی-انقلابی رفت و آمد داشتم، آنقدر اسفناک بود که انسان را به یاد زندان می‌انداخت!


Hoshang and Kazem

by Monda on

Just ordered it on netflix (all of my favorite actors in one place) - Thanks!

Kazem, I used to wish Aghaye Aalidaayi get uncontrollable diareaha or a very nasty wife who didn't love him at all... that's how I hated him! Some teachers brought out the worst in us... not that much has changed, from what I hear, Shazdeh's right.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


in schools reminds me of the British system. When I was a kid my parents sent me to England one summer to a boarding school to lean English the "immersion" way. That was my one and only exposure to the English system.

Honestly the teachers were so sadistic they made Iran look good. They took active pleasure in belittling us. We got "one" shower the whole 2 months there. We were all lined up naked. Then given 3 minutes each to shower. It really was POW style. We all slept in one big room; needed permission to do even pee at night. We addressed teachers as "Master". It was one sick scene I will never forget. I shudder to think how much my parents were made to pay  to get their son tortured. 


So you all had fairly pleasant schooling ;-)

by kazem0574 on

My memory of real violence goes back to high school in Iran. Here is two:

1) During a Jabr (Aljabra) class one of the students had an epileptic fit, the nazem (prefect) was called to the class. While standing next to the teacher, the student on the floor having his fit  kind of touched nazem's trousers with his shoe. This Animal started kicking the student repeatedly (student was partially or fully unconscious kicking around the floor) telling him to get up you pedarsag and other obscenities.

2) Middle of the exams once this same maniac came in to check things, one student had smiled or something, he was at the back of the room and the desks were stuck together for the exam to allow more in one room. So, the guy clibmed on our desks stepping on a good number of exam papers to get to the back and starts kicking, slapping and swearing, I have honestly forgotten the rest, I think its a self preservation or something the brain does in post dramatic situations. Think about the exam results after that.


I can go on, just to say that I used to dream of bringing my airgun and shooting him from a far in the face. Many years later I saw him in an Airport transit lounge, my family members stopped me from going forward and making a scene, the feeling must have been like an Auschwitz prisoner seeing one of his tortures in the future.



Hoshang Targol

A History of Violence - Official Trailer

by Hoshang Targol on

Warning: this is an extremely violent movie, and a great one, if I may say so. Almost every single movie from this director David Cronenberg is really good, cheers



Bless his soul, Hoshang

by Monda on

You had one gutsy dad. Fine example of Ghayrat Kurdi.

How long ago did you hear/ see the movie with Shazdeh's blog title? Wonder if i can find it on netflix?


Hoshang Targol

Oh Shazedh you bring back so many memories

by Hoshang Targol on

But actually the ending of your story reminded me of my dad, and the  story of him being beaten by a teacher. While he was in 2nd grade ( not sure why)  he was given a very severe punishment. But him being a kurdish child ( a bit spoiled perhaps), he was not to take it and just walk away.

So what does a kid his age does? He knew teacher's route to school and back, and the places he would pass by every day. He (me papa!) finds a spot on his teacher's "intinerary" , some type of an elevated position, probably a wall or something, and waits ( for an ambush) as the teacher was passign by he lets his "liquidity" rip on teacher's face and body, ( talk about a kid being pissed-off). 

Needless to say, after that he was beaten up even more , probably by his father...and eventually sent to Tehran from Kermanshah.

To this day, I think of that "incident" as one of my father's greatest acheivements , bless his soul. 


P.S. There was a great movie with that title, have you seen it? 


sweet memories of sadists

by Monda on

Shazdeh jan, your blog is just precious!

I'm compelled to share with you a few of My childhood memories:

- there was a cold dark zeerzameen in our Zoroastrian elementary school (Guive), any student who didn't behave properly, in or out of classroom, would be sent there to be fed to the monsters. Our Naazem/ vice prinicipal reminded us daily.

- there was khatkesh or penciled fingers for chapdast students. 

- our history teacher (Aghaye Shojayi) in Reza Shah Kabir high school, used to call his exuberant students "kabareyi"... by my mid teens, I was really convinced that as an adult I would end up in Shokoofeh No :o)

- our trigonometry teacher, Aghaye Naraaghi, used to vehemently throw those wooden covered blackboard erasers which ferociously smacked many a faces, only for giggles and chats during his lessons

- in Enghelaab Sefid class, I was threatened to be reported to Savaak for mere chanting a Beatle's song on top of my desk prior to our 7th grade teacher (Khanom Moshiri) entered the classroom

- 4th grade, Kharazmi school/ Payvand, agahye Aalidaayee, our red haired green eyed teacher who was acting as yard duty slapped the cheek of my crush (Babak F), with his big ring turned around his big boney hand, so hard that Babak's mouth was bleeding,... only for noticing Babak ghayghajeeng himself too many times around me on the volleyball court ... Mrs. F. had to pick up Babak for emergency treatment of his beautiful mouth. Needless to say - I was Dying with guilt and hatred.

'later and thanks for your blog.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

فرامرز عزیز

Shazde Asdola Mirza

It was bad then and unfortunately, it is worse now. I did all my schooling in Shah's time, but from what I hear, it is as bad or worse now.

Thinking back, I agree with you that many of our teachers and principals were simply pathological sadists - women and men alike!

It is so easy to analyze them now with what we know ... they were frustrated and sick souls who would readily unleash their inner pains and sickness on the helpless kids. To this day, I still remember and hate:

- the woman teacher who used to slap us in the face with her long and sharp nails, for bad hand writing

- the guy teacher who enjoyed "double slapping" us (both hands to each side of the face) for low grades

- the principal who used to break pencils in between our fingers for running in the yard

For me, they were no different than the Evin torturers of Shah and Khomeini - they may have actually helped to create many of those monsters!

Shazde Asdola Mirza

VPK: only love and respect can break the cycle of violence

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

By teenage years, I was already drinking and smoking; had been in many fights; broken one kid's head and another's teeth. I hated school and had an intense distrust of all the grown ups. I was on my way to getting expelled from the highschool.

Two kind teachers changed my heart and mind about learning, behaving and studying. God bless their hearts - they did that by simply treating us with kindness and respect. They were bright stars in an otherwise dark night of callous violence.


چوب معلم گله


هر کی نخوره خله

Thank you Shazde for fond memories! In my case, our female teachers used the ruler and the pencil-between-the-fingers technique, while the male ones went directly to slap and kick, Chak o Lagad

When I was in the 2nd grade, we had a nice-looking and well-dressed Nazem who used to flirt with the kids’ eligible aunts or other relatives in the school yard while they were dropping off the kids. On one cold winter morning we were playing soccer with the blue and white plastic ball in the crowded yard. As he was flirting with a young woman I kicked the ball very hard and hit him on the side of the face! His face turned red, but he could not do or say anything while charming the lady! But I knew that I was in for a treat! Later on that day he caught up with me in the yard and told me that I was running around too much and gave me a hard slap

During the lunch break, we were playing Khar-Polis and one of the guys jumped on me real hard and twisted my neck. When I went home that afternoon I told my father that Nazem had slapped me and twisted my neck! The next day my father took me to school early and pulled Nazem to a side and told him that if he touches me one more time he would first kick his ass and then will have him thrown in jail. Nazem stayed out of my hair from then on, but a few days later he said sarcastically in front of my friends, “some people bring their daddies to school to defend them!” as if he and I were of equal age

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on



There is absolutely way too much violence in Iran.  This shows in all aspects of life for example:

  • The number of executions specially in public.
  • Violence in school as being discussed here.
  • Assassination of political figures.
  • Use of Fatwah to murder anyone

The reasons are obvious. There were a great many acts of violence committed in Iran. Our history is dotted with with Mongols being the most brutal example. Rulers would regularly behead their enemies. Or just someone for offending them.

I think people are sick of it to their heart and do not want more of it. The IRI will go one day. Will the violence remain? We must start somewhere. Are we willing to at least start somewhere:

  • Ban executions by law or fatwah; no more killing public or not.
  • Stop political assassination; talk instead.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear SamSamIIII, what a tragic story

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear SamSamIIII, your story is so sad. Nothing dramatic like this must have happened on my first day of school since I don't really remember first day of school. I remember the school, the teacher and couple friends and some other memories but not the first day of school.


In my 1st day of school 2 kids fell in the well & died

by SamSamIIII on


In my 1st day of School at khajoo gedaa school(khosh + aryana) got my longer than normal hair half shaved by kachal principle, 2 poor kids playing khar police fell into the Faazelab chaah(sewege well) thru the loose masonery cap & died since it took fire dept an hour to get there and my oldest sister forgot to pick me up after school. So badly in need of washroom I walked aimlessly for miles, peed in my pants but finally found our house.Once home my dear mom asked me; "how was your school azizeh joonam" which i replied "well, stupid sister forgot to pick me up, got lost,  peed in my pants, & yes 2 kids fell in the hole & died"...the only good thing about that day was the free banana milk given by the school...& no school councellors those days. Majid knows eventhough he was a few yrs my senior in that school earlier..


Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan //iranianidentity.blogspot.com //www.youtube.com/user/samsamsia

Shazde Asdola Mirza

VPK: you have a good point, but

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

... as I have tried to announce in the title, the History of Violence started very early in the typical Iranian boys' lives, even if they had a loving and protective family. My real point is that Iran was and still is filled with a huge amount of violence and brutality, which is ingrained within our native culture, for a number of historic reasons.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

آناهید خانم

Shazde Asdola Mirza

You are right, the treatment of girls was totally different, and a lot more gentle. I can't think of any girl saying that she was corporally punished in school, whereas mistreatment of boys was regular occurance - at least in case of anyone who was not kissing up to the Moalem and the Nazem.

Boobs were such a double edged sword for the young ladies, as it could give them power and influence over the boys, but it could also attract all sorts of pervert behavior towards them.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Dear Farshadjon, Mr. President and Ebi jan

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

I'm glad that you've enjoyed this blog.

Memory is a bitch, with sweet lips and the risk of gonorrhea!

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

The real

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


violence was in high school and did not come from the Nazem; it came from the students. It was unfortunate that there was so much student on student violence. But I was there and I saw it. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

I remember

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


in elementary school our Modir used to come to class when things got out of hand. He used to ask kids for a "khat kesh" and then use that to hit the offender on the palm. 

After a while kids got wise to it. One time he comes and asks for a ruler and no one has any! Finally this tiny kid comes out with a rubber ruler that was a wobbly as a limp ****! It looked so funny an limp that cracked even the modir up.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear shazde, thanks for a great blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear shazde, as girls, we did not have the experience that boys had. However, when in junior high, we had a principal who would tell girls something demeaning about the size of their breats and how they were small like some fruit and girls should not be so full of themselves since their breast were not as big of some other fruit yet. I remember how outrageous her comment sounded even back then to young junior high schoolers. Later when I went to coed high school, I could see that the boys were treated more harshly than girls. Thanks for your story.

ebi amirhosseini

shazdeh Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

I had a 'lab Shekari"/Harelip/cleft lip Naazem for my first 4 years of school!!!.


Ebi aka Haaji


I had a Nazem with small-pox marked face too

by Khar on

On the first week of my 2nd grade year, at the end of one day while filing in line to go home the kid behind me lifted my brand new yellow Khatkesh with a shiny metal edge which was sticking out of my backpack. As he did that I turned around to grab it out of his hand a push and shove ensued and he was claiming that it was his Khatkesh, at this moment someone grabbed my ear and twisting it so hard, instinctively I turn around and kicked the person in the legs and shouted Pedar-Sag let me go, bad move, as I turned I saw the shadow of our small poxed face Nazem over me........ The next day my father had to go to school with me, I got my beloved shainy yellow Khatkesh back but the Nazem always watched me from the corner of his eyes everytime I crossed path with him that year, he left our school the following year and I couldn't be happier when I heard that news...

Thanks Shazdeh for the excellent read. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pink Floyd - Teacher leave them kids alone





by farshadjon on

Thanks, Shazdeh jan!

Your blog brought back for me lots of good memories from my childhood.

Thank you.