Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon have comparable amounts of culture/history. Israel and Egypt have more.
Many countries are more hospitable, especially toward Americans. (almost all of them)
Love Persian history and culture.
Can you accept “u” for “o” in both “Khomeiny” and “Ayattollah”? I just gave up on spelling them right because I stuck on the “u” spelling, and got 18/20...
If the US hadn't actually actively overthrown a perfectly decent government in 1953, there would have been no "Great Satan" comment from the fundamentalist leadership that came to power in 1979.
The Shah had been in power for decades, his family for millennia, which had nothing at all to do with the USA. When, in the early 50s, an internal power struggle in Iran ensued between the Western-friendly progressive and legitimately in-power Shah on one side, and the belligerent, racist, xenophobic, theft-endorsing upstart prime minister on the other side, foreign interests (mostly the British) obviously backed the Shah. The British persuaded the US to help them help the Shah stay in power by inflaming American paranoia about growing Soviet influence in the region, and so they did. To this end, the CIA helped stage a riot in Tehran which the government used as an excuse for a violent crack down that removed the P.M. from the position of power he had assumed for the last few months.
To characterize this series of events as an American-staged coup is ridiculous. To fantasize that Iran was somehow going to become a beacon of peace, democracy, and stability..
America didn't create the Ayatollahs. It didn't popularize Islamic fundamentalism in Iran. America didn't turn Iran into an oppressive backward theocracy. America didn't make the Iranian monarchy corrupt or decadent. This trend of blaming all of your problems on foreigners is what led to Mossadegh being such a poor but popular leader. It's what Khomeini and Khamenei have both continued on with to distract from their own failings as leaders. And it's what led to America being characterized as the Great Satan - which at the time was largely in response to Jimmy Carter agreeing to allow the gravely ill Shah into the country to receive much needed medical care, and then neglecting to surrender an elderly cancer patient to the angry mob calling for his blood.
Take some personal responsibility. Blaming everyone else for decades has gotten you nowhere.
Cyrus the Great, for instance, allowed the the peoples who had been exiled from their lands under the Babylonian empire to return; one of those peoples was the Jewish people. The edict itself is inscribed on the Cyrus cylinder, on display in the British Museum.
The Persian Empire (Achaemenid) was one of the greatest empires ever. It was a multi-ethnic, multi-faith, tolerant entity. It allowed the Greek cities of Ionia a substantial amount of autonomy. (Too bad about Xerxes, though--he really ruined things with his invasion of Greece.) The ruins of this empire in Susa and Persepolis are among the most exquisite ancient ruins anywhere.
The Persian empire was also an inspiration to the founders of the US Republic.
The coins of the Persian empire, the "Darics" are among the most iconic in ancient coin collecting, featuring a kneeling archer.
Zoroastrianism had a substantial influence on Judaism and Christianity. Zarathustra inspired Nietzsche.
The famous poet Rumi was a subject of this empire, although technically he was born in what we now call Afghanistan. Who's Rumi? "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou." That Rumi!
I know far less about the centuries after the fall of the Khwarazmian Empire until the disastrous US intervention in 1953, but I'm sure there's much that's interesting to learn there, too. One thing I do know is that there are many Islamic paintings from the medieval era showing human figures, so the next time you read in the media that Islam does not allow the depiction of the body, remember that this is not true for all times and places.
Copyright H Brothers Inc, 2008–2023
| Go To Top
| View Mobile Site