Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Leila Pahlavi

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630

    Post Leila Pahlavi

    Farah Pahlavi with friends and supporters of royal family gathered in Paris at the Passy Cemetery in memory of the late Princess Leila (March 27th 1970-June 10th 2001) on the 6th anniversary of her demise .








    Leila Pahlavi (March 27, 1970 – June 10, 2001) was a Princess of Iran.

    Born in Tehran, Iran as Princess Leila Pahlavi, she was the youngest daughter of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, and his third wife, the former Farah Diba. The family's titles and styles were abolished by decree of the Iranian government after the overthrow of the Shah.


    She was nine years old when her family was forced into exile as a result of the Iranian Revolution led by the Khomeini.

    Following her father's death in Egypt from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1980, the family settled in the United States, where the Princess graduated from Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. She attended a state school in Massachusetts before going on to study at Brown University, graduating in 1992.

    Pahlavi never married and spent most of her time commuting between her home in Connecticut and Europe. A onetime model for the designer Valentino, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, chronic low self-esteem, and severe depression and spent much time being treated in clinics in the United States and Britain.

    She was found dead in her room in the Leonard Hotel in London, England and was found to have more than five times the lethal dose of quinalbarbitone, a barbiturate, which is used to treat insomnia, in her system, along with a nonlethal amount of cocaine.


    According to a report about her death, which included information from an autopsy conducted by the Westminster Coroner's Court, she stole the quinalbarbitone from her doctor's desk during an appointment and was addicted to the drug, typically taking 40 pills at once, rather than the prescribed two.

    She was interred near her maternal grandmother, Farideh Ghotbi Diba, in the Cimetière de Passy, Paris, France.









  2. #2
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630
    Ever since the untimely death of Leila Pahlavi I have been biting my fingers to avoid putting pen to paper. No one likes anyone who uses a death, however symbolically laden it may be, to prove a socio-political point. I knew that whatever I wrote it would be quickly construed as bashing the Pahlavis. But now that we are seeing panegyric and "Leila Namehs" coming out I can't stop myself and decided iconoclasm is what I am all about. Come what may.

    I also realized that maybe Leila herself would want her death to be put in perspective. So believe it or not I am doing this for Leila so that her death will at least make us engage in some serious soul-searching about our collective identity crisis. I picked up the pen in the hopes that her death -- by turning our attention to depression, and eating disorders amongst our women -- might help other young girls and women who might find themselves in her predicament.

    Farah Pahlavi's press release politicized her daughter's death the minute she referred to it as the upshot of a depression caused by her father's exile. The kind of behavior that led to this poor girl's death comes from an upbringing that is, for a delicate soul, conducive to many problems. The superficiality of life at court and in the lime light, the neglect that children of the really wealthy feel -- due to their parents never having enough time for them, the enormous pressure to look good -- could lead to depression and eating disorders.

    In the confusing and lonely corridors of life as a last child of an oversized King and Queen is where you will find the real reasons for Leila Pahlavi's death. Go to any private boarding school and you will see them by the dozens. Confused, spoiled children who do not know their purpose in life.

    Kids who have a hard time living up to their larger than life parents. Kids with enough money to overdose on drugs-kids who slip in and out of rehab clinics with ease. Kids from exotic dictatorships who have forgotten their mother tongue and haven't really learned a new one. They come from the West and the Third World. Children of dictators and ambassadors and Hollywood stars. They all share a sense of being emotionally neglected and financially propped up. A lethal combination.

    With articles and letters raising her to the level of Princess Diana I think it is safe for me to say,"give me a break!" Iranians have penchant for worshiping the dead. Perhaps if a charitable role had been forged for Leila she might have been our Diana, but no such thing was done. Not before her death anyway. Perhaps now a charity will be named to honor her one that would befittingly help others like her.

    Whatever the cause of Leila Pahlavi's death she was no Princess Diana. We never heard of her engaging in charitable works or kissing an aids victim or traveling the world to walk on mine fields or -- more relevant here -- we never heard her publicly confess her problems. Diana did.

    We have never seen any Pahlavi engage in substantial charitable acts towards any person or noble humanitarian cause after the revolution. So, however tragic her death, Leila only shares with Diana her young age at death and a struggle with an eating disorder as well as all those poor-rich-child feelings of abandonment. But in all fairness to Diana, we cannot call Leila Pahlavi, who had been largely absent from the public sphere until her death, a "people's princess".

    I too cried when I read some of the news reports like the one by James Buchan in The Guardian. The same Guardian that all the monarchists hate, was in the depth of its analysis, the kindest to them. I cried because I believed that she had wanted to see Iran and I found it unjust that she could not be buried there. I do believe that exile must have aggravated her depression but I also believe that this could have happened even if her father was still occupying the Peacock throne.

    No one ever knows what goes on in the mind of a person with depression. But if Farah Pahlavi can claim that Leila died, somehow, because of the Shah's fall from grace and the throne some twenty years before, I can also safely claim that she died because of the identity crisis and loneliness that had most probably plagued her.

    Anorexia and depression see no borders. But they are more prevalent in societies where hypocrisy and materialism abound. Reading about Leila Pahlavi's eating disorder made me remember how I was told that the Shah had ordered all the women in the court to lose weight or be omitted form the "taj gozari" or crowning festivities. Here, Leila shared with Diana the tremendous pressure on the women of royalty to look good. They, more than us ordinary folk, were objectified and expected to shine. They should be seen as victims they truly were.

    Iranians, even more than the British, are preoccupied with appearances and this takes a toll on the younger women. We do not see Princess Anne getting a nose job and face lift like others get hairdos! Our deposed royal family's women looks nothing like their ancestors because of the nose jobs and plastic surgery they all have had. Talk about an identity crisis.

    Now, I know I am treading on thin ice when criticizing what seems to be the national sign of having arrived, but I know that Golda Meir would agree with me. Change that nose and you are taking the first step in losing a national identity. I mean how much transformation can a poor soul take before she no longer has a sense of identity?

    Not all the young girls out there are like Cher or Googoosh who make a cottage industry of transformations. Take away their language, their religion, their body, their nose, their credibility and their country and what are you left with? A dead thirty year old in a lonely hotel room. I accuse the culture of hypocrisy and materialism that the Pahlavis epitomized and promoted for the loss of much of our identity.

    We may be living in exile but we have to return to some old Iranian values. We must put the soul first. We must shield our sensitive selves from this rampant materialism that surrounds us. We must teach our daughters why they should keep their noses and how not worry about the shape of their bodies.

    We must teach them to look for answers in Ale Ahmad and Farrokhzad, Rumi and Hafez rather than the pages of Mademoiselle and Elle. We must teach them pride in who they are and where they come from. We must teach them that life is about being able to name your feelings and being proud of them.

    Finally, we must teach them why an identity crisis is what our nation has been struggling with in its recent history and how forging an identity, however complicated, is the surest way to happiness and fulfillment both for our nation and ourselves.





  3. #3
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630
    In the garden,

    by the roses,

    is written

    "Please Don't pick up the flowers"
    But...

    the wind, doesn't know how to read






  4. #4
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630
    Princess Leila’s death could not have had such an impact upon our collective national consciousness if she was not the person she was during her short but intense life. All those who knew her testify to her being passionately in love with her country. She cherished her Iran with a heart receptive to the rich melodies of its magical poetry and a mind sensitive to its great and remarkable heritage.


    In a book recently published by Prince Gholamreza about the legacy of the Pahlavi kings, "Mon Pere, mon Frere, Les Shah d'Iran", several pages are devoted to the memory of his niece Leila. He describes how the late Princess used to “turn into a fireball when the topic of discussion reverted to Iran”. “Her love for Iran was boundless.

    Any fresh injury that Iran underwent in the hands of its tyrannical rulers cut her to the quick and deeply wounded her soul”. Her uncle writes of the great passion Leila had for Persian literature and history. The favorite gift she frequently made to people was a book of Rumi’s poetry.

    And who better than this great Iranian mystic poet could understand what afflicted Princess Leila? Who could interest the intricacies of a fine sensibility better than the great philosopher who was weary of wickedness and in quest of true humanity?

    Rumi was well aware of maladies of the heart that gnaw and torment the soul worse than any physical affliction. He wrote of ailments that bewilder the wisdom of all the great physicians and frustrate the curing power of the most effective medicines:

    The love that afflicts the heart
    Produces a pain different from all other maladies
    In love lies the clue
    To all the divine mysteries

    And what we Iranians are offered today in the memory of our fragile Princess, is a lesson in love. In our struggle today to free Iran from the dark forces of tyranny, if we overlook the importance of this love, we shall deprive ourselves from one of the most effective weapons that has empowered all peaceful revolutions throughout the ages. Regardless of how much scientific accuracy we invest in our plan to free our country, without the indispensable ingredient of love we shall struggle in vain.


    Without the vitality of this love, all the persuasive arguments for political change shall merely emanate from sterile hearts and fall onto deaf ears. Without the moving power of this love, all the polished and elegant phraseologies are like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. Without the unselfish camaraderie created by this love, Iranians will be more concerned with finishing one another off than putting an end to the monstrous dictatorship of the mullahs - one of the main reasons that the cause of freedom has failed in our country for the past 26 years.

    Remembering our Princess, we should keep in mind the urgency of moving forward in our collective efforts for democratic transformation in our country. In such a journey our most powerful vehicle is love and devotion to our country. And this is the great legacy of Iran’s crown jewel, Princess Leila Pahlavi.




  5. #5
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630








  6. #6
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    62,630
    In Memory of Princess Leila Pahlavi (27 March 1970 – 10 June 2001)






Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •