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Ferdowsi's official commemoration leads to Kaveh's popular r

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 2:45 pm    Post subject: Ferdowsi's official commemoration leads to Kaveh's popular r Reply with quote

Ferdowsi's official commemoration leads to Kaveh's popular riot in Toos

SMCCDI (Information Service)
May 15, 2004


Clashes rocked, yesterday, the Northwestern City of Toos as many residents sized the occasion offered by the official commemoration of Ferdowsi, the father of Iranism born in 940 AC, in order to protest against their poor conditions and the official corruption.

The clashes erupted as the security forces intended to close the perimeters leading to Ferdowsi's Mausoleum and to break brutally the peaceful protest demo in order to allow the officials to organize the ceremony. Clubs and chains were used against the residents who retaliated by throwing pieces of stones to the regime's agents and their vehicles.

Several were injured and arrested during these clashes.

It's to note that Toos, located near Mashad, is the born place of the most respected of all times Iranian poets and scholars and its residents, who cherish like millions of Iranians the legacy of the one known as the "Father of Iran", were upset about the misuse of his name by the Islamic regime.

The Mullahcracy which tried, till few years ago, to oppose Ferdowsi's legacy and even intended to destroy his statues, is trying, in our days and by such celebration, to reverse a little bit its increasing unpopularity and to play the national feelings of some naive Iranians especially living abroad.

Hakim Ferdowsi was the author of the famous Shahnameh ("The Epic of Kings"), and the Persian national epic, to which he gave its final and enduring form, although he based his poem mainly on an earlier prose version.

The new born Islamic republic regime faced a fiasco trying to ban Ferdowsi's book as for nearly a thousand years, Persians have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. It is the history of Iran's glorious past, preserved for all time in sonorous and majestic verse. The language, based as the poem is on a Pahlavi original, is pure Persian with only the slightest admixture of Arabic.

His great epic, The Shahnameh (The Epic of Kings), to which he devoted most of his life, was originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan. During Ferdowsi's lifetime, the dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Turks, and there are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new ruler of Khorassan, Mahmoud Ghaznavi, in Ferdowsi and his lifework.

The Shahnameh is one of the definite classics of the world. It tells hero tales of ancient Persia. The contents and the poet's style in describing the events takes the readers back to the ancient times with a sense and feel the events. Ferdowsi worked for thirty years to finish this masterpiece.

Compiled during the poet's early adulthood in his native Tus, the Shahnameh contains 60,000 rhyming couplets making it more than seven times the length of Homer's Iliad. The poem deals first with the legendary Persian kings: Gayumart; Hushang; Tahmuras; and the most famous of the group, Jamshid, who reigned for 500 years.

The evil rule of the Arab Dahhak, or Zohak followed this happy period. Dahhak was tempted by Ahriman, his own blood relative. As a result, Dahhak fell into sin, becoming more and more evil until Kaveh, an old Iron smith, rebelled and established his leather apron as the banner of revolt. Finally, the tyrant was bound and confined beneath Mount Damavand. Many Iranians are making the analogy between the rule of Dahhak and Rooh-ollah Khomeini and his dark legacy and ideals having resulted to the creation of the Islamic republic regime.

Soon after this point in the poem, an episode of considerable beauty is inserted; it recounts the love of Zal, of the royal line of Persia, and Roudabah, the daughter of the king of Kabul. Their union resulted in the birth of the hero Rustam, who occupies a position in Iranian legend somewhat analogous to that of Hercules in Greek and Latin literature. The epic progresses through Persian legend to historic times, tracing the reigns of the Sassanian kings down to the Muslim conquest and the death of Yazdegerd III in 651.

In addition to his poetic incentive, Ferdowsi had a distinctly patriotic motive in writing the Shahnameh. He desired to keep alive in the hearts of his people the faith of their ancestors and the glories of their deeds so that the Persians would not forget their heritage.

The Shahnameh is perhaps best known to English readers through Sohrab and Rustum, a poem by English poet Matthew Arnold that is based on the Persian epic.
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