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Alzheimer Research Fundraising Gala Presided By Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi


Report by Darius Kadivar from Paris



Paris - Former Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran presided the annual Gala of IFRAD ( International Fund Raising for Alzheimer Disease) on Monday November 14th, 2005 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Animated by mediator Véronique de Villele also present was the French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, actor Alain Delon and tv anchor Journalist presentator Claire Chazal. The gala dinner was followed by an international dance show including Iranian  Derviche Dancer Shahrokh Mosh Kim Ghalam, Phase T (Hip Hop), Argentine Tango and the Celtic Dance Company.


French Star Alain Delon and Empress Farah at the Gala presided by her Majesty © PDV


IFRAD offers researchers on the alzheimer disease a unique oppurtunity to exchange data, and biology ressources as well as an international vision that will give a new dynamic to the different projects undertaken.


Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres alerted the audience that  "All French Families will soon be touched by this disease. In 50 years, the number of patients could well be trippled. Already 80, 000 people are concerned in France; that is a 30% increase in 10 years."


Each table was purchased 3,500 euros by large companies and generous donators. An auction conferred to Mr. Jean Pierre Cornette Saint Cyr, was organized towards the end of the evening. Last year IFRAD collected 670 000 euros.


Her Majesty made the following opening speach in French:


"Ladies and Gentlemen,

I belong to a country with an ancient civilization and culture. In my country elder people are particularly taken care of, respected and listened to. To protect and look after them is nearly a sacred duty.

It is with this Persian spirit that I immediately accepted the offer made to me by Professors Safavian, Bruno Dubois, and Doctor Ladoucette to join you at this Gala evening for the benefit of research on Alzheimers.

Alzheimer's disease is a real plague that by its magnitude, its mutation, has an impact on the personality and dignity of patients and sheds on their families a terrible pain. It is therefore all the more important to encourage the pioneers of neuroscience, to support researchers who deserve and need help.  It is our duty and that is why we are here tonight to fullfill this noble cause.

May I end my speach with this poem by one of our greatest Persian poets Sa'adi

"Human beings are all members of one body.
They are created from the same essence.
When one member is in pain,
The others cannot rest.
If you do not care about the pain of others,
You do not deserve to be called a human being."

-Saadi Shirazi

I would like to wish the IRFAD Foundation success and I wish you all a very good evening."

During the auction French Star Alain Delon ( Il Guepardo, The Clan of Sicilians, Samourai) famous for his film portayals in the 60's and 70's ( who was highly popular in Iran before the revolution with co-Star Jean Paul Belmondo)  acquired for 13 000 euros a painting by contemporary artist Ben which he graciously offered to Empress Farah. Amongst the 500 guests were also present Monique Pelletier and Francis Mer, actress Mireille Darc and comedian Jean-Pierre Marielle, as well as businessman Walter Butler.



About the Author:
Darius KADIVAR is a freelance journalist and film reviewer born to an Iranian father and French mother. He works and lives in France.



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