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Zahir Ol Dowleh cemetery in Tehran


By Brian H. Appleton


hidden entrance


One of my goals on my return to Iran for the first time in 30 years was to see the Zahir Ol Dowleh cemetery which is amazingly owned by a private family. In it lie the graves of some of the finest contemporary poets, musicians and writers of Iran as well as Sufi philanthropists:


Forough Farrokhzad, Iraj Mirza, Bahar, Rahi Mo'ayeri, Rohani, Darvish Khan and many others. Rahi Mo'ayeri was the first cousin of my friend Fati Mo'ayeri, once my betrothed.



mourners on the occasion of Foroukh Farrokhzad's funeral




Rahi Mo'ayeri's grave


One of my readers in America asked me to find the grave of her great grandfather philanthropist Moavena Ol Molk, which I did.


Moavena Ol Molk's grave stone


unedited Iraj Mirza in hands of my driver Ali and son of cemetery owner


Zahir Ol Dowleh's tomb


The young son of the caretaker family had all the graves on a computer model and in his little office we pinpointed where the grave was on his computer before we went into the graveyard to find it.


I also was hosted one night by the descendants of Moavena Ol Molk, the families of my American friend's sisters whom I had never met before.


Moavena Ol Molk descendants and me


To the right of the main entrance is a Khanehgah or monastery where dervishes meditate and in front of it lies the casket of Zahir ol Dowleh himself.


graves under the trees


This is the magic of Tehran, this is the hidden worlds within hidden worlds I came to know and adore in the 1970's and they still abound...


amoo rasool



About: Brian H. Appleton is the author of Tales From the Zirzameen.


Tales From the Zirzameen: The story of an American falling in love with Iran


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