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Katayoun Riahi, popular Iranian actress, says Farewell to Cinema


Translated by Roya Monajam for


What she wrote as her Farewell Message is so beautiful that I couldn't resist translating and sharing it with the rest of the world. -- Roya Monajem



Katayoun Riahi

Sometimes life is in such a way that one forsakes one's today's bread for tomorrow's hunger. Then one's dreams are delayed.

Sometimes, one is betrayed by fate in such a way that one imagines it is one's own decision. It is then when one makes claims which later becomes a trap.

Sometimes one is left behind one's aspirations.

Sometimes one wishes to act, and becomes an actress-actor

Sometimes one is laughing while one is bleeding inside, sometimes one cries when one is dying of laughter...

Sometimes everything becomes jokingly serious

Sometimes when one wants too much, falls short...

Sometimes when one falls short becomes greedy

Sometimes when one looks back with fear and tremor, one sees so much bravery

Sometimes one can bravely watch one's fears and horrors

Sometimes while looking for happiness, one loses life, and sometimes defines life expectedly

Sometimes for finding a worthless treasure, one loses one's own jewel, and sometimes one finds the gem of truth


It seems the time has reached for the common wish of mine and my son to be fulfilled and it is necessary for the pilgrim of the land of fable to start the journey. Now that I am set to make this journey, a journey to the other side of life, I feel obliged to thank my friends and teachers who were so close to me that lived in me: Parvaneh Mahah, Zahar, the good bride of patriarch, Khanum-bas, Fatemeh Molla Sadra, Fakhrolzaman, Mihan Sharqi, Tara, Soraya Ardalan... and Zoleykha, the lover. Although all these endeared ones were in love, but Zoleykhan's love was in itself a miracle.


These women and my only compassionate friends were sometimes applauded a little and if they were not punished, it is out of a divine blessing; even though I do not believe that there would be an actress in the world who would not be blamed, humiliated and punished. Yet, my greatest supporters were always the people with their Aryan compassion and their faith in the divine.


Katayoun Riahi - photo by Ahmad Shahvand

I am very much honored that throughout my life as an actress, I had only one supporter and as the mass of cinema would say, those who tried to put me down, were consciously or unconsciously after something which my share was beyond it.


In the course of more or less two decades, I did not ever see the opening or the closing of the Fajr international film festival. Their invitation card never reached me! In short, and as Voltaire says: "Oh, God. Save me from my friends, I know what to do with my enemies!


At the time when I did not consider cinema the right place for me, the national media (television) became a platform for me to share my love with my kind people.


And as Hafez says: The Alchemy of bliss is friend, friends who I appreciate and endear and those who have left us, may their soul be in peace. And all this loneliness was a blessing for privacy of friendship and the fact that God's hand... translated in the language of cinema: Indeed the greatest director is God. What I was supposed to learn from the magic of cinema and acting, I learnt with the hope it would provide food for writing and in search of the manifestation of Zoleykha's miracle of love in my life; I now intend to begin another relationship with you if not in the sense of playing roles, but in creating roles.


My present will to write appears not to leave a place for acting, but we should see what the divine will has written for me. Lest I come out successfully and with full hands from this test!


May God help me!

Katayoun Riahi

May 2009


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