Sports Enthusiast Farah Diba

Forefront, young Farah Diba in 1957 holding the Persian Flag

at the Tehran Amjadieh Stadium

When she reached schooling age and according to the wish of her  parents, Farah Diba enrolled at the Italian school of Tehran. Later on, she entered the Jeanne d'Arc School of Tehran, a French institution. She remained there until the age of sixteen and later entered the Lycée Razi a secular French and Persian high school in Tehran where she obtained her baccalaureates. In both establishments, schooling was equally in Persian and French and she progressed simultaneously in both languages, although Persian was her favorite.

An exemplary student, the future empress also excelled at sports. She practiced many forms of sports including high jumps. In 1953, she became junior champion of Iran and for the first time appeared in newspapers and magazines. She also excelled at basketball, became captain of her team and for three years in a row, won the championship of Tehran. "Captain of her teams of basketball and athletics, excellent motivator, she knew exactly how to communicate her energy to others, remember her team mates. Thanks to her, we grabbed all the inter-schools cups of Tehran."

The young schoolgirl devoted part of her free time to collective activities and possessed an acute sense of social togetherness. While with the girl scouts, she quickly became a chieftain. Her secondary schooling once finished, Farah Diba then eighteen, left for Paris and entered the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture. The empress still remembers the smiles of her comrades when she announced her decision to choose architecture as a profession. "There were no reasons why I should not succeed, underlines the empress. We had the first Iranian woman doctor, lawyer, pharmacist and even engineer. I wanted to become the first woman architect and almost succeeded. Events decided otherwise."

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