A Queen’s Life!

H.I.M. Empress Farah Pahlavi with H.I.M. Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi Washington’s social season officially began in late September with a Gala Tribute Dinner to honor one of the Twentieth Century’s most respected women, Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi, the former Shahbanu (Empress) of Iran.

Almost two hundred select members from Washington’s most respected and fashionable families gathered at the Potomac, Maryland, home of renowned philanthropist and Chairwoman Extraordinaire Annie Totah, to welcome the Empress and her Royal Family with an evening of conversation, fine cuisine – and a little reminiscing. To highlight the Queen’s life, pictures and paintings greeted the guests in the reception areas of Totah’s home. They each represented carefully selected, historical moments, showcasing the Empress’ achievements while sharing the Peacock Throne with her husband Shāhanshāh (Emperor) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Annie Totah, a popular Washington hostess, began the evening with a special welcome for her honored guest. In her charming and playful way, Totah asked everyone to sing an original musical tribute to the Empress —to a lively, melodic tune from “Fiddle on the Roof.” The lyrics were written by Totah, especially for the Empress. The cheerful musical introduction set the stage for what followed. A brief highlight of the Empress’ life. 

“Growing up in Lebanon,” Totah began, “I was always fascinated with the Empress. Everything about her I wanted to know – what she wore, what charities she supported, and what she did to enhance the opportunities for her many subjects. I saw her as the Great Lady behind the ruler of the several-thousand-year-old Persian Empire. She was what Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana of Wales were for their followers: The People’s Queen! Today I see her, as many of her subjects do, as the woman whose children one day may bring secular democracy to the Imperial State of Iran and allow all the wonderful things she had done before the 1979 revolution to blossom once again.”

To her many friends who came from afar to honor the Empress as an achiever, one who had never wavered despite moments of adversity and tragedy. During her twenty years as Empress, until the House of Pahlavi fell, she had devoted her life to liberating Iranian women from their ancient bonds. She brought hope to them and her country through her commitment to art, culture, health, and, especially, education for women.

In a special heartfelt tribute, her granddaughter summed up her life beautifully. “It would take volumes to record her many contributions,” Princess Noor said, “Simply put, she was a mother to her country – and a grandmother to my sisters and me.”

The Empress’ son, His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi and his wife Princess Yasmine also had their special tribute. “She has persevered as a strong mother figure,” the Crown Prince said. “Despite the tragedies in her life, she surmounted each one gracefully with fortitude and dignity. For millions of her people, her lifetime work was a source of inspiration, because it offered them new directions and new opportunities.”


Princess Yasmine followed him with her personal tribute, which she punctuated occasionally with brief pauses. The memories, which she shared, were sometimes too strong and personal for her to reference them without an occasional, emotional pause.

“My husband and I owe so much to the queen,” the Princess began. “She has made it possible for us to raise our daughters to become the fine ladies they are today. We will always be grateful for all the wonderful things she has done for us. Iran’s loss will always be our gain.” At the end of her tribute, there wasn’t a person in the audience who didn’t feel the depth of her gratitude.

The Empress’ response, which was succinct, was shaded with humility and graciousness. “I can’t take credit for all my successes,” she said. “My many compatriots and my family deserve most of the credit by giving me the opportunity to achieve.” The tribute ended with the guests respectfully rising to their feet and applauding.

For the many guests who attended, it was a gala black-tie evening of music, fine food, and laughter, an evening planned for the Empress to the detail by Totah, her long-time friend.

Among the guests who were present were the Crown Prince, his wife, and their three daughters, the Princesses Noor, Iman and Farah, and Crown Prince’s sister, Princess Farahnaz.

Also in attendance were: Prince Ermias and Princess Saba Sahle-Selassie; President and Mrs. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada; Representative John Sarbanes and Mrs. Sarbanes; Representative John Sarbanes and Mrs. Sarbanes; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Pillsbury; Senator Paul Sarbanes; Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and Mrs. Edilia Gutierrez; The Honorable Peter Franchot and Mrs. Franchot; The Honorable Lloyd Hand and Mrs. Hand; The Ambassador of Japan and Mrs. Kenichiro Sasae; Ambassador John Evans and Mrs. Evans; Ambassador Walter Cutler and Mrs. Cutler; Mrs. Joe Gildenhorn; Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt and Mrs. Rosenblatt; Ambassador Dr. Khosrow Akmal and Mrs. Akmal; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mars; Ambassador and former Congresswoman Connie Morella; Representative and Mrs. Robert Avetisyan; The Honorable and Miss Bijan Kian; The Honorable Aniko Schott; Ms. Julie Kent; Mrs. Wilhemina Cole Holladay; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kreeger; Mr. and Mrs.Huda Farouki; Mr. and Mrs. Fabio Trabocchi; Messrs. Barry Dixon and Will Thomas; Messrs. Jose Alberto Ucles and Tom Noll; Ms. Nina Pillsbury; Ms. Beth Newburger Schwartz; Mr. and Mrs. Finlay Lewis; Dr. and Mrs. Milton Corn; Mr. and Mrs. Arturo Brillembourg; Dr. and Mrs. Milton Corn; Mr. and Mrs. Morty Bender; Ms. Maha Kaddoura; Messrs. Reginald Van Lee and Corey McCathern; And many other prominent Washington and Iranian friends of Her Majesty.


by Joe David  |  on October 6th, 2017  | 
Photo credit: Joe David


Party with Purpose

His Imperial Highness Prince Reza Pahlavi, Her Imperial Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi, Her Imperial Highness Princess Noor Pahlavi, Her Imperial Highness Princess Iman Pahlavi and Her Imperial Highness Princess Farahnaz Pahlavi at Acumen Young Benefactors’ Bash organized by Her Imperial Highness Princess Noor Pahlavi on Thursday, September 28, 2017 in New York City.
Acumen is an organization, which is truly changing the way the world attacks poverty.
Through its investments acumen allows people access to cheaper health-care education, environmental initiatives and jobs. Helping to build a more equal world.


Photos by Zlatko Batistich

Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi of Iran expresses 'gratitude' towards Egyptians

14577CAIRO - 30 July 2017: On January 16, 1979, the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left Tehran after being overthrown by the Iranian Islamic revolution. The airplanes carrying Shah Pahlavi and his family, including his wife, Empress Farah Diba took off from Tehran airport and headed to Aswan International Airport in southern Egypt, where they were received by the late President Mohammed Anwar Sadat, and his wife Mrs. Jehan Sadat.

Therefore, on the 37th anniversary of the death of her husband the Shah, who passed away on July 27, 1980 and was buried in Al-Rifai Mosque in Al-Qalaa district, south of Cairo, the former Empress visits her husband's grave every year and commemorates his death and is accompanied by her friend, Mrs. Jehan Sadat.

The former Empress of Iran shares a strong friendship relation with Jehan Sadat, that lasted 47 years, as well as deep feelings for Egypt and the Egyptians.

In Youm7’s interview with Diba, she started by expressing her and her family’s gratefulness to the Egyptian people and the late President Anwar Sadat for their hospitality to them when they came to Egypt in 1979.

When asked about the relationship that she has with Jehan Sadat, Diba said that Mrs Jehan “is a great friend,” and that she considers what Mrs. Sadat, President Sadat and the Egyptian people did for them in the wake of what happened in Tehran in 1979, when many friends refused to host them, “is a debt that they appreciate and recognize.”

On the other hand, Youm 7 also talked to Jehan Sadat on Thursday, after she placed flowers on the tomb of President Sadat in Nasr City and the tomb of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Rifai Mosque, about receiving Shah Pahlavi and his family in Egypt.

154987 0bd717b0 ed1f 416f 907e 151f3c17c967Mrs. Jehan noted that Sadat received the Iranian Shah because “no else received them” and because he never forgot the favor when the Shah supplied Egypt with petroleum products during the October War in 1973, denying what some historians claimed that President Sadat received the Shah because he aspired to obtain a number of economic and military gains.

Diba further talked about the secret behind the friendship that originated between President Sadat and the Iranian Shah, saying that the reason was that “they believed in each other. Their friendship was based on many mutual interests, the most important of which was the development of their respective countries.”

 On the current Egyptian-Iranian relationships, Diba commented that in her opinion, “Egypt and Iran enjoy a special position when it comes to regional politics,” they both also have great deep-rooted civilizations and their nations share similar nature in kindness and hospitality, pointing out that Egypt and Tehran once had an amazing relationship during the time of President Sadat and Shah Pahlavi.

Diba refused to discuss the current Qatari crisis, but when asked about the Hassan Rouhani administration in Iran, she responded that “Rouhani will not be able to implement the things and promises that he said he would do for the Iranian people, but hopes he succeeds.”

On the future of Iran, Diba affirmed that she trusts the Iranian youth to be aware enough, as well as the brave Iranian woman, pointing out to the difficult circumstances facing the people in Iran from “executions, imprisonments, poor salaries, the very high poverty rate, as well as the corruption of the Iranian government,” which the Iranian people are aware of.

148902 e31afba0 c237 4153 a573 ee55e516d5b2Diba advises the Iranian people to “increase asking for their rights gradually, putting pressure on the government, the president and leaders in Iran to improve their lives.”

Regarding the performance of Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition abroad, and the Iranian president and parallel leader of the People 's Mujahideen Organization, who is based in Paris now, Diba refused to discuss her opinion but expressed her trust in the Iranian people to know where the truth lies.





Article by Mohammed Abo El-Nour
Translated by Mariam Mostafa
Photos by Hazim Abdel Samad


Foundation Stephane Bern pour l histoire et le Patrimoine

HIM Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi with Princess Noor at the Foundation Stephane Bern pour l histoire et le Patrimoine

Photo by Luc Castel



The Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Leka of Albania

Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi Attends The Royal Wedding Of HRH Prince Leka of Albania
TIRANA, ALBANIA - Oct 7, 2016




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