Filed under: Iran
Zia was from Iran.
The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution, Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the revolution that transformed Iran from a monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. It has been called “the third great revolution in history,” following the French and Bolshevik revolutions, and an event that “made Islamic fundamentalism a political force… from Morocco to Malaysia”.
Although some might argue that the revolution is still ongoing, its time span can be said to have begun in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations to overthrow the Shah, and concluded with the approval of the new theocratic Constitution – whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country – in December 1979. In between, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled Iran in January 1979 after strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country, and on February 1, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians. The final collapse of the Pahlavi dynasty occurred shortly after on February 11 when Iran’s military declared itself “neutral” after guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979 when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum to make it so.
The revolution was unique for the surprise it created throughout the world: it lacked many of the customary causes of revolution – defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military; produced profound change at great speed; overthrew a regime thought to be heavily protected by a lavishly financed army and security services;and replaced an ancient monarchy with a theocracy based on Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (or velayat-e faqih). Its outcome – an Islamic Republic “under the guidance of an 80-year-old exiled religious scholar from Qom” – was, as one scholar put it, “clearly an occurrence that had to be explained…”
Not so unique but more intense is the dispute over the revolution’s results. For some it was an era of heroism and sacrifice that brought forth nothing less than the nucleus of a world Islamic state – “a perfect model of splendid, humane, and divine life… for all the peoples of the world”. At the other extreme, disillusioned Iranians explain the revolution as a time when “for a few years we all lost our minds”, and as a system that, “promised us heaven, but… created a hell on earth”.
Pop music in Iran started as early as the 1950s, and is generally credited to Vigen Derderian, who was known as the “Sultan of pop”. His popularity coincided with the emergence of a new, Western-influenced middle class. By the early 70’s, using indigenous instruments and forms and adding electric guitar as well as other Western influences, artists such as Googoosh and Mehr Pooya rose to popularity. The Golden Age of Persian pop music did not last very long, though, and was banned within Iran after the 1979 revolution and many of the artists fled to other countries. In Iran, anything that was of Western influence was banned or destroyed. Due to this fact, records from this period difficult to find, and so is any information about the artists.
Catalog number IR-2003 on Ahang Rooz (which means “Song Of The Day”) of Iran. No release date given.